For the Los Angeles Lakers, the final game before the All-Star break was no easy task. They had to go up against the second-best team in the West in the Nuggets in the high altitude of Denver.
However, the West's top-seeded team showed why they are atop their conference. Led by their All-Star duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers edged the Nuggets in a 120-116 overtime entertainer.
Here are the biggest takeaways from this contest which had a playoff-like atmosphere in the Pepsi Center:
LeBron & AD do the heavy lifting
After a couple of subpar games, by his standards, against the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns - 15 turnovers and 13-of-33 shooting (39.4%), LeBron James came to play in a tough road game in Denver.
In 42 minutes, he finished with a triple-double of 32 points, 14 assists, and 12 rebounds on 15-of-29 shooting (51.7%). This was his 12th triple-double of the season, tied for the most in the league with Luka Doncic.
LeBron James becomes the 4th player in Lakers history with 20 triple-doubles with the team, joining Magic Johnson, Elgin Baylor, and Kobe Bryant.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 13, 2020
LeBron also picked up his 12th triple-double in his 17th season or later, three more than all other players in NBA history combined. pic.twitter.com/p2aLsdU7KU
The duo of James and Anthony Davis scored all of the Lakers' nine overtime points including back-to-back triples by Davis assisted by James.
AD hits back-to-back 👌s!@Lakers 119@nuggets 116- NBA (@NBA) February 13, 2020
40 seconds left in OT on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/PUDTw7DwGi
Davis, too, contributed across the board. In 42 minutes, he finished with 33 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks.
Murray sparks 2nd half fightback in rough game for Jokic
The Nuggets were on fire early in this game and had jumped to a 47-34 lead with 7:50 remaining in the second quarter but the Lakers made a run through the rest of the quarter to lead 61-55 at halftime.
In the second half, Murray kept the Nuggets afloat. He scored 21 (8-13 FGs) of his team-high 32 points in the second half as the team's lone All-Star Nikola Jokic was battling foul trouble in his matchup with Dwight Howard.
Murray also dished out 10 assists while Jokic, despite the foul trouble, finished with a very respectable stat line of 22 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, and three steals. In his 37 minutes, the Serbian finished with a team-low -10.
Caruso, Howard star off the bench as Lakers defense came to play
Against the Suns, Rajon Rondo was the star off the bench and in this one, the reserve duo of Alex Caruso and Dwight Howard were the key contributors.
Howard finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists in a season-high 30 minutes of action while Caruso had 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and a team-high +23 in 22 minutes of action.
The Lakers have the fifth-best defensive rating in the league and they played like that, especially when it mattered the most - in overtime. Postgame, Davis talked about that and more:
"Defense... getting big stops and making big shots."- Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) February 13, 2020
Anthony Davis talks with @LakersReporter about the difference down the stretch for the #Lakers. pic.twitter.com/4Fv306SKRK
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.