The Los Angeles Lakers snapped their three-game losing streak with a 124-121 win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday, which was capped off by a clutch 3-pointer from Kyle Kuzma with less than three seconds left on the shot clock.
Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma combined for 81 points against the Nuggets. Monday marked just the third time Davis, James and Kuzma have scored at least 20 points. The Lakers are 2-1 when it happens.
James led the way for the Lakers with 29 points, followed by Anthony Davis (27) and Kyle Kuzma (25). It took a little while for James to heat up, but when he did, he carried the team for a stretch in the second quarter.
The idea of the Lakers’ “big three” was always overblown, but Monday night was a great example of how impactful Davis, James and Kuzma can be on both ends of the floor when they’re locked in. Win or lose, that’s great for the team long-term. Luckily for them, it was a win on Monday.
The Lakers also got some much-needed help from their supporting cast — most notably from Danny Green, who finally found his 3-point shooting stroke on Monday. For the first time since Feb. 25, Green made three 3-pointers and at an efficient 60% clip. As a team, the Lakers shot 48.3% from 3-point range, which is the highest percentage hey’ve shot since the season restarted.
Offensively, there were a lot of positives to takeaway from Monday’s game. Defensively is where they nearly lost the game. Going forward, it will be interesting to see if the Lakers have to settle with a trade off between their offense and defense and if that’s the case, which one they’ll rely on more.
The Lakers will play their final seeding games on Thursday against the Sacramento Kings. The Kings were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday and the Lakers have the No. 1 seed locked up, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Frank Vogel rest his veteran players.