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Jokic, Nuggets extend Lakers’ skid to six

Apr 3, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) blocks the shot of Denver Nuggets guard Davon Reed (9) during the first half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jokic had 38 points and 18 rebounds, Will Barton scored 25 points, and the visiting Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 129-118 on Sunday.

Los Angeles (31-47), who was without LeBron James due a sore ankle, has lost six straight games.

Aaron Gordon had 24 points, DeMarcus Cousins scored 14 and Bones Hyland and Davon Reed added 10 apiece for the Nuggets (47-32). Denver moved into first place in the Northwest Division by a half-game over Utah and is currently the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

Anthony Davis had 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, Russell Westbrook added 27 points and 10 rebounds, Carmelo Anthony scored 17, Malik Monk had 11 and Avery Bradley finished with 10 for the Lakers, who are in 11th place in the West and in jeopardy of missing the play-in round.

Los Angeles trailed by a point after three quarters but went ahead 99-98 on a 3-pointer from Anthony. Cousins scored six of the next eight Nuggets’ points to give them a 106-104 lead.

After a Davis miss, Barton hit a corner 3-pointer and Jokic a jumper to make it 111-104. Talen Horton-Tucker scored for the Lakers but Jokic made a bank shot, Reed stole the inbounds pass and made two free throws and Monte Morris had a steal that led to a pair of foul shots for a 117-106 lead with 4:46 left.

Another 3-pointer from Barton gave Denver a 120-110 lead with 3:42 left. Los Angeles cut it to six on two free throws by Westbrook but the Lakers missed five of six field goals and the Nuggets held on.

The Lakers led by nine in the second quarter but Denver rallied. Barton’s three free throws with 0.8 seconds left gave the Nuggets a 62-61 lead at halftime.

The Lakers opened the second half on a 15-7 run to lead 76-69 lead but Denver answered with a 9-2 run to tie it at 78. Los Angeles went back in front by four on a three-point play by Davis but the Nuggets again answered to lead by four and eventually 95-94 heading into the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media