Darvin Ham gives Lakers ‘A+’ for competitiveness and way they played vs. Nuggets

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham liked how his team performed against one of the top teams in the NBA in the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.

The Lakers lost to the Nuggets at home by just eight points thanks to big scoring performances from Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. The former dropped 29 points on 12-of-25 shooting from the floor in over 35 minutes of playing time, while the latter scored 27 points in 38 minutes of play.

But the Lakers received gaudy scoring performances from some of their best players as well. LeBron James totaled 25 points to go along with nine rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block. Arguably the Lakers’ second-best player in Anthony Davis ended up with 32 points on 14-of-27 shooting from the floor while also contributing nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and four blocks.

After losing to the Nuggets, the Lakers are just one game above the .500 mark at 27-26. The loss snapped the team’s three-game winning streak, with the Lakers picking up wins over the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets earlier this month.

Notably, Los Angeles managed to beat the Celtics — who have been arguably the best team in the NBA so far during the 2023-24 regular season — on the road on Feb. 1 without James or Davis in the lineup.

The Lakers sit as the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference and are just one game ahead of the Utah Jazz, who are the No. 10 seed in the conference. Additionally, Los Angeles is two-and-a-half games behind the Dallas Mavericks for the conference’s No. 8 seed.

Los Angeles will try for its fourth win over its past five games when it takes on the New Orleans Pelicans at home on Friday night. The Pelicans are ahead of the Lakers in the Western Conference standings with a 30-21 record and are on a four-game winning streak at this juncture, which is the longest active winning streak of any team in the conference.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.