Russell Westbrook and Thomas Bryant shone to lead the Lakers over the Nuggets after AD was injured

After a heartbreaking loss against Boston, the Lakers bounced back by defeating the Nuggets 126-108 on Friday night. After Anthony Davis left the game with a right foot injury, his partner in crime LeBron James stepped up to lead the team with 23 points and 6 rebounds.

James also had two losses on the night, allowing him to move up another career leaderboard in the 20th year of his Hall of Fame career.

He was assisted by fellow rookie and recent running back Dennis Schroeder, who finished with 15 points And the One of his best games of the season helping the Lakers improve 12-16.

When playing the Nuggets, the opposing team’s biggest focus is usually on Nikola Jokić. The responsibility for slowing him down fell to M, who did not necessarily stop Joker but slowed him down and made him work for every basket in the first half. Davis was on his way to another MVP performance when he injured his ankle in the second quarter and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

With the Lakers struggling to get minutes from the offensive position and forward, and AD ruled out, Thomas Bryant stepped up extra and played well. He had 21 points and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes of play, But it was the intangibles that stood out. Boxing, discouraging players from finishing close to the edge, making a basket here and there. If Bryant can be above replacement level in his role, he succeeds and helps the Lakers win.

With the game hanging in the balance, the Lakers took control in the third period, going 20-5 at the end of the quarter. They added to that momentum in the fourth round, starting that frame on an 11-5 run.

Up nine points with eight minutes left at home, most teams felt comfortable winning, but not the Lakers. They just gave up what should have been a victory in the same situation Monday against the Celtics, so there was no relief from the fans or the players halfway through the fourth.

Fortunately at Lakeshow, they were able to pull off the win tonight. The 3-point shooting who started appallingly poor in the first ten games of the season was a positive, with the team shooting 38% from outside the arc.

Russell Westbrook, the player many have criticized for his closing efforts this season, was also incredibly consistent on Friday. He led the offense and added another triple-double to his resume with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists to secure a win over the third-best team in the Western Conference.

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More important than tonight’s outcome is Alzheimer’s health. Yes, the Lakers managed to win without him playing most of the night, but if Davis misses too much time, it would be devastating for a team that struggles even in the game picture. Nobody wants players to get injured, especially those who have had injuries over the past two seasons, so hopefully this injury is just a minor setback.

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