The LeBron James-led Los Angeles (LA) stayed winless after four games following their 99-110 loss to the Nikola Jokic-led Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.
James, whose team never begin a season with 0-4 since his rookie season, said: “It’s a new system. It’s a new group of guys together. We’re still trying to get familiar with one another.”
He took responsibility for his turnovers in their recent loss to the Nuggets.
The Lakers thus joined Orlando and Sacramento as among those who have yet to win a game in the new season.
New Lakers coach Darvin Ham said it sucks to lose four consecutive games. “It’s plenty of time for us to right the ship. And it starts now,” he said.
The Lakers shot 44.4% from the field against Denver.
Jokic sizzled with 31 points and 13 rebounds as teammate Jamal Murray hit a big triple for the Nuggets.
The Nuggets, who were trailing in the second half, snatched the lead, taking control off a 29-9 run.
The Lakers fought back and cut the deficit in the fourth to no avail as Murray hit a three-pointer to give the Nuggets some breathing room.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis just not enough
Anthony Davis overcame a lower back tightness and yielded 22 points and 14 rebounds while LeBron James added 19 markers to stretch his double-digit streak to 1,100 games. Russell Westbrook was sidelined, due to a sore left hamstring.
Jokic was motivated and focused. He said, “LeBron is the best player on the planet. I like to compete with the best.”
Murray, after a pep talk from coach Michael Malone earlier, finally found his touch after quite a struggle with his long-range jumper.
Malone said he just walked over to Murray in a huddle and gave him a big hug, saying, ‘Hey, man, big picture. I believe in you. I know who you are, and I know where you’re going to be at some point.’”
Murray accounted for 13 points. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who hurt his left ankle on a layup and left for the locker room, had 13 points.
Davis, for his part, said: “Not really about any other team right now, scouts or schemes — just going out there and doing it for 48 minutes to get a win. Whatever we’ve got to do. That’s the first step. We can build on that.”
Not looking good for the Lakers
The 0-4 Lakers are at the bottom of the Western Conference going into Friday’s game in Minnesota. They would have the worst NBA record if not for Orlando’s 0-5.
Since winning the NBA title in 2020, the Lakers are currently at 78-87.
LeBron James is expected to become NBA’s career scoring leader in a few months’ time, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
As the Lakers are still trying to jell and work together as a team, their losing streak may further extend if they don’t get their acts together. When surrounded by shooters, LeBron James, as the Lakers know, is at his best, and they get to maximize his passing game and they open lanes for him to attack.