NBA 2K Game Recap: Denver Nuggets 79, Los Angeles Lakers 72
The virtual Denver Nuggets kicked off the 2K Game of the Week series with a triumphant 79-72 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite a highlight-worthy performance from LeBron James, Denver was able to pull out the win as a result of dominance from the team’s second unit and a fourth-quarter takeover from Nikola Jokić. The virtual homecourt advantage also helped fuel Denver’s victory in the game that featured six-minute quarters.
The Nuggets were ice cold to begin the game as Los Angeles jumped out to a 12-5 lead in the opening minutes. However, in what became the story of the game, the Nuggets gained the advantage once the second unit entered the virtual hardwood. Monte Morris made an immediate impact by hitting several difficult jumpers, while Michael Porter Jr. completed an and-one layup to give Denver a 20-16 lead after one quarter of play.
The story flipped once the Lakers’ starters returned to the court in the second quarter, as James and Anthony Davis fueled the offense while Dwight Howard protected the rim on the defensive end. With Howard blocking shots on consecutive possessions, the Lakers were able to get out in transition and take a 34-31 lead into the halftime break.
Los Angeles’ lead jumped up to 41-33 early in the third quarter as James had two memorable dunks in transition. Once again, Denver relied on its second unit to get back into the game, which is exactly what happened in the latter stages of the third quarter. Morris entered the game and immediately dropped 5 points, while Torrey Craig and Mason Plumlee helped fuel transition opportunities with two blocks on the defensive end. As a result, Denver took a 53-51 lead into the final frame.
The fourth quarter was a nail-biter. The virtual Nuggets and Lakers battled it out in a back-and-forth affair, as the two teams traded tough shot after tough shot. However, in what has become a trend for the real-life Nuggets, Jokić stepped up when his team needed him most. The two-time All-Star big man scored eight-straight points for Denver during the middle stages of the quarter and then wrapped up his dominant quarter by knocking down a contested floater over JaVale McGee which put Denver up 75-72 with 23 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing possession, a quality contest from Gary Harris on a 3-point attempt from Danny Green prompted a miss which Jokić rebounded. From there, Denver used the charity stripe to seal the victory.
Despite Jokić’s dominance late in the victory, Morris was rewarded as the player of the game as a result of his steady play throughout the first three quarters. It’s hard to argue with that distinction, as Morris spearheaded a dominant performance from Denver’s second unit, which outscored the Lakers’ second unit by 21 points in the seven-point victory.
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