The Denver Nuggets routed the LA Lakers 122-105 to record their third straight victory in surprisingly easy fashion. The Sunday night affair was a marquee matchup that featured two title contenders who met in the Western Conference Finals last season. It was Nuggets star Nikola Jokic who came out on top as he outplayed fellow All-Star LeBron James.
Anthony Davis left the game in the first half and never returned after a collision with Jokic aggravated an Achilles injury.
Check out our 5 hits and flops from the LA Lakers-Denver Nuggets game:
Hit: Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
At the half, Nikola Jokic had 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists, and he continued to dominate the LA Lakers without scoring a single point in the second half.
He had a triple-double by the end of the third quarter for the Denver Nuggets, who repeatedly found themselves open for 3-pointers thanks to Jokic’s presence on the floor.
The big man orchestrated the Nuggets offense to perfection as his pinpoint passing found cutters and shooters all night long. Jokic’s board work was exceptional as well, as he grabbed 16 rebounds to go along with 10 assists.
Flop: LeBron James (LA Lakers)
LeBron James had 19 points at halftime and looked like he was on his way to a big game considering the absence of Anthony Davis. Instead, James had a poor showing in the second half, finishing the game with only 22 points despite registering a near-triple-double with 10 rebounds and nine assists.
He was passive offensively in the third quarter when the Denver Nuggets were slowly pulling away. The LA Lakers needed James to be superhuman in this game but he was a mere mortal in the last two quarters.
Hit: Facundo Campazzo and Zeke Nnaji (Denver Nuggets)
Facundo Campazzo and Zeke Nnaji did an incredible job taking advantage of their opportunity to play against the defending champion LA Lakers. Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone boosted the rookies’ confidence by inserting them in opportune moments, and the two responded accordingly.
Campazzo had 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field, with three of those coming from beyond the arc. Nnaji had 16 points on a red-hot 4-of-5 shooting from three and 5-of-7 overall.
Flop: Montrezl Harrell (LA Lakers)
There was a lack of passion and aggression on the part of Montrezl Harrell in this game. Last year’s Sixth Man of the Year could only muster four points and six rebounds in a lackluster 24 minutes of play.
LA Lakers coach Frank Vogel could also be blamed for Harrell’s performance because of how late he inserted his big man in the third quarter. However, Harrell was ultimately the one on the floor and he has to own up to his shortcomings.
Hit: Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets)
Much has been said about Jamal Murray’s inconsistency this season, but he showed his good side on Sunday night. Murray scored 25 points and made 4-of-10 from 3-point range to help the Denver Nuggets cruise to the win.
The LA Lakers didn’t seem ready for how aggressive he was as Murray attacked the defense inside and out. He also tallied six rebounds and four assists.
Published 15 Feb 2021, 12:01 IST