LeBron's triple-double leads Lakers past Nuggets

LeBron James Lakers Spurs

LeBron James Lakers Spurs

It was the Lakers' second win in two days after struggling to a 0-3 start to the season. Down the stretch, Ball made a series of crucial defensive plays: poking free a steal, successfully guarding Jokic in the post and then drawing a charge on Jokic as the Lakers extended their late-game lead.

It's still early in the season, but the Suns are averaging the second-most passes per game (through October 23) after passing the ball better than just eight teams previous year.

Lakers: James has five fewer triple-doubles than Wilt Chamberlain. It helps to have personnel on the perimeter who can hit shots to whom the Suns' playmakers can pass the ball, but there's no doubt that Kokoskov's values offensively are permeating the team on the floor.

According to Lance Stephenson, Luke Walton unloaded on his player personnel during a team meeting, hours before shootaround.

With Bryant in attendance for the first time since LeBron's arrival in LA, Kyle Kuzma scored 22 points and JaVale McGee added 21 to complement James' 74th career triple-double.

Lance Stephenson came off the bench again and sparked the Lakers' fourth-quarter run by scoring eight of his 12 points, including burying back-to-back 3-pointers during the spurt. The former Laker great also watched Lonzo Ball deliver his best all-around game of the season. All told, his 53.5 combined points, rebounds and assists per game were his most against any Western Conference team in 2016-17.

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Nikola Jokic scored 24 points for the Nuggets, who were off to their best start since the 2009-10 season. I feel like that's definitely lowered my value as a basketball player.

As expected, James thrived as maestro of the Lakers' offense.

Though still not considered an elite shooter, James has not shied away from rising up from the perimeter, from right behind the arc, and - as the clip showed - from near midcourt.

"I don't feel like people have been looking at the first three games we played".

The new-look Suns want to establish an identity based on grit and focus, qualities they can control as they develop chemistry and sharpen on-court play. "So, I mean, we took care of business tonight".

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