Nuggets roll to biggest win over Lakers with 117-85 romp
DENVER — Paul Millsap, Jamal Murray and Malik Beasley scored 20 points apiece, and the Denver Nuggets rolled to their biggest victory ever over the Los Angeles Lakers, a 117-85 rout on Tuesday night.
The 32-point margin surpassed a 29-point win in 1993.
Nikola Jokic added 14 points and Juancho Hernangomez had 12 for the Nuggets, who won their fourth in a row.
Kyle Kuzma scored 21 points for Los Angeles, while LeBron James and Brandon Ingram added 14 apiece. The Lakers, who handed the Nuggets their first loss of the season in late October in Los Angeles, struggled to find their shooting touch against Denver’s defensive pressure.
The Lakers were outshot 48.5 percent to 39.5 percent and finished just 5 of 35 (14.3 percent) from 3-point range. And for the 10th time this season, the Nuggets held an opponent to under 100 points.
Up by eight at the half, the Nuggets stretched their lead to 89-71 with a strong third quarter. Jokic started the Nuggets’ third by hitting a pair of 3s and Mason Plumlee’s tip-in just before the quarter ended put Denver in front by 18 points going into the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets kept the pressure on in the final period, outscoring the Lakers down the stretch 28-14.
Denver led 58-50 at the half, getting a boost from Millsap, who converted a three-point play and then hustled down the floor for a soaring block of Ingram’s attempted layup in the last 39 seconds of the second quarter. Millsap had 16 points in the first half.
Lakers: G Rajon Rondo remains sidelined with a broken right hand — he’s missed the last six games — but is making progress. He has been cleared to take part in non-contact basketball activities.
Nuggets: G Gary Harris missed a second consecutive game with left ankle soreness. Torrey Craig again started in his place. … Millsap also had 11 rebounds, giving him his fourth double-double of the season. … Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders watched the game from courtside seats.
Lakers: Opens four-game homestand against Indiana on Thursday night.
Nuggets: Kick off a five-game road trip at Portland on Friday night.
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It was a statement game featuring the two best boys basketball teams in the 4A Western Slope League on Saturday afternoon at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in Glenwood Springs. And, just like in the old western shootouts, it was the Glenwood Demons who had spoken the loudest when all the dust had settled with a key 58-44 win over the Steamboat Springs Sailors.