Winning in Denver is next to impossible these days. Just check the Nuggets boasting of the best record on their home floor of any team in the NBA. So expecting the Lakers to show up George Karl’s team on the second end of a back-to-back was always a longshot.
Of course going a Dwight Howard-esque 14 of 31 from the line as a team will never help you win on the road no matter whose crib you’re playing in. So you do the math. The Lake Show bricked 17 freebies and lost 119-108 to the Nuggets.
Obviously there was much more to this loss than those misses from the charity stripe.
Yet another game filled with flawed transition defense and another turnover fest pretty much gifted the Nuggets the W. These are the teams the Lakers simply cannot compete with. Young, athletic squads that play fast and free are always going to trouble the veteran bunch.
Steve Nash looked his age against Ty Lawson. While Corey Brewer did damage again picking up right where he left off the last time these teams tangled.
Making matters worse Denver was minus Danilo Gallinari but that hardly mattered.
15 turnovers, 6 of which came courtesy of Nash, plus all those missed shots from the line were too much to overcome. Denver outran, outhustled and outplayed L.A. in every way.
The Nuggets won the points in the pain battle and owned the glass despite 14 boards from Howard. D12’s play is certainly picking up as he dropped 15 in the bucket while also swatting 4 shots. Kobe Bryant also got into the paint pulling down 9 rebounds of his own while scoring a game high 29 points.
But those two were the lone bright spots for the Lake Show.
Earl Clark is starting to look more the part of a journeyman than someone who has arrived. As a team the Lakers were -17 during his 22 minutes of burn. He did little against Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried who ran circles around the Laker forwards.
What else could we honestly have expected though?
Yes, the Lakers are without question playing their best ball of the season. But the inconvenient truth remains the same. Against teams with winning records the Lakers just don’t stack up. They’re not a good road team. Most of all their veteran legs are just too tired to run with squads like Denver especially on the second half of a back-to-back.