National Basketball Association
Denver 128, L.A. Lakers 104
When: 9:30 PM ET, Sunday, December 22, 2019
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
#23 Tre Maddox, #5 Kane Fitzgerald, #17 Jonathan Sterling
Paul Millsap scored 21 points and Gary Harris added 19 as the Denver Nuggets used a second-half burst for a 128-104 victory Sunday over the host Los Angeles Lakers, who played without the injured LeBron James.
Nikola Jokic had 18 points and six rebounds, while Will Barton finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets, who won their sixth straight. Malik Beasley chipped in 16 points off the bench.
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 32 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, but he sustained a knee injury. Kyle Kuzma, who returned after missing the previous five games with an ankle sprain, had 16 points off the bench for the Lakers, who dropped their third in a row. No other Laker scored in double figures.
James missed a game for the first time this season with a thoracic muscle strain in his back.
Denver prevailed despite guard Jamal Murray, who entered the contest averaging 17.9 points per contest, scoring six points on 3-of-11 shooting, including 0-for-6 on 3-pointers.
The Nuggets took control with a solid third quarter and buried the Lakers in the fourth. A 12-0 run lifted the Nuggets to 77-67 advantage after two free throws by Barton with 4:38 left in the third quarter. They increased the margin to 91-78 on a tip-in by Mason Plumlee to end the third. Denver outscored Los Angeles 36-25 in the quarter.
The Nuggets also forced six Lakers turnovers in the quarter without committing any. The Nuggets had only 10 miscues in the game to 19 for the Lakers.
Davis left the game with 3:13 remaining in the third after tweaking his right knee and picking up his fourth foul. He returned to start the fourth quarter but it didn't make any difference.
The Nuggets led 55-53 at the break. They also outshot the Lakers 44.4 percent 39.2 percent in the first half. Overall, Denver hit 48.9 percent of its field goals to 47 percent for Los Angeles
The Nuggets also converted 11 of 32 3-pointers (34.4 percent) to 10 of 29 (34.5 percent) for the Lakers.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Paul Millsap 21
Anthony Davis 32
Will Barton 5
Rajon Rondo 8
Will Barton 13
Anthony Davis 11
Nikola Jokic 7
||Free Throws Made
Alex Caruso 8
Gary Harris 4
Rajon Rondo 3
Nikola Jokic 1
Anthony Davis 4
Team Stats Summary
L.A. Lakers will play their next game at home against L.A. Clippers. The Lakers have a W/L % of .875 after a win and .500 after a loss.
Denver will play their next game on the road against Phoenix. The Nuggets have a W/L % of .800 after a win and .500 after a loss.