The Los Angeles Lakers were always going to lose their back-to-back in Denver against the Nuggets, and boy did they ever fulfill the prophecy of the NBA’s schedule makers. The Lakers had no chance in a 129-101 blowout, taking a brutal beatdown
Ivica Zubac was the only notable Laker, setting a new career-high with 25 points on an incredibly efficient 12-of-15 shooting. That’s the first time the big man has broken 20 points in his short career, needing just 30 games to accomplish the nice feat. He also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds, leading the Lakers in both categories.
Head coach Luke Walton’s decision to move D’Angelo Russell to the bench produced poor results, though this schedule-loss of a game isn’t the best one to make any snap judgments off of. Still, Russell never found much rhythm to his game and isn’t the snappy scorer Jordan Clarkson can be.
Russell scored 10 points, while the Nuggets’ bench dominated the Lakers’. Both Will Barton and Jamal Murray scored team-highs of 22 points, combining to go 9-of-14 from three-point range. It was an absolute barrage from outside.
Danilo Gallinari and Nikola Jokic each chipped in 18 points, and the Lakers’ once again had no defensive resistance. They gave up 93 points through three quarters for the second night in a row, and the result was the same. Another loss on a season full of losses.
Seven Nuggets reached double-digits in scoring, and that about sums up the game. The Lakers were doomed before they ever played a single preseason game, but it didn’t make it any easier to watch for four quarters.
Don’t fret, though. The Lakers pay a visit to James Harden and the Rockets in Houston on Wednesday! Just what they need.