LOS ANGELES – LeBron James scored 26 points and Anthony Davis added 23 to help the Los Angeles Lakers get their first win of the season with a 121-110 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.
Russell Westbrook had 18 points for the Lakers (1-5), who have lost their first five games of the season under first-year head coach Darwin Hamm. Los Angeles was the last winless team in the NBA.
Westbrook drove the lane and scored on a layup to extend the Lakers’ lead to 117-106 in the final minutes as the Lakers closed out the win.
Nikola Jokic scored 23 points and Jamal Murray added 21 for the Nuggets (4-3), who had won four of their last five and two straight before Sunday’s loss.
Austin Reaves hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc and Lonnie Walker IV drove the baseline and dunked to give the Lakers a 113-100 lead. That 13-point lead was their biggest lead of the season.
The Lakers made 13 3-pointers after going without one from long range in their previous five games this season. The Nuggets made 15 three-pointers.
Davis was aggressive early after missing one game with a lower back strain and was questionable Sunday but played. He tweaked his back in Wednesday’s game against Denver as the Nuggets beat the Lakers 110-99 in Denver.
The Lakers led 55-51 at halftime. They trailed by as many as 10 points in the first quarter, but overcame that deficit by halftime.
ON THE Rafters
Hall of Famer George Mikan has retired his jersey. His family was there to celebrate the honor and watch the unveiling of No. 99. He is the 11th player to have his jersey retired, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Gayle Goodrich , Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, Jamal Wilkes and James Worthy. Warty was there on Sunday and talked about Mikan.
Nuggets: G Bones Hyland missed game with left hamstring strain… G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (sprained ankle) returned Sunday and scored nine points… C DeAndre Jordan ran out of bounds on one play, bent over over the fan to stop his momentum and ate some popcorn.
Lakers: C Anthony Davis (lower back strain) and F LeBron James (foot soreness) both played and were in the starting lineup … Pau Gasol, who won two championships with the Lakers, attended the Mikan Jersey presentation and game on Sunday. The Lakers will retire his jersey in March
Nuggets: Have three days off before Thursday’s game in Oklahoma City.
Lakers: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.
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