Los Angeles Lakers defeat Denver Nuggets behind Lonzo Ball triple-double

By The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 20, 2017 at 1:08 AM
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LOS ANGELES -- Lonzo Ball recorded the second triple-double of his rookie season, and the Los Angeles Lakers rolled to a 127-109 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night at Staples Center.

Ball finished with 11 points, 11 assists and 16 rebounds, though he hit just 5 of 13 shots from the floor. Julius Randle scored a season-high 24 points and Brook Lopez added 21 for the Lakers (7-10).

Los Angeles guard Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points, Kyle Kuzma had 17 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope chipped in 15. Brandon Ingram had 13 points as seven Lakers reached double figures in scoring.

Gary Harris led the Nuggets (9-7) with 20 points, while Wilson Chandler scored 17. Denver also had seven players scored at least 10 points apiece.

The Nuggets unraveled in the second quarter. An 18-4 burst to open the period boosted the Lakers to a 50-30 cushion after a bucket by Randle with 7:08 remaining.

With 6:20 left in the quarter and the Nuggets trailing by 18, Denver center Nikola Jokic and head coach Mike Malone were ejected after a confrontation with official Rodney Mott. Malone charged onto the court and had to be restrained by one of his assistant coaches after he believed Jokic was fouled on a play under the basket. Jokic followed him to the locker room after delivering some choice words to Mott. Jokic finished with six points and six rebounds in 12 minutes.

In addition, Denver lost forward Paul Millsap before the end of the first half with a left wrist sprain. Millsap had five points and four rebounds in 13 minutes.

The Lakers, who led by as much as 24 and held a 70-48 advantage at the break, never allowed the Nuggets to get any closer than 13 in the second half.

NOTES: Lakers coach Luke Walton said he continues to counsel PG Lonzo Ball about his play and the ongoing distractions, including a brewing feud between President Trump and Lonzo's father, LaVar. "(Lonzo's) got more on his plate than I can ever imagine anyone having, especially at his age," Walton said. ... Walton said the Lakers have a target date for the return of F Larry Nance Jr. (fractured left hand) but refused to divulge it. Nance has missed nine games. ... The Nuggets have won five consecutive season series against the Lakers. The teams meet again Dec. 2 at Denver. ... Denver visits the Sacramento Kings on Monday. ... Los Angeles hosts the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

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