Jordan Clarkson’s career-high 30 points went in vain as the the winless Los Angeles Lakers dropped their fourth consecutive game, during a 120-109 defeat to Denver Nuggets Tuesday night. It was a sad state of affairs for Purple & Gold fans as fans booed their team while leaving the Staples Center an unhappy bunch.
For Nuggets, Kenneth Faried had 28 points and 15 rebounds while Danilo Gallinari got 14 of his 21 points in the second half. Forward J.J. Hickson scored 17 points in Denver’s fifth consecutive victory over the Lakers at Staples since November 2012 – a franchise record for the Nuggets.
Faried was an unstoppable force, scoring 10 for 13 in the low post while making all eight of his free throws. Denver have now defeated Lakers ten times out of the last 11 meetings. “Coach said we needed to get back to playing Nuggets basketball – running, attacking the paint, three or four passes. I was able to exploit that. I was able to live in the paint, and then that opened things up for my guards. And then we played defense,” Faried said after the game.
Julius Randle continued to impress with 16 points and 5 rebounds. Kobe Bryant shot a relatively decent 4/11 from the field for 11 points from 29 minutes. Louis Williams added 24 points while sinking 16 of his 19 free throws. Tarik Black saw 18 minutes of playing time while Ryan Kelly saw only 9.
The match at Staples Center featured a clash the West’s bottom ranked teams, and also an interesting duel between rookie point guards Emmanuel Mudiay and D’Angelo Russell. While Mudiay finished with 12 points, 10 assists and 6 turnovers, Russell fared decently with 7 points and 6 assists from 20 minutes.
“The pressure is on everyone to try and fix things, so you have to communicate and teach and be better next time,” Bryant said after the loss. “You can’t get emotional about it. You’ve got to get technical about it.”