Recap: Lakers topped by the Nuggets in their return home

December 22, 2019; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) controls the ball against Denver Nuggets forward Mason Plumlee (24) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ return from their road-trip resulted in a 128-104 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night. It marked their first game this season without LeBron James, who is day-to-day with a strained back muscle. A monster game from Anthony Davis was not enough to help the Lakers avoid a three-game losing streak. Davis tallied 32 points and 11 rebounds.

The third quarter was the difference in the game. After taking a 67-65 lead, the Lakers allowed the Nuggets to end the period on a 26-11 run. The Lakers also had six of their total 19 turnovers in the quarter. The second-half was even worse overall. They allowed a season-high of 73 points to the Nuggets in the second half.

To add to their woes, Anthony Davis took a nasty spill which led to a hyperextension of his right knee.

Kyle Kuzma made his return to action after missing five games. He ended the night with 16 points. While he won’t be able to duplicate anything that LeBron’s absence may bring, it was good to see him contribute and move well after his previous ankle issues.

The Lakers still sit atop the Western Conference at 24-6, but the nagging injuries to Davis and James are worrisome. Losing footing to the opposition and having to nurse wounds are a bad combination. The next few days could prove to be pivotal for the Lakers and their continued success.

The next game will be back in Staples Center against the cross-town Clippers on Christmas Day.

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