LeBron James scored 26 points and Anthony Davis added 23 to help the Los Angeles Lakers to their first win of the season with a 121-1110 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.
Russell Westbrook had 18 points for the Lakers (1-5), who had lost their first five games of the season under first-year head coach Darvin Ham. Los Angeles was the last winless team in the NBA.
Westbrook drove the lane and scored on a layup to extend the Lakers lead to 117-106 in the final minutes as the Lakers closed out the win.
Nikola Jockic scored 23 points and Jamal Murray added 21 for the Nuggets (4-3), who had four of their last five and two straight games before Sunday’s loss.
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Austin Reaves made a 3-pointer from the top of the arc and Lonnie Walker IV drove the baseline for a dunk to give the Lakers a 113-100 advantage. That 13-point lead was their largest of the season.
The Lakers made 13 3-pointers after struggling with long-range shooting this season in their previous five games. The Nuggets made 15 3-pointers.
Davis was aggressive early after missing one game with lower back tightness and was questionable Sunday but played. He tweaked his back in the game against Denver on Wednesday when the Nuggets beat the Lakers 110-99 in Denver.
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The Lakers led 55-51 at halftime. They trailed by as many as 10 points in the first quarter but overcame that deficit by halftime.
UP IN THE RAFTERS
Hall of Famer George Mikan had his jersey retired. His family was there to celebrate the honor and watch No. 99 be unveiled. He’s the 11th player to have his jersey retired, along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, Jamaal Wilkes and James Worthy. Worthy was there Sunday and spoke about Mikan.
Nuggets: G Bones Hyland missed the game with a left hip strain … G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (sprained ankle) returned Sunday and had nine points … C DeAndre Jordan ran out of bounds on one play, leaned over a fan to stop his momentum and ate some of his popcorn.
Lakers: C Anthony Davis (lower back tightness) and F LeBron James (foot soreness) both played and were in the starting lineup … Pau Gasol, who won two championships with the Lakers, attended the Mikan Jersey unveiling and game on Sunday. His jersey will be retired by the Lakers in March
Nuggets: Have three days off before Thursday’s game at Oklahoma City.
Lakers: Hosts the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.