Nuggets defeat Lakers 122-109 Behind Murray and Jokic’s Stellar Performances

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets made history on Monday when he achieved a league-leading 11th triple-double of the season only taking five shots from the floor and three from the line during their 122-109 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Even with superstar LeBron James on the bench due to a sore left ankle, Denver maintained the top spot in the Western Conference.

Jokic’s triple-double marked the 12th in league history with five or fewer shots, according to the Nuggets. His selfless playing style was praised by his coach, Michael Malone, stating, “There’s not many guys like him that I’ve ever been around”. The Lakers coach Darvin Ham was likewise impressed, noting how rare it is to have a player of Jokic’s size put their “fingerprints all over the game”.

Jamal Murray added a season-high 34 points while Russell Westbrook finished with 25 points despite dislocating his pinky finger, and Thomas Brown grabbed a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards. Outside of the triple-double Jokic produced, it was a collective effort among Nuggets players to secure the 11th consecutive home game win, their longest home streak since 2018.

Afterwards, the Lakers spoke to the loss of Troy Brown Jr. (strained left quadriceps), Austin Reaves (strained hamstring strain) and Lonnie Walker IV (knee tendinitis). Coach Darvin Ham went as far as to express admiration of the “willpower and give their all” displayed by the depleted roster. Despite the loss, James picked up the Western Conference Player of the Week title after averaging 35 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 7.7 assists over the last three games. With 35 points away from becoming the sixth member of the NBA’s 38,000-point club, James will aim to close on the gap when Los Angeles return to face the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday. Meanwhile, Denver will be looking to extend their streak when they host the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.

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