The Los Angeles Lakers had the team’s seven-game wining streak snapped, falling to the Denver Nuggets on the road, 122-105 at Ball Arena on Sunday.
However, L.A.’s seventh loss of the season was the least of the Lakers’ concerns.
Late in the second quarter, Lakers forward Anthony Davis reaggravated his right Achilles injury after being fouled by Denver big man Nikola Jokic on a drive to the basket.
Davis grimaced in pain as he made both free throws, then Lakers guard Wesley Matthews had to take a foul to get their teammate out of the game. Davis gingerly limped the locker room for further evaluation.
Kyle Kuzma replaced Davie in the lineup to start the second half. Kuzma finished 19 points and eight rebounds.
The Lakers officially designated Davis’ injury a right Achilles strain; he will receive an MRI on the injury when the team arrives in Minneapolis on Monday for Tuesday’s road contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“His spirits were good,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said about Davis’ injury. “He felt like he just kind of tweaked it, reaggravated what he had last week. And hopefully it’s not long-term. We’ll see what the MRI says tomorrow, but he was in good spirits at halftime.”
Added LeBron James: “For me, all I care about his health. I want him to be healthy. Our team needs him to be healthy. And he’s got to make sure he takes all the precautions and does his due diligence on all the things going on with his injury and be right when he comes back.”
The Lakers led the Nuggets by as many as seven points in the first half but fell behind 73-61 at halftime and never got back in the game.
With the loss, the Lakers dropped to 21-7 on the year and 12-3 the road. Denver improved to 15-11 on the season.
James led the Lakers with 20 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Jamal Murray topped Denver in scoring with 25 points.
Top player: Nikola Jokic finished with a triple-double for the Nuggets, totaling 23 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists.
What I liked: Lakers finished with a 62-30 edge in paint points, making a point to get to the basket.
What I did not like: The Lakers again struggled from beyond the arc, shooting 6-of-28 (21.4 percent) from the 3-point line.
Injuries: Along with the Davis injury, guard Wesley Matthews tweaked his right ankle in the first half, had it re-taped and returned.
They said it: “We are struggling to shoot the ball from the perimeter for a couple weeks now. And it’s one of those things where you just stay the course. You continue to focus on execution and generating quality shots. And have our guys continue to honor their work, and the numbers will come back around.” – Vogel on his team’s shooting struggles.