NBA: Nuggets use third-quarter surge to dispatch Lakers
It was Denver's preseason debut, while the Lakers were coming off a win against the Golden State Warriors, Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). For new Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw, it was also a homecoming of sorts, as he played four seasons with the Lakers, winning three championships, before becoming an assistant to Phil Jackson for the club from 2005-2011, picking up two more titles in the process.
The Nuggets had a slim 46-44 lead at the half, but they used a 26-14 third period to go up big, 72-58 with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
A 6-3 run to start the final canto padded the visitors' lead, 78-61, but the third-stringers of LA unleashed a 14-4 run to make it a ball game, 82-75, 5:24 left.
Jordan Hamilton and JJ Hickson restored the Nuggets' double-digit lead, 89-77, but an and-one play from Xavier Henry, the Lakers' previous preseason game standout, made it a nine-point affair, 2:49 still to play. Hamilton however teamed up with starting point guard Ty Lawson for an 8-2 run, 97-82, and Elias Harris' two triples were just too little, too late.
Hamilton and Lawson each scored 15 to lead the Nuggets, with Lawson adding 10 rebounds, six assists and a steal, versus just one turnover. JaVale McGee posted 12 points and seven boards, while offseason signing JJ Hickson provided 10 points, six boards and a block.
Henry led LA with 15 points on an efficient 4-of-7 shooting clip from the field, 7-of-9 from the stripe. Pau Gasol made his preseason debut with 13 points, four rebounds, two assists and a block in 22 minutes, while Steve Nash missed both his shots for zero points, though he managed five boards and six dimes.
Wes Johnson: strained left foot. Will not return.
— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) October 7, 2013
Starter Wesley Johnson logged just eight minutes for LA, finishing with two points and three rebounds before exiting due to a strained left foot.
Denver's defense held their foes to a 32.3 percent shooting clip, but they committed more turnovers to let their foes back in the game late, 28-22. - AMD, GMA News