LeBron James Passes Michael Jordan as Lakers Lose to Nuggets

on Mar7
by | Comments Off on LeBron James Passes Michael Jordan as Lakers Lose to Nuggets |

LeBron James passed Michael Jordan for fourth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, but it was all downhill after that.

Will Barton scored 23 points and the Denver Nuggets dominated the shorthanded Lakers, 115-99, on Wednesday night at Staples Center.

Following three straight losses to the Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, and L.A. Clippers, the Lakers appear to have accepted their fate on missing out on the postseason.

The Lakers were without starters Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram for the game against the Nuggets, with James seemingly on a slight minutes restriction. 

James played 31 minutes (he averages 36) in the lopsided loss, scoring 31 points in the defeat.

The only excitement and climatic moment in the game was when James finally surpassed Jordan with 5:38 remaining in the second quarter. After tying “His Airness,” on a fadeaway jumper seconds before, James drove the lane for a left-handed layup that moved him into rarefied air.

Denver led wire-to-wire, extending the lead to 23 points in the third quarter, but behind rarely used players Mo Wagner, Alex Caruso, and Johnathan Williams, the Lakers roared back in the fourth quarter. 

“LeBron and the G-League Group,” as we’ll affectionately call the unit that made the comeback, cut the lead to two, 87-85, midway through the fourth quarter. 

However, Los Angeles would not get any closer as James was pulled from the game with five minutes remaining and the Nuggets leading by nine. 

All five starters scored in double figures for Denver with Barton leading the way with 23. Gary Harris scored 19, Paul Millsap had 16, Jamal Murrary added 19, and Nikola Jokic had 12 points and 17 rebounds. 

Los Angeles was led by James who had a game-high 31. JaVale McGee had 16 points, and Alex Caruso chipped in 15 off the bench.

The Lakers shot 52 percent from the free throw line and 22 percent from beyond the arc. 

Notes and Next

Lonzo Ball (left ankle sprain),Kyle Kuzma (ankle sprain), Tyson Chandler (neck stiffness), and Brandon Ingram (shoulder) all missed the game due to injuries.

The Lakers will host the Boston Celtics on Saturday at 5:30PM PT. 

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