Lakers still seek first win after loss to Denver Nuggets, 120-109

The Lakers’ woes continued Tuesday night as the team lost its fourth straight game to start the season, falling 120-109 to a shorthanded Denver Nuggets squad.

Despite playing without injured players Wilson Chandler, Jusuf Nurkic, Joffrey Lauvergne and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets overcome an early 10-point deficit to win their second game in four tries.

Kenneth Faried, Denver’s 6-foot-8 center, was too much for the Lakers to handle, leading his team with 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting, along with a game-high 15 rebounds.

Danilo Gallinari, who at 6-foot-10 was the tallest available Nugget, scored 21 points with eight rebounds.

The Lakers got 30 points from Jordan Clarkson on 12-of-19 shooting, tying his career high, but the Lakers’ defense was porous all night, giving up 93 points through the first three periods.


Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay, taken seventh overall in the NBA draft, won the first head-to-head matchup against the Lakers’ second-overall pick, D’Angelo Russell.

Mudiay finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points with 10 assists, although he missed 10 of 13 shots and turned the ball over six times.

Russell scored seven on three of three-of-11 shooting, with six assists and one turnover. While Mudiay helped close out the Lakers in the final minutes at off guard, alongside veteran point Jameer Nelson (nine assists), Russell sat on the bench with Lou Williams and Clarkson finished the game.

Williams helped the Lakers get within three points in the fourth, scoring 24 while hitting 16 of 19 free throws, but the Nuggets were able to pull away to win by 11.

Kobe Bryant tried to push his way through a shooting slump, scoring 11 points on four-of-11 shooting with five assists and five fouls.

Julius Randle went to the locker room in the second quarter after getting poked in the eye. He returned to start the third quarter wearing a pair of goggles, similar to the kind Horace Grant wore during his stint with the Lakers.

Randle finished with 16 points. The Lakers shot 41.4% from the field, 23.1% from three-point range (6-26) and 81.6% from the line (31-38).

Denver hit 50.6%, 35% (7-20) and 87.1% (27-31). The Nuggets finished with 30 assists on 43 baskets, while the Lakers had 18 assists on 36.

The Nuggets also got double-figure scoring from J.J. Hickson (17), Gary Harris (11) and Will Barton.

Coach Byron Scott adjusted his rotation to include Tarik Black, reducing Ryan Kelly to 10 minutes and Brandon Bass to 20. Black scored seven points with eight rebounds and four personal fouls in 18 minutes.

The Lakers start a five-game road trip on Friday with a visit to the Brooklyn Nets (0-4). The Nuggets (2-2) return home to host the Utah Jazz (2-1) on Thursday.

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