NBA: Lakers moved to within one win of going over .500 while Spurs shock the Nuggets

Lakers continued their great form as D’Angelo Russell shines against the Raptors while Spurs get a surprise victory over the Nuggets on Jokic’s birthday
Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell (1) scores past Toronto Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 10, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(Basketball news) The Los Angeles Lakers continued their resurgence as they defeated the Toronto Raptors 122-112. For the Lakers,  D’Angelo Russell had 28 points and nine assists in his dynamic return from a six-game injury absence, and Dennis Schröder added 23 points and seven assists as Austin Reaves scored 18 points while Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt added 16 apiece.

The Lakers won for the seventh time in nine games even with little contribution this time from Anthony Davis. For the Raptors, Scottie Barnes scored 20 of his career-high 32 points in the second half, and O.G. Anunoby made his first 11 shots while scoring 31 points. With this result the Lakers improved their record to 33-34 and are only one win away from potentially grabbing the 5th seed in the Western Conference table.

“That we were able to come away with this win against a really good team with only eight from (Davis), that’s a sign of growth,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “That’s a sign of how deep and talented we are.”

“I know this from being here (before): The fans are ready to explode at a certain point in the game,” Russell said. “I just wanted to bring that energy and give them that. … It shouldn’t go unnoticed, because our fans are the first to put a battery in someone’s back that has a little momentum, so why not do the right things, bring that positivity and embrace what our fans have to offer?”

“Sometimes you can play bad basketball and win every game,” Anunoby said. “You just try to take the positives from the losses, carry them over and win the next game.”

The San Antonio Spurs produced a major upset when they defeated the Denver Nuggets 128-120. For the Spurs, Keldon Johnson scored 23 points as Doug McDermott added 20 points and Jeremy Sochan had 19 points while Mamukelashvili had 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting. For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic had 37 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as Jamal Murray added 24 points. Denver  lost its second straight following a four-game winning streak. The Nuggets maintained the Western Conference’s best record at 46-21, but fell 2 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the league’s best record.

“It felt great,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “The fans were really into it. We put them to sleep in the first quarter and then we woke them up a little bit. So it was great to have all those people yelling and screaming. They deserve to have a good night.”

“I think we have faith in what we can do,” Murray said.

“So, you hope the message is delivered,” Malone said before the game.

“I don’t want to say the stakes were high, but I feel like everybody wanted to win and everybody was on the same page,” Spurs center Sandro Mamukelashvili said. “Once you’re at that point and you’re up, you just don’t want to lose that game you just kind of do everything to win.

Also read: NBA: The Warriors have now lost 3 in a row while Kings end Knicks’ winning streak


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