National Basketball Association
L.A. Lakers 121, Denver 114
When: 10:30 PM ET, Thursday, October 25, 2018
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
#34 Kevin Cutler, #14 Ed Malloy, #52 Scott Twardoski
LeBron James had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to record his first triple-double with his new team, and the Los Angeles Lakers knocked the visiting Denver Nuggets from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 121-114 victory Thursday.
It was the Lakers' first victory at home this season. Los Angeles earned its first win overall Wednesday at Phoenix following three defeats.
The Lakers went on a 19-4 run late in the fourth quarter, capped by two Kyle Kuzma dunks to take control of the game. Kuzma scored 22 points, while JaVale McGee added 21. McGee recorded back-to-back games of at least 20 points for the first time since 2012 with the Washington Wizards.
Nikola Jokic scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who fell to 4-1. Denver was aiming for its first 5-0 start since the 2009-10 season. Jamal Murray scored 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, and Monte Morris added 20 off the bench for the Nuggets.
Denver's defeat leaves four unbeaten teams in the NBA, three of whom are in the Eastern Conference: Toronto (5-0), Milwaukee (4-0) and Detroit (4-0). The New Orleans Pelicans at 3-0 are now the lone undefeated team in the Western Conference.
The Lakers were playing without point guard Rajon Rondo and forward Brandon Ingram, who were both serving suspensions for their role in a fight with the Houston Rockets on Saturday. Rondo's three-game suspension is now complete, while Ingram has one more game remaining on his four-game punishment.
Lonzo Ball scored 12 points and handed out eight assists for the Lakers, while Josh Hart added 12 points in his second start of the season. Lance Stephenson also scored 12 points for the Lakers.
Gary Harris scored 13 points for the Nuggets, while Trey Lyles had 11 and Mason Plumlee scored 10 off the bench.
The Nuggets led 106-98 with 6:11 to play after a 3-pointer by Morris before the Lakers got their offense going late against one of the better defensive teams in the NBA. The Nuggets entered giving up less than 100 points a game.
Jokic had 11 points and six rebounds for the Nuggets in the first half, but Denver was just 3 of 14 from 3-point range in the first two quarters.
James led all scorers in the first half with 14 points, adding six rebounds and eight assists, and the Lakers held a 58-57 lead at the break.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Nikola Jokic 24
LeBron James 28
Monte Morris 7
LeBron James 11
Nikola Jokic 11
LeBron James 11
Monte Morris 6
||Free Throws Made
LeBron James 7
Monte Morris 3
Lonzo Ball 5
Paul Millsap 2
Kyle Kuzma 2
Team Stats Summary
L.A. Lakers will play their next game on the road against San Antonio. The Lakers have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .333 after a loss.
Denver will play their next game at home against New Orleans. The Nuggets have a W/L % of .800 after a win and .000 after a loss.