DENVER (AP) – The sight of Anthony Davis stepping off the field with a limp was tough for the Los Angeles Lakers.
They never got over it.
LIABLE : Davis brings the Lakers to seven with a 115-105 victory. Straight win against the Grizzlies
Nikola Jokic completed his sixth triple-double of the season and the Denver Nuggets beat the Lakers 122-105 Sunday night in a game that saw Davis return his right Achilles tendon to action.
When he stepped in at the end of the first half, the Nuggets made a runaway of that last play.
Now the only thought for the Lakers is the result of Davis’ MRI on Monday for what the team called a strain.
I don’t want to have to deal with this kind of injury, Davis said. I’m just trying to come up with better solutions.
The focus was on the clash between Jokic and LeBron James, who are both considered favorites in the race for the NBA MVP title. Jokic finished the game with 23 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists. James had 22 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, but the Lakers’ seven-game winning streak ended.
For his great play, Jokic has adopted a new state of mind.
If I’m free, shoot, Jokic said. When I see someone coming, I pass the ball. Don’t overdo it.
Los Angeles never got back on track after Davis limped into the locker room. He was hit trying to get around Jokic. 2:39 minutes before the break.
Davis ran to the free throw line, did both, and was taken out of the game. He finished with 15 points and four rebounds in 14 minutes.
At the start of the game, Davis was questionable due to a hamstring injury. He missed two games due to illness before returning with a win at Memphis on Friday.
James now has a tip for Davis: Take as much time as you need. Take your time coming back.
I just want him to be healthy and get his strength back, James said. All I care about is his health.
Jamal Murray scored 25 points for his third straight win in Denver. Zeke Nnaji scored 16 points and substitute Fasundo Campazzo finished with 15.
In this business, you never know when your number will be called, Nugget coach Michael Malone said. Be ready when he’s called. That’s what I’m most proud of.
ACCEPTED : Leonard scored 33 points in the Clippers’ 125-106 victory over the Bulls.
It was the second meeting of the season between the teams that reached the Western Conference finals last season. In the first game on four. In February, the Lakers scored 12 points in the third quarter before taking control with a tremendous run. They beat the Nuggets 68-35 in the second half to win 114-93.
Only this time the third trimester wasn’t the problem. Denver let the Lakers take a 30-24 lead in the third quarter and extended it to 21 points in the fourth.
And while the Lakers have managed to close the 20-point gap from their last two wins, they couldn’t get away this time.
It’s really depressing to lose a great player – a great guy on your team, James said. We built a lot of things around A.D. and a lot of other actors. If this does not work, you will have to switch providers. It hurts us.
Lakers: F Kyle Kuzma scored 19 points and eight rebounds.
Nuggets: Gary Harris (left adductor strain), Will Barton III (personal reasons) and P.J. Dozier (right ischio-bone strain) were absent. …Fault Millsap did not play in the second half because of a sprained left knee. He had 10 points.
Kentavious Lakers guard Caldwell-Pope has struggled since his release on the 21st. In January in Milwaukee, 7 of 10 by three points. He is 9 out of 36 after this game, including 1 out of 4 on Sunday.
He doesn’t look that clean, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. I’m not worried about that.
HOW ABOUT THIS PASSPORT
Amageso received a pass in the first quarter that Kuzma overplayed to go straight to Nnaji, who fired in a three-pointer.
The Lakers became NBA champions last season and Malone believes newcomers like Montrezl Harrell, Dennis Schroder and Marc Gasol will take them to an even higher level.
In my opinion, and with all due respect to the players who did not return …. I think they’re even better this year because of the talent they bring, Malone said.
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