DENVER — A LeBron James-led staff doesn’t start 0-4 usually. Not since his rookie season has one in every of his groups stumbled out of the beginning gate fairly like this.
“It’s a brand new system. It’s a brand new group of fellows collectively,” James defined. “We’re nonetheless making an attempt to get accustomed to each other.”
Nikola Jokic had 31 factors and 13 rebounds, Jamal Murray hit an enormous 3-pointer and the Denver Nuggets saved the Los Angeles Lakers winless with a 110-99 victory Wednesday night time.
The Lakers stay within the firm of Orlando and Sacramento as the one groups but to win this season.
“We’re 4 video games and it sucks to lose, however we now have 78 video games left,” new Lakers coach Darvin Ham mentioned. “It’s loads of time for us to proper the ship. And it begins now.”
Trailing by two moments into the second half, the Nuggets went on a 29-9 to seize management. The Lakers labored their approach again and lower it to single digits within the fourth, however Murray hit a 3-pointer — his just one in seven makes an attempt — for some respiration room.
Anthony Davis, coping with decrease again tightness, had 22 factors and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles. LeBron James had 19 factors to run his double-digit streak to 1,100 video games. Russell Westbrook was held out to relaxation a sore left hamstring.
LeBron James pulls his jersey over his eyes within the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ 110-99 loss to the Nuggets.USA TODAY Sports activities
Jokic completed an help shy of a triple-double. But it surely was the 31 factors that caught Bruce Brown without warning. He had no concept the back-to-back MVP erupted for that many.
“It was a quiet 31,” cracked Brown, who completed with 18 factors, together with 4 3-pointers. “No person can guard him.”
For his massive night time, Jokic seems to be no additional than James, who motivated him to maintain laser targeted.
“LeBron is one of the best participant on the planet,” Jokic mentioned. “I wish to compete with one of the best.”
LeBron James drives on Aaron Gordon in the course of the Lakers’ loss.Getty Photos
Struggling together with his long-range jumper, Murray discovered his contact in shut and completed with 13 factors. He confirmed flashes of his explosiveness as he works his approach again from a knee harm. He additionally obtained an early pep speak from coach Michael Malone.
“I simply walked over to him within the huddle, gave him an enormous hug and mentioned, ‘Hey, man, massive image. I imagine in you. I like you. I do know who you might be, and I do know the place you’re going to be sooner or later,’” Malone mentioned.
Late within the third quarter, the Nuggets noticed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope flip his left ankle on a layup and go away for the locker room. He had 13 factors.
It’s been a troublesome begin for Lakers, who entered the sport because the worst-shooting squad within the NBA. They shot 44.4 % from the sphere towards Denver.
It’s additionally been a troublesome starting for Ham, the player-turned-coach who was introduced on board over the summer season after serving as an assistant in Milwaukee. Ham picked up a technical within the fourth quarter for arguing a name.
“Not likely about some other staff proper now, scouts or schemes — simply going on the market and doing it for 48 minutes to get a win,” Davis mentioned. “No matter we’ve received to do. That’s step one. We are able to construct on that.”