Rio Hondo College Newspaper

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Los Angeles Lakers Survive 4th Quarter Shootout with Denver Nuggets

D’Angelo Russell of the Lakers, pictured, returned to action Tuesday night after missing the previous three games with a calf injury. Russell set his career high in assists, with 10 to go along with his 22 points.

Ty Nowell/Lakers.com

D’Angelo Russell of the Lakers, pictured, returned to action Tuesday night after missing the previous three games with a calf injury. Russell set his career high in assists, with 10 to go along with his 22 points.

Ramon Alvarado, Reporter

After losing three straight road games last week, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to bounce back against the Denver Nuggets Tuesday night. The Staples Center crowd in attendance Tuesday night were treated to an exciting fourth quarter that saw the Lakers and Nuggets score a combined 79 points. The Lakers edged out the Nuggets 120-116.

The Lakers got off to a fast start. The return of point guard D’Angelo Russell played a big role. Russell missed the previous four games with a calf issue. The Lakers were 1-3 without him.

A couple buckets and an assist from Russell had the Lakers rolling early on as they jumped out to a 15-6 lead. The Nuggets came storming back, however, and the first quarter ended in a tie at 30.

From about the halfway point of the first quarter to the end of the first half, the Nuggets were really clicking. They scored 53 points in that stretch and ended the first half with a five-point lead over the Lakers.

In the second half, the Lakers started to play with a different kind of energy. The Purple and Gold held Denver to just 17 points in the third quarter and scored 27 buckets to take a five-point lead heading into the last quarter.

The fourth quarter is when the real fun began at Staples. The Lakers started the quarter with a couple mishaps that resulted in a quick 6-0 run by the Nuggets. Denver took a one-point lead in the first minute and a half of the final quarter. From then on, the two teams traded buckets, not letting either take control of the game.

Denver and Los Angeles combined for 79 points in the fourth quarter, including a barrage of threes. It was Russell, who started the game off on a roll, which helped the Lakers pull away late in the game.

Russell hit a three to give the Lakers the lead with a minute left in the game. He then hit clutch free throws in the final minute to secure the 120-116 victory for Los Angeles.

The Lakers will now hit the road for the annual two-week “Grammy road trip” and will not play a home game again until Valentine’s Day.

Their next game will be in Washington, where they will battle the Wizards on Thursday, February 1 at 4:00 PM local time. The Lake Show will look to keep the momentum from last night’s win going as the second half of the NBA season approaches.

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Los Angeles Lakers Survive 4th Quarter Shootout with Denver Nuggets