The Los Angeles Lakers were running on fumes in a 116-105 loss to the Denver Nuggets, letting what was once a double-digit lead in their favor turn into a Nuggets blowout. The purple and gold made progress through the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth, but in the final 10 minutes of the game allowed what was suddenly only a four-point deficit slip away in a hurry.
Julius Randle started the game doing just about everything for the Lakers, matching his career high in assists (5) in the first quarter alone. He racked up two points, seven rebounds and five assists through the first 12 minutes alone, and by the end of the night what looked like an early triple-double watch came to fruition. Julius notched his first triple-double with 13 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists.
D'Angelo Russell suffered a moderate right ankle sprain near the end of the first half. Russell stepped on D.J. Augustin's foot while chasing him around a screen and dropped to the floor in pain as he clinched his lower leg. He was helped off the court and back to the locker room by his teammates. The injury looked bad, and the pain looked excruciating.
Kobe Bryant put on a bit of a show for the home crowd, scoring a game-high 28 points on 10-of-22 shooting. His three-point shooting barrage in the third quarter helped breathe life back into the team, but it was more like their final gasp for air before collapsing again. Augustin was locked in much like he was in the last meeting between these teams, scoring a team-high 20 points. Jusuf Nurkic added in 18 off the bench.
The Lakers will asses D'Angelo Russell's status going forward on Saturday before hosting the Washington Wizards on Sunday.