DENVER (AP) — Jamal Murray had 28 points, Will Barton scored 13 of his 16 points in the final 7:44, and the Denver Nuggets scored the game’s final 15 points to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 115-100 on Saturday night.
Denver was without its starting front court of Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap and Wilson Chandler. Millsap is out several months after surgery on his left wrist, Jokic was in a walking boot after suffering a sprained left ankle Thursday, but Chandler (back) could return Monday.
The Nuggets missed the trio, which combines for nearly 40 points and 21.2 rebounds per game. The Lakers outrebounded Denver 52-39, including an 18-7 advantage in the second quarter when Los Angeles took a 59-55 halftime lead.
Brandon Ingram led the Lakers with 20 points and Brook Lopez had 15 points. Lonzo Ball had nine points, nine rebounds and five assists but couldn’t duplicate the triple-double he had against the Nuggets at home on Nov. 19.
The Lakers took a 98-94 lead on Kyle Kuzma’s 3-pointer with 5:41 left but managed one field goal the rest of the way and had four turnovers. Barton and Murray led Denver’s rally by combining for 20 of Denver’s 37 points in the fourth quarter.
Barton gave the Nuggets the lead for good with two free throws, Murray hit a 3-pointer to go up five and Denver closed it out.
Lakers: Kuzma was named the NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for November and games played in October. Kuzma ranked second among West rookies in rebounding (6.1) and third in 3-point field goal percentage (37.9). Kuzma returned to the lineup after missing Thursday’s game with back spasms. … The Lakers committed 21 turnovers.
Nuggets: Assigned F Torrey Craig to Sioux Falls of the G League. … Chandler has missed three straight games with his lower back injury. … Trey Lyles scored a season-high 18 points.
Lakers: Host the Western Conference-leading Houston Rockets on Sunday night.
Nuggets: Begin a six-game trip in Dallas on Monday night.
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