The defending champions, LA Lakers visited the Ball Arena for their second meeting of the season against the Denver Nuggets, who were also their opponents in the 2019-20 Western Conference Finals.
The LA Lakers bested the Denver Nuggets in the first encounter of the season overpowering Jokic and co. by 33 points in the second half en route to a 114-93 victory. The tides turned in Denver's favor tonight as the Joker exacted revenge by thrashing LeBron James and company to secure an emphatic win. The matchup was also a chance for basketball fans around the to see 2 top MVP candidates going head to head.
Nikola Jokic tallied a triple-double with 23 points to go along with 16 boards and 10 assists. Jamal Murray dropped a game-high 25 points as the Denver Nuggets registered their fifteenth win of the season. Meanwhile, LeBron James ended his game night with 22 points, also adding 10 boards and nine assists to his tally.
LA Lakers currently occupy the second spot in the Western Conference standings behind Utah Jazz, while Denver Nuggets slot in at the 7th spot right above Golden State Warriors.
Nikola Jokic and crew surge past LA with dominant second-half showing
The game started pretty evenly as the score was tied at 33 apiece at the end of the first quarter with LeBron James and Nikola Jokic leading the way for their ball clubs. Purple and Gold were defending their impressive seven-game winning streak, and the Denver Nuggets entered this contest on the back of a two-game winning run.
The game swayed in favor of the Denver Nuggets the moment LA Lakers superstar Anthony Davis, went down with an injury. The Brow, who missed two matches recently with a right Achilles tendonosis, collided with Jokic in the second quarter requiring the coaching staff to immediately pull him out of the action.
AD's health and low season averages by his lofty standards continue to be the biggest storyline for the reigning champions this season. With Anthony Davis sidelined, LeBron James elevated his game for a near triple-double performance but was let down by the LA Lakers bench unit, who were far from impressive on the offensive end.
NBA fans displayed their love for the teams on Valentine's day. Check out how Twitterati reacted to the showdown between two top contenders in the West:
It was Deja vu for the LA Lakers fans as the reigning champs entered the second half trailing by 12 points just like they did ten days ago at the Staples Center. It was Nikola Jokic led the charge for the Denver Nuggets, while LeBron James did his best to keep his team in the game.
The LA Lakers will go on to play the Minnesota Timberwolves in another road game on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets will travel to the TD Garden for a showdown against the Boston Celtics for their next matchup.