The top two teams in the Western Conference meet Tuesday when the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Denver Nuggets. Both teams enter the showdown coming off a loss as the Lakers had a 10-game winning streak halted by the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday and the Nuggets blew a 17-point halftime lead while suffering an overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings on Saturday.
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Luka Doncic-led Dallas posted a 114-100 victory over the host Lakers and power forward Anthony Davis insisted afterward that his club isn't about to endure a skid. "Our whole thing is we don't want to lose two in a row, ever," Davis told reporters. "There's definitely going to be a bounce-back game. We want to make sure we correct everything we did poorly, especially rebounding." Denver had a six-game winning streak end with the 100-97 setback to the Kings, a loss magnified by point guard Jamal Murray's failure to get a shot off at the end of overtime after having one blocked at the conclusion of regulation. "We didn't get a shot off either time," Denver coach Mike Malone said after the setback. "Obviously, I have to do a better job in terms of helping us with that late game execution."
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles), Altitude (Denver)
ABOUT THE LAKERS (17-3): Davis produced 27 points and 10 rebounds and James recorded 25 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals against the Mavericks, who outscored the Lakers 35-17 in the third quarter to take control of the contest. "We didn't really have an offensive pop the whole quarter, coming out of halftime," Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel told reporters. "We've been really sharp and really consistent, but during that stretch we weren't, and it cost us the game." The Lakers also committed 17 turnovers, with six of the miscues coming from James.
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (13-4): Shooting guard Gary Harris scored a season-best 25 points against Sacramento, with 18 coming in the first quarter. "Gary Harris got off to a great start, made shots and was attacking the basket," Malone said afterward. "Once he saw the ball go into the net a couple of times, he started shooting into a bigger basket. That was great to see." Star center Nikola Jokic is in a scoring slump with three straight single-digit games and had seven points on 3-of-11 shooting against the Kings after being limited to eight in each of the previous two games.
1. The Lakers have lost eight of their past 10 visits to Denver.
2. Nuggets PF Paul Millsap is averaging six points and 2.5 rebounds over the past two games.
3. Los Angeles F Kyle Kuzma (ankle) struggled against Dallas by scoring just four points on 1-of-8 shooting over 21 minutes.
News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
- QuadricepQues Sun | questionable
Millsap sat out the last game with a right quadriceps strain, and it is unclear if he will suit up Sunday versus the Knicks.
- Upper BodyProb Thurs | probable
Murray left the previous game with a right trunk contusion, but he is expected to draw back into the lineup Thursday versus the Trail Blazers.
- FootProb Thurs | probable
Millsap has a sore left foot, but he is likely to play against the Trail Blazers on Thursday.
- IllnessProb Thurs | probable
Murray has an illness but is expected to play Thursday against the Knicks.
- FootOut Thurs | out
Bol has sat out the past three games as he is on the mend from surgery on his left foot. He will not be available against the Knicks on Thursday.
- IllnessProb Tues | probable
Grant is expected to play Tuesday versus the Lakers despite an illness.
Los Angeles Lakers
- ElbowQues Sun | questionable
James is battling right elbow soreness, and it is uncertain if he will play versus the Hawks on Sunday.
- HamstringProb Sun | probable
Rondo is dealing with left hamstring soreness, but it is expected he will be available against the Hawks on Sunday.
- AnkleOut Sun | out
Kuzma has sat out the previous two games with a left ankle sprain, and he will not face the Hawks on Sunday.
- LegProb Sun | probable
Bradley is recovering from a right leg hairline fracture, but it is not expected to hinder him from playing Sunday against the Hawks.
- ShoulderProb Sun | probable
Davis is recovering from an injured shoulder, but he is expected to be active Sunday against the Hawks.
- HamstringProb Fri | probable
Rondo missed his second consecutive game with a left hamstring strain, but it is projected that he will suit up for Friday's contest against the Heat.
- ShoulderProb Fri | probable
Davis is projected to be in Friday's lineup versus the Heat despite soreness in his right shoulder.
- LegProb Fri | probable
Bradley is expected to play Friday versus the Heat after healing form a hairline fracture in his right leg.