In a rematch of last season's Western Conference Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers found an extra gear down the stretch to cruise to a 114-93 win over the Denver Nuggets at STAPLES Center.
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The (17-6) Lakers have now won three games in a row, moving them back into a tie with the LA Clippers at the top of the Pacific Division, as LeBron James put on a show on a historic night for the veteran.
James poured in his second triple-double of the season and 96th of his career, recording 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the win, propelling his team's second-half push.
🤯 WHAT A DIME 🤯- NBA (@NBA) February 5, 2021
LeBron notches his 2nd triple-double of the season with this assist! pic.twitter.com/6oaiVUWOV2
The Nuggets led 58-46 at the half, before the Lakers seized control of the game with a 19-0 run across the third and fourth quarter, turning the screws on defence as they held the Nuggets scoreless in the final 4:20 of the third.
"That's who we are, we're the number one defensive team in the league and that's where it starts and ends with us," James said post-game.
"When we're high level, when we're defending, we're helping one another, we're crashing the glass, it sparks our offence so that's what turned the game for us."
The Lakers had seven players score in double. figured in the win, with Dennis Schroder adding 21 points and Talen Horton-Tucker 17 points, 12 of which came in the second half.
On a historic night for James, the 36-year-old passed Wilt Chamberlain for third place on the NBA's all-time in field goals made list, with this bucket in the first quarter.
The bucket to move LeBron James into 3rd all-time in field goals made! 👑- NBA (@NBA) February 5, 2021
📺: TNT pic.twitter.com/AZquKeJI6X
"Anytime I'm in a category, or in a name or in the likes of some of the greats that have ever played this game, it's just very humbling," James said post-game.
"..To hear me linked with the great Wilt Chamberlain, it's an unbelievable feat for myself.
James overshadowed fellow MVP candidate Nikola Jokic, with the Serbian big man managing just 13 points on 6-of-16 shooting, adding 10 rebounds and six assists, while Jamal Murray led them in scoring with 20 points.
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