Photo: Isaiah J. Downing – Associated Press
The Nuggets dropped a tough one Tuesday night to the Lakers 112-103 and fell to the tenth spot in the Western Conference.
After tonight’s loss to the Lakers the Nuggets fall a game behind the Utah Jazz for the eighth spot in the Western Conference. Every team the Nuggets are chasing found a way to win tonight and the Nuggets were unable to pull out a victory in Los Angeles. The Nuggets record now sits at 37-31 and moves them a whole game behind the San Antonio Spurs for the ninth spot.
The Nuggets played some phenomenal defense in the first half, but in the second half Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma caught fire and helped fuel the Lakers comebacks. Kuzma finished the night with 26 points on 10-20 from the field, 5-11 from behind the three-point line. 24 of Kuzma’s points came in the second half and was a big reason as to how the Lakers were able to overcome a 13 point deficit in the second half.
The Lakers won the rebounding battle 52-44 and were able to make two more three’s than the Nuggets. Those stats alone proved to be the difference in a game that was tightly contested for all 48 minutes. The Nuggets shot just 13-40 rom behind the arc and committed a game high 20 turnovers. Will Barton struggled to score the ball going 3-14 from the field for just eight points, while also posting a game high -19.
Isaiah Thomas and Julias Randle were the other two players who really hurt the Nuggets. Thomas scored 23 points off the bench and shot 4-9 from three. Randle also had a strong game with 26 points and 13 rebounds on 11-17 from the field. Of Randle’s 13 rebounds, seven were offensive, which allowed the Lakers to have some solid second chance point opportunities.
If the Nuggets did have one star on the night it was their leading scorer Wilson Chandler. Chandler scored 26 points in his game high 41 minutes, while shooing an efficient 11-16 from the field. Another Nugget who had a good night was Jamal Murray. Murray didn’t succumb to the pressure of the Staples Center crowd as he dropped 18 points on 5-11 from the field. Murray was boo’d all game, but he didn’t let it affect him and used it as fuel to help him post a strong performance for the Denver Nuggets.
This loss certainly hurts as the Nuggets as they have just one more home game before they embark on a seven game road trip that lasts almost two weeks. The next month is certainly going to be an interesting one as tight as the Western Conference is and how the Nuggets are currently on the outside looking in.
The team has a day off tomorrow before they welcome the Detroit Pistons to the Pepsi Center on Thursday night.