The Los Angeles Lakers started their 2023-24 NBA season with a loss to the Denver Nuggets, the defending champions, on Tuesday night. The Lakers, who revamped their roster in the offseason, could not keep up with the Nuggets’ offense and defense.
The Lakers trailed by as many as 18 points in the third quarter, but they made a comeback in the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to four points with two minutes left. However, the Nuggets held on to their lead and sealed the win with clutch shots and free throws.
The Lakers were led by LeBron James, who had 28 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Anthony Davis added 22 points, 10 rebounds, and six blocks. D’Angelo Russell, who returned to the Lakers after a trade, scored 18 points and dished out six assists.
The Nuggets had a balanced attack, with six players scoring in double figures. Nikola Jokic, the Finals MVP, had 26 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. Jamal Murray had 23 points and seven assists. Michael Porter Jr. had 19 points and nine rebounds.
The Lakers struggled with their shooting, making only 42.9 percent of their field goals and 31.6 percent of their three-pointers. They also committed 18 turnovers, which led to 24 points for the Nuggets.
The Nuggets shot 48.8 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. They also outrebounded the Lakers, 49-43, and had more assists, 28-23.
The Lakers will try to bounce back in their next game against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night. The Nuggets will face the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.