Only in Hollywood would find story lines comparable to that of the 2013-14 Lakers. With trade speculations abuzz involving star Pau Gasol as well as the emergence of Kendall Marshall, the Lakers season has not been short on appeal and buzz. However, what they have been short on is wins, or competitiveness, evidenced by the beat down at the hands of the Denver Nuggets Sunday night.
After holding them to just 26 points in the first quarter, the Nuggets exploded for 111 over the final three quarters in rout to a 137-115 blowout. The Lakers have now lost 7 of the last 8 games, falling to a season-tying worst 6 games under .500 at 14-20.
Despite the trade allegations, Gasol shone bright for his second game in a row, finishing with 25 points and 10 rebounds with 5 assists. With the trade talks at their loudest in seasons, Gasol has responded with 24.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 4.7 assists over the past three games. With talks between the Cavs and Lakers currently at a stand still regarding Gasol, the Spaniard might be showcasing his talent for future teams, proving he has a little more in the tank.
On the other end of the spectrum, out-of-nowhere star Kendall Marshall continued his surprisingly great play, finishing with 17 assists, as well as 9 points and 6 rebounds. Much like Gasol, Marshall’s last three games have seen him rack up 39 assists, as well as 39 points.
Jodie Meeks continued his great play on the season, finishing with 23 points on 8 of 15 shooting and 7 of 7 from the free throw line. Nick Young joined him over the 20-point mark with 21 points on an equal 8 of 15 shooting. Robert Sacre was the lone other Laker in double figures, finishing with 15 points.
The Nuggets stormed the Lakers after the final three quarters, specifically in the 2nd half, where they overcame a 61-60 deficit at halftime by outscoring the Lakers 77-42. Nate Robinson, Ty Lawson, and Timfoey Mozgov led the way for the Nuggets with 21, 20, and 20 points a piece, respectively. In total, seven Nuggets players finished in double figures.
The Lakers travel to Dallas on Tuesday for a battle against the Mavericks. With one more day of trade speculation likely with Cleveland, we could have seen Pau Gasol’s last game as a Laker. Nevertheless, we’ve enjoyed the Spaniard’s time in purple and gold