Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James and Anthony Davis carry Los Angeles Lakers to big road win in Denver

In a battle between the top two teams in the Western Conference, the visiting Los Angeles Lakers beat out the Denver Nuggets to clinch their ninth straight road win.

In this era of pace-and-space basketball, both teams only combined for 13 3-pointers in a hard-fought battle between two of the five best defences in the league.

Here are the biggest takeaways from this one:

LeBron & AD lead Lakers to BIG win

LeBron James and Anthony Davis scored 25 points apiece, leading a Lakers squad that had several players battling flu-like symptoms, to a much-needed win against the West's second-seed in the Denver Nuggets.

In fact, Davis needed an IV at halftime. Yet, he contributed 15 of his 25 in the second half to help the Lakers hold on. He also recorded 10 rebounds to finish with his third straight double-double, his longest streak this season. On the other hand, James, who leads the league in assists, finished with nine dimes and six rebounds.

The win not only helps them bounce back from their loss on Sunday to the Dallas Mavericks but it also temporarily shuts down talk of the Lakers' strength of schedule or lack thereof early on in the season.

Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard were the only two other players in double figures as the Lakers edged out the Nuggets despite committing 16 turnovers, five more than the hosts.

Rough night for Nikola Jokic

While the Nuggets are the second seed in the Conference, It's been an underwhelming start to the season from the Serbian so far. His struggles continued in this game, where in 34 minutes, he finished with 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds on 4-of-12 shooting while committing five of the team's 11 turnovers.

This is the fifth straight game and the sixth in the last seven where he has scored less than 20 points. Three of those games, he finished in single digits - 7 (@ Sacramento), 8 ( vs. Washington), 8 (vs. Phoenix).

His averages across the board - 15.4 points (20.1), 10.1 rebounds (10.8), and 6.1 assists (7.3) on 45.2% (51.1%) shooting from the field - are considerably lesser than his numbers last season.

Chance to make a statement

If this win isn't enough, the Lakers have the opportunity to make an even bigger statement to their strength of schedule argument by winning tomorrow in Utah and sweeping this very difficult back-to-back.

"Every game is tough. It don't matter," James said in his postgame on-court interview. "We got to come in with a mindset that we want to win, continue to win and not be satisfied with trying to be great every night. So, look forward to the challenge."

It will be a pretty big game for both teams.

The Jazz will look to put their road trip behind them, where they lost four of five, by starting their current home stretch (5 of the next 6) with a win. On the other hand, the Lakers will be hoping to extend their road win streak to 10.

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