Anthony Davis had 25 points and 10 rebounds while battling an illness, LeBron James had 25 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and the visiting Los Angeles Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets 105-96 on Tuesday night.
Dwight Howard scored 13 points and Rajon Rondo had 11 for the Lakers, who won the matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference. Los Angeles rebounded from having its 10-game winning streak stopped with a home loss to Dallas on Sunday.
Jamal Murray scored 22 points, Paul Millsap had 21 and Nikola Jokic was held to 13 points for the Nuggets. Denver has lost two straight following a six-game winning streak.
Davis was battling flu-like symptoms, a condition that has bothered some of his teammates as well, and he was a game-time decision. He had 10 points in the final seven minutes of the second quarter and 13 in the third quarter when the Lakers held off a charge by Denver.
Los Angeles led 60-49 at halftime and by 10 early in the third when Denver scored 10 straight to tie it. Millsap later hit a 3-pointer to put Denver ahead 72-71, its first lead since the first quarter, but Davis hit a 3-pointer and James had a layup and a fastbreak dunk to give the Lakers the lead again.
Los Angeles took an 84-76 lead into the fourth quarter and led by 10 after James hit a layup about 15 seconds into the period. Juancho Hernangomez broke a string of nine consecutive missed shots with a putback dunk.
Denver chipped away, getting within 97-96 on two free throws by Jokic with 2:23 left, and after Davis split a pair from the line, the Nuggets missed two chances to tie.
The Lakers' Alex Caruso hit two free throws, Jokic missed a short hook, and James' putback dunk made it 102-96 with 1:15 left.
The Lakers led by as many as 13 in the first half after hitting 59 percent of their two-point shots. They held Jokic to just three points before the break, and his only basket came with 0.1 left in the second quarter.
--Field Level Media