Monday night was a difficult game to sit through for Lakers fans. The Los Angeles Lakers fell behind by 15 points midway through the second quarter, and that was all she wrote for the remainder of the game.
Without reliving the entire loss to the Denver Nuggets, there were certain numbers that stood out when studying the detailed box score.
78 — The Denver Nuggets scored 78 points in the paint by pushing the ball down the floor, passing quickly, and attacking the rim. This number was a season high in terms of points allowed in the paint. With the Lakers allowing 22 points off 15 turnovers and 33 fast break points overall, it is hardly a wonder the Denver Nuggets (literally) ran away with the game.
1 — Considered little more than a throw-in on the Dwight Howard trade to make the numbers work, Earl Clark has been remarkably consistent since stepping into the spotlight in San Antonio. However, Monday night in Denver, Clark only managed one rebound in 23 minutes of play. Considering he is the youngest and most athletic starter for Los Angeles, it is no wonder the Nuggets out-rebounded the Lakers 44-36 on the night and 13-8 on the offensive glass. By the time everything added up, the Nuggets managed 10 extra field goal attempts than the Lakers, and Clark’s inability to maintain a presence on the boards played a part in the Lakers’ loss.
6 — For the second time since joining the Los Angeles Lakers, Steve Nash threw the ball away recklessly enough to record six turnovers. Nash’s five assists did not offer much comfort when staring at the giant ‘6’ in the ‘TO’ column. However, Nash hit his Lakers' high of 20 points against Dallas, and he has been shooting with greater consistency and comfort than at any point this season. He shot 6-8 for 16 points in the loss at Denver. In the win at Dallas, the Canadian point guard was 7-12 from the field and 4-5 from behind the arc.
4 — On a positive note, Dwight Howard was challenging shots and looking like his old self on the floor. Along with adjusting several shots, Howard was credited with four blocks against the Nuggets. Monday was the third time Howard has recorded four blocks in a game since becoming a Laker. He has at least one block in his last eight games, as his back slowly heals from surgery.