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Jamal Murray, Nuggets ends LeBron-less Lakers’ win streak

Jan 9, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) controls the ball as Los Angeles Lakers guard Max Christie (10) guards in the second quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Jamal Murray scored a season-high 34 points, Nikola Jokic had a season-high 16 assists to go with 14 points and 11 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers, 122-109 on Monday night.

Jokic made all five of his shot attempts.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 16 points, Bruce Brown scored 15 points, Bones Hyland and Michael Porter Jr. added 12 apiece, and Aaron Gordon finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for Denver, which has won 11 straight home games.

Russell Westbrook scored 25 points, Thomas Bryant had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Kendrick Nunn finished with 15 points, and Max Christie and Dennis Schroder scored 14 each for the Lakers, who saw their five-game winning streak end.

James, who is 35 points shy of joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only NBA players to score 38,000 career points, was named the Western Conference player of the week after averaging 35 points, 8.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists in three games.

The Lakers lost guard Patrick Beverly for the second half with a right hip injury.

Los Angeles hung close for most of the first half and trailed by just three with 8:33 left in the second quarter. But the Nuggets went on a 21-6 run from there that gave them a 55-37 lead with three minutes left in the half before carrying a 62-48 advantage into the locker room.

Denver increased the lead to 15 early in the third quarter but the Lakers came back to make it close. Schroder made a technical free throw, Nunn hit a jumper and Westbrook a 3-pointer to get the deficit to 73-66.

Jokic made a putback, and a free throw gave the Nuggets a 10-point lead. A quick 7-2 run made it 76-71 but a pair of corner 3-pointers by Brown sparked Denver responded to an 88-73 lead with 1:41 left in the period. The Nuggets carried a 15-point lead into the fourth.

Hyland opened the final period with a 3-pointer and Murray made a fast-break layup to give Denver a 99-79 lead.

Los Angeles cut it to 106-93 on Bryant’s three-point play but never threatened.

–Field Level Media