Joker churns out a triple double in 28 ‘and leads the Nuggets to triumph: 133-96 is very heavy for James and his teammates
A fool for the Lakers. A phenomenon figure for Nikola Jokic. It is from the current MVP “least respected in history”, as his coach Michael Malone defined it, the signing on the peremptory 133-96 with which Denver humiliates the Lakers. It is the fourth victory in the last 5 games for the Nuggets, a success in which Jokic’s triple double shines (17 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists in 28 ‘), but also the collective of the hosts, who for once do not they have left their phenomenon alone as it has happened too many times so far. For the Lakers it is another collapse, a disaster that is not only worth the third consecutive victory but that marks another devastating step back for the defense, the main Achilles heel of a team full of weaknesses.
The MVP and the others
Denver (22 won-19 lost so far) is a marvel for once. Jokic lights up, tearing the Lakers defense apart with his Magic Johnson-esque vision of play in a Shaquille O’Neal body. He always does the right thing, distributing points and steps. And the companions follow him. Jeff Green (26 points) is inspired as in his best days, Aaron Gordon finds himself after a slow start. And then there is rookie Bones Hyland, who gives himself the best night of his career with 27 points (6/10 of three) and 10 rebounds: “I’m fast, I can create play for me and my teammates, and I have a lethal shot. which I want to use to my advantage ”described the rookie. Hyland was the beacon of a 57-point bench that outclassed that of the Lakers. He is the best scorer of a team that finished with 7 players in double figures, scored 23 times from the arc (out of 40 attempts) and produced 35 assists. “It is the second game in a row that we do it – gloats coach Malone -. The movement of the ball and the fact that we play for each other are the key to these successes ”.
For the Lakers (21-22) the red alert sounds for the umpteenth time. Defense has never been the strength of the team, as it was in the ideas of the beginning of the season, but the 133 points granted to Denver are the third worst performance of the season and the third game in a row in which the opponents of the yellow and purple slip at least 125 points. “We have to fix the defense: in the last few games we are not playing well enough – admits coach Vogel, visibly frustrated as he hurries his words when speaking to journalists -. Our goal was to stop Jokic, but instead he created a series of problems that Denver made us pay for ”. To be able to stop the reigning MVP, coach Vogel had brought Howard back to the quintet, but the move did not work. Nobody is saved from the yellow-violet disaster, not even LeBron James who closed with 25 points and 9 rebounds a game in which he was the least worst of his but in which he never managed to make a difference. In addition to defense, the collapse of the second half is also in attack: just 36 points with 35.1% from the field.
Howard’s 11 points in the first quarter deceive the Lakers that it could be a positive evening. In the second, however, Jokic is unleashed: at the interval he already has 14 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists on the scoresheet and Denver’s advantage is 13 points (73-60) after being also 18. The Lakers collapse definitively in the third quarter, when Green gives a big hand to Jokic: the yellow-violet defense collapses, Denver rages and Green from 3 to 20 “from the end signs the 102-79 of the hosts. The match actually ends there: the Lakers trials have just begun.
Denver: Hyland 27 (2/5 of two, 6/10 of three, 5/5 free throws), Green 26, Jokic 17. Rebounds: Jokic 12. Assist: Jokic 13.
LA Lakers:James 25 (6/15, 2/8, 5/7 tl), Westbrook 19, Howard 13. Rimbalzi: James 9. Assist: Monk 6.
January 16, 2022 (change January 16, 2022 | 08:52)
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