The Los Angeles Lakers managed to hold on to a tight win after what looked like a fourth-quarter collapse in a 120-116 victory over the Denver Nuggets. D’Angelo Russell and Ivica Zubac shined down the stretch, with the young duo picking and rolling the Nuggets out of Los Angeles.
This win (17) ties the Lakers with their win-total from the entire ‘15-16 season with plenty of games left to continue improving. This was a solid win, even with the brief scare in the fourth quarter.
Russell hit a career high with 10 assists, finishing with 22 points for the first double-double of his career. Zubac also hit a new high mark in his career with 17 points, doing most of his work in the second half out of the pick-and-roll. Nick Young was in full Uncle P mode, making five of his eight three-point attempts for a team-high 23 points.
The Nuggets were rolling to start the fourth quarter with a 15-0 run, but Russell entered into the game and the Lakers recovered after bobbling their lead a bit. Lou Williams hit a handful of big shots to help stabilize things, and the Lakers were able to hold off Denver in a wild finish. The teams combined for 79 points in the fourth quarter, going back-and-forth until the final buzzer sounded.
Denver’s bench was locked in, led by Wilson Chandler’s game-high 26 points while making four of his six three-point attempts. Gary Harris and Jamal Murray combined for 31 points. Harris’ scoring in the fourth quarter kept the Nuggets in striking distance, but it wasn’t enough with Russell churning on offense.
Good fight, good night, Denver. The Lakers now embark on a five-game road trip that begins Thursday in Washington D.C.