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  • Eric Martinez

Nuggets take down Lakers 122-109

The Los Angeles Lakers have started the 2023 without a loss. Monday marked a road game in Denver against the number 1 team in the Western Conference. Entering the game, the Lakers ruled out LeBron James, along with several players that were injured including Patrick Beverly that was injured and did not return at halftime due to a hip injury. Although Anthony Davis is making strides to return to the lineup, he was not available on Monday night.

The Nuggets have had stellar play all year from several players. Leading the way was the back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic. Another triple double was reached, as he leads the league in triple-doubles (12). Jokic’s efficiency was evident going 5 for 5 from the field and ending the game with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 16 assists. Head coach of the Lakers, Darvin Ham, had tremendous praise for Jokic. “The way Jokic puts his fingerprints all over the game, that’s a rarity, especially at his size.

It’s only a few of those guys in the league that’s able to do that.” Denver had contributions from the entire starting lineup from Michael Porter Jr. (12), Jamal Murray (34), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (16), and Bones Hyland (12) all scoring in double-digits. The Nuggets consistently display a grasp of Mike Malone’s offense with heavy ball movement and efficient shooting percentages from the free throw line and three-point range. They ended the night with 88.2% from the free throw line, and 35.7% from beyond the arc.

For the Lakers, Russell Westbrook led the way with 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. Only 5 players from the Lakers made at least 1 three-point shot, and Lakers ended the night shooting 28.6% from three and turned the ball over 14 times. Lakers hope to return to the winning spectrum as they host the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night, while the Denver Nuggets host the Phoenix Suns Wednesday evening.

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