LeBron James was not about to embark on the star break, nor was Anthony Davis.
"I could tell they were stuck in the pre-game. LeBron had his jersey with about 80 minutes to go before the game," goalkeeper Alex Caruso mentioned after the Los Angeles Lakers 120-116 extra time triumph at Denver Wednesday night.
James posted his 12th triple-double of the season, tied with Luka Doncic for the NBA head, and Davis scored seven of his 33 factors in extra time as the Western Conference leaders took 41-12 and 4 video games forward of the second. place Denver in the All-Star break.
"I was trying to be as sharp as possible, focused on the laser," mentioned James. "I know the break is coming, but I wasn't going to take this opportunity for granted. I wanted to play extremely well tonight for our baseball club and I wanted us to play extremely well before the break on a note And our team reacted very well. "
The Nuggets had been the hottest crew in the league, having gained six of seven video games, together with shorthanded stunners in Milwaukee and Utah.
So James, who had 32 factors, 14 assists and 12 rebounds, noticed this as a playoff preparation.
"Every opportunity we have to play in a close match against a tough opponent is a learning experience for all of us," he mentioned. "It prepares us for a post-season game where it's going to be back and forth, back and forth. I thought tonight was a playoff atmosphere for both teams, being # 1 and # 2 in the Western Conference, jockeying for the position. We were just trying to make the games all we needed. And AD was there knocking down the big 3s and # "Getting a block and stops, the leap ball too. It was an excellent second."
In addition to his 33 factors, Davis tied star participant Nikola Jokic for a key leap ball late in regulation when officers had been compelled to hand over the basket by the Denver tall man after having muscled the ball away from Davis and in the basket.
Jokic has 22 factors and 11 rebounds for Denver, which has had its streak of 4 straight wins damaged.
Dwight Howard added 14 factors for the Lakers, who improved their finest NBA street report to 23-5.
Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 33 factors, however Jokic received into huge hassle late and made a vital blunder in the extra time, together with a turnover on a foul cross 19 seconds from the finish after missed a Three level open with Denver down 119 -116.
The return leg went into extra time at 111 when James' 15-foot fadeaway struck the iron and bounced into the buzzer.
Gary Harris' pointer tied at 116 with 3:06 left in extra time, however the Nuggets instantly grew to become chilly, particularly Jokic, who missed three pictures and bypassed a large open Three with 20 seconds left and the Nuggets down 119-116. He adopted with a foul patch in the arms of Kentavious Cadlwell-Pope.
"It was a detailed recreation. We simply didn't run in the previous couple of minutes," said Jokic. "I made a variety of horrible errors. Every resolution was fallacious. So I’ve to be higher at my resolution making. I believe I simply want to attempt to get a little bit extra out of it. "
LA opened the second half with a Three level pointer from Danny Green and a thunderous dunk from James for an 11 level lead, the largest Lakers of the night. But the Nuggets used an 11-Zero streak topped by Jokic's lengthy 3-point run to tie at 66.
Jokic picked up his fourth foul and went on the bench with 4:44 left in the third quarter. The Nuggets vehemently supported the attraction as a result of Davis took three steps in the paint earlier than contact and may have been known as for a visit.
But his teammates took over to give the Nuggets an 87-84 lead earlier than the fourth quarter. Jokic returned with Denver behind 97-94 with 7½ minutes left in regulation time.
James' jumper gave Los Angeles a 53-51 lead and his hoop coaching with a tenth of a second left gave the Lakers a 61-55 halftime lead.
Despite the disappointment, the Nuggets are comfortable to take a 38-17 report in the star break.
"Of course, nobody desires to lose, however we misplaced to an unbelievable crew," said Jokic, who was beaten after 37 minutes after James, Davis and Dwight Howard attacked him in waves. "They are certainly one of the finest groups in the NBA proper now. They are enjoying at a really excessive stage. It will not be a foul factor to lose in opposition to them, particularly as a result of they’re extra time and that we fought. "
And Denver was with out the injured trio of Mason Plumlee, Michal Porter Jr. and Will Barton III.
"We're nonetheless second," said Jokic, "so I prefer it."
Lakers: took management in the second quarter, forward of Denver 20-Eight in the paint. … The Lakers compelled Denver to a pair of 24-second violations, together with first possession of the recreation.
Nuggets: Jokic was honored for his All-Star choice at a pre-match ceremony which included a framed All-Star jersey. … Reservists Paul Millsap, Monte Morris and Noah Vonlieh every sank their solely try Three factors from the first half, whereas the prime 5 began with a Three for 10 mixed lengthy distance.
Lakers: host of Memphis on February 21 after the break of the stars.
Nuggets: go to Oklahoma City on February 21.
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