Los Angeles Lakers head into All-Star break on high note after overtime thriller

(Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers picked up an impressive victory on the road over the Denver Nuggets as they are heading into the All-Star break on a high note.

The Los Angeles Lakers are heading into the All-Star break with high spirits. The team is leading the Western Conference and is on a historic winning streak on the road. They added wins to both of those after defeating the Denver Nuggets on the road in their last game before the All-Star break.

Los Angeles defeated Denver 120-116 in an overtime thriller. At multiple times in the game, it looked like the Lakers were out of it, as they were ready to head into the break. The same feeling people get when they are about to head on vacation from work is the same feeling these NBA players get.

That feeling looked to be setting in, but the Lakers had a fire lit under them midway through the second quarter courtesy of Monte Morris.

Morris hit a 3-pointer to push the Nuggets lead to double-figures. For some reason, he decided it was a good time to jaw at LeBron James, and the rest was history.

Los Angeles would reel off a 25-8 run to end the half, taking a 61-55 lead into the locker room after trailing by 13. Los Angeles would lengthen that lead to 11 points early in the third quarter, courtesy of a thunderous James dunk.

Denver didn’t go away and the second half was competitive throughout. This game was played with playoff intensity, as the vacation mode never set in for either team in Denver.

James and Anthony Davis led the way for Los Angeles. James recorded his 12th triple-double of the season, scoring 32 points with 12 rebounds and 14 assists. He shot 15-of-29 from the field, but struggled with his shooting stroke, as he was 1-of-7 from distance, missing his last six attempts, and 1-of-4 from the foul line.

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Davis was a force on both ends of the court. He scored a game-high 33 points on 12-of-23 shooting, including timely 3-pointers in overtime. He was 3-of-6 from the 3-point line and an uncharacteristic 6-of-9 from the foul line. He added 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks.

The Lakers’ bench also provided some excellent performances. Dwight Howard had 14 points with 11 rebounds and two assists as Denver had no answer for him in the paint. Alex Caruso was once again on the floor when the Lakers played their best, finishing with a team-high +23, scoring 10 points with six rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also played a key role in the team’s victory. He knocked down timely 3-pointers as well, going 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. Defensively is where he made his impact, as he had four steals in the game.

Jamal Murray did all he could to get the Nuggets a win, scoring 32 points with 10 assists. All-Star Nikola Jokic scored 22 points with 11 rebounds, six assists, three steals and one block, but made some critical mistakes in crunch time that ultimately cost his team the game.

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With the All-Star break now upon us, the Lakers will be off until February 21st. That night they will host the Memphis Grizzlies at the STAPLES Center to start the stretch run and road to the postseason.