LeBron James had 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, Dennis Schröder added 21 points and the Los Angeles Lakers roared away in the second half for a 114-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Talen Horton-Tucker scored 12 of his 17 points during that inspired second-half effort by the defending NBA champions, who returned from a strong seven-game road trip and improved their surprisingly unimpressive home record to 5-4 by winning this rematch of the Western Conference finals in the bubble.
James moved into third place on the NBA’s career field goals list while recording his 96th career triple-double and his second of the season, helping the Lakers open a five-game homestand with their 11th win in 14 games.
Jamal Murray scored 20 points and Monte Morris added 16 for the Nuggets, who struggled down the stretch of their second loss in eight games.
Nikola Jokic managed just 13 points and 10 rebounds after getting 47 points and 12 boards Sunday in the Nuggets' most recent outing against Utah.
The Lakers took control with a 19-0 run spanning the final two quarters propelled by James and Horton-Tucker, who drove impressively into the paint to make four straight shots along with two steals and a block.
Denver took a 12-point lead into halftime with a 29-16 rebounding edge, but the Lakers closed the third quarter with a 15-0 run to take an eight-point lead.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
Nuggets: Gary Harris sat out after straining his left adductor muscle last weekend. ... Denver hadn't played since last weekend because its scheduled game with Detroit on Monday was scrapped.
Lakers: Anthony Davis had 13 points and nine rebounds. ... Kentavious Caldwell-Pope twisted his left ankle in the first half, but had it re-taped in the locker room and returned for the second half. ... Jared Dudley sat out with right calf soreness.
VAULTING THE STILT
James made a finger-roll layup midway through the first quarter for his 12,682nd career field goal, pushing him past Wilt Chamberlain for third place in NBA history. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (15,837) and Karl Malone (13,528) have made more shots in league history. James became the third-leading scorer in NBA history a year ago, trailing only Abdul-Jabbar and Malone.
Nuggets: At Kings on Saturday.
Lakers: Host Pistons on Saturday.