The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets tonight, 124-121 in a tightly contested affair between two of the top three seeds in the Western Conference. Kyle Kuzma hit the game winning three pointer with .4 seconds left, atoning for his blocking foul seconds before. This snaps a three game losing streak for the Lakers, and it’s an encouraging win given that the Nuggets are a potential Western Conference Finals matchup.
The Offense is Back
At the very least, it was very encouraging to see the Lakers remember how to put the ball in the basket. The three point shooting returned with a 14-29 (48.3%) output from beyond the arc. Kuzma in particular deserves a shoutout, as he was key in making a lot of the offense purr putting up 25 points on 11-16 from the floor and a particularly impressive 3/5 from three. He capped his great game with a beautiful shot over Bol Bol from a well designed inbounds play.
Bubble Kuz for the walk-off.
Peep LeBron in the back too. pic.twitter.com/lvXOrBEd3c
— Lakers Outsiders (@LakersOutsiders) August 11, 2020
AD Is Not Of This Earth
Anthony Davis had a big game, and wound up with a 27-6-5 stat line. It was good to see the big man rebound after a rough stretch, and he had a monster block with the Lakers down 3 with just over a minute left – a block that maybe three players in the league could make. But the stats were one thing, his highlight reel was an entirely different beast, as he momentarily made Mason Plumlee and the Earth’s crust become one.
AD getting up! 🔨 pic.twitter.com/8B3EzJt1PT
— NBA TV (@NBATV) August 11, 2020
AD makes Mason Plumlee go brr.
Struggle With Fundamentals
Ultimately, the Lakers won, but struggled get that critical stop down the stretch. While Plumlee is a good passing big and Jokic might be the best passer in the league, there were far too many occasions where they hit a cutter for an easy layup or an outlet for a three pointer as the Lakers edged closer to their comeback. The Lakers also really had a tough time with making their free throws, which was a disappointment given that this could have been far less stressful had they converted from the charity stripe.
The Lakers finish their regular season with a matchup against the already eliminated Sacramento Kings on Thursday, 1:30 PM EST/10:30 AM PST.