James, Davis help Lakers win for first time this season

Oct 30, 2022, 9:09 AM | Updated: 10:08 pm

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) goes to the basket against Denver Nuggets center Nik...

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) goes to the basket against Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

(AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James scored 26 points and Anthony Davis added 23 to help the Los Angeles Lakers to their first win of the season with a 121-110 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.

Russell Westbrook had 18 points for the Lakers (1-5), who had lost their first five games of the season under first-year head coach Darvin Ham. Los Angeles was the last winless team in the NBA.

Ham celebrated in the locker room with his team and received a celebratory dousing of water.

“We needed to prove something to ourselves,” Ham said. “Not to the world, not the media. We had to prove it to ourselves. I feel great about how we responded throughout the game.”

Westbrook, who came off the bench again and has been accepting of that role, drove the lane and scored on a layup to extend the Lakers lead to 117-106 in the final minutes as the Lakers closed out the win.

In the third quarter, he raised his arms to get fans on their feet and he obliged.

“Like I’ve mentioned since Day One, whatever is needed from me to help the team win, that’s what I’ll do,” Westbrook said.

Nikola Jockic scored 23 points and Jamal Murray added a season-high 21 for the Nuggets (4-3), who had four of their last five and two straight games before Sunday’s loss.

Austin Reaves made a 3-pointer from the top of the arc and Lonnie Walker IV drove the baseline for a dunk to give the Lakers a 113-100 advantage. That 13-point lead was their largest of the season.

The Lakers made 13 3-pointers on 13-for-30 shooting after struggling with long-range shots this season in their previous five games. The Nuggets made 15 3-pointers.

Davis was aggressive early after missing one game with lower back tightness and was questionable Sunday but played. He tweaked his back in the game against Denver on Wednesday when the Nuggets beat the Lakers 110-99 in Denver.

Davis, who called Sunday’s game a must-win, said he’ll have to manage the pain.

“It’s day by day,” Davis said. “One day, I feel great. The next day (it’s hard). Just try to manage it and keep getting treatment.”

The Lakers led 55-51 at halftime. They trailed by as many as 10 points in the first quarter but overcame that deficit by halftime.

“They were playing with desperation and I felt like we had them and let it slip away,” Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon said.


Charles Barkley recently said that the Lakers are “taking Russell Westbrook’s joy out of basketball. When asked about the joy factor, Westbrook said: “One thing I’ll never let happen is people outside of my family and people that support me, take my joy. I always have fun and embrace this game and embrace the gift I’ve been given. Losing is not as much fun. I love seeing my teammates flourish, honestly. I get joy by seeing others do great.”


Hall of Famer George Mikan had his jersey retired. His family was there to celebrate the honor and watch No. 99 be unveiled. He’s the 11th player to have his jersey retired, along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, Jamaal Wilkes and James Worthy. Worthy was there Sunday and spoke about Mikan.


Nuggets: G Bones Hyland missed the game with a left hip strain … G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (sprained ankle) returned Sunday and had nine points … C DeAndre Jordan ran out of bounds on one play, leaned over a fan to stop his momentum and ate some of his popcorn.

Lakers: Pau Gasol, who won two championships with the Lakers, attended the Mikan Jersey unveiling and game on Sunday. His jersey will be retired by the Lakers in March


Nuggets: Have three days off before Thursday’s game at Oklahoma City.

Lakers: Hosts the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.


More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

James, Davis help Lakers win for first time this season