LOS ANGELES – The Lakers, who scored their first victory of the season over Phoenix's Desert Islands, broke their first winning streak of the season, beating the Denver Nuggets 121-114 on Thursday. The game was a seesaw affair, but the Lakers took control of the game in the last four minutes.
The Lakers may not be a high-profile defensive team at the moment, but there were some encouraging signs in their best times
When Lonzo Ball was constantly chasing Jamal Murray all the way down the floor, Murray's pocket for a simple half-time Bucket as a reward – he recalled that the Lakers even have several capable defenders if their team concepts have a way. You do not have to be the sieve of a defense they demonstrated the first week of the season.
For James, Thursday saw a complete performance that included his first triple double as Laker – 28 points (10-for-17 from the ground), 11 rebounds and 11 assists. James was a bit picky with his attacks this season in the early stages, but after having a chance to rumble from coast to coast in the third quarter, he forced the problem on several occasions – especially a hit on the break, thanks to a pass Lance Stephenson (aka Make's Dance Lance), who gave the Lakers the lead of 3:29 in the game.
Lance Stephenson breaks his
And James was typically fatal from the top of the hallway as a moderator with his surgical passing game.
James is well aware that the Lakers will not be the best-trained shots team in the league. But her final possession of the first half was a vivid example of how the elite vision of James and Ball can compensate for perimeter fears; It was an exercise that showed the Lakers winning. As Denver's defensive clock moved towards James, he pulled a cross-court pass in the opposite corner of Ball, which then immediately handed him over to Kyle Kuzma for an open 3-pointer on the wing.
Lonzo Ball Makes Extra Bonus Kyle Kuzma fires a big 3-pointer to the Lakers with a 58-57 lead
The shot shoots the Lakers up to an interruption – more evidence that better decisions lead to better results. If Kuzma (22 points) continues to sprint the floor in the crossover and floats on the field on Thursday night, he should be exceptionally well nourished this season. His two dunks in the last two minutes, a courtesy from James, helped seal the game for the Lakers.
Kyle Kuzma comes with the theft on defense and sprints down court for the two-hand jam.
Ball and James, both intoxicated and intrinsically unselfish in the field, clearly create a team-mate telepathy. In a third-tier midfield ownership, Ball immediately recognized a strong early seal from James against the smaller Torrey Craig – Quick Loot, Simple 2.
Take a look at some of the Lakers' easier looks and there's a The Likelihood Was High, that Ball led a teammate and then passed a pinpoint. He finished with 12 points – including a decisive 3-pointer within three minutes left in the competition – eight assists, six rebounds and five steals.
Lonzo Ball uses the missing match against Nikola Jokic and beats a clutch step-back-3-pointer.
The Lakers relied on the waste disposal services of JaVale McGee. For the second consecutive night, McGee has topped 20 points and is now making an average of 17.2 points per game in the season. McGee also played 31 minutes – his first 30-minute game since February 2013.
JaVale McGee comes out of two pick-and-roll to hammer a pair of monstrous dunks over to Mason Plumlee
Nikola Jokic (24 points and 11 rebounds) was a handful for McGee and the Lakers, both among them, operating as an offensive fulcrum of the Nuggets from the high post. And the Lakers need to create a collective consciousness to defend a team like Denver, who uses his bigs as playmakers. Better defenses than the Lakers bore the brunt of Jokic, but the Lakers were sorted out similarly by Denver's Mason Plumlee and Trey Lyles – something to work on Saturday in San Antonio.