Andrew D. Bernstein
Gary Harris Leads Nuggets to Second Win of Preseason
By Christopher Dempsey, Nuggets Insider
Gary Harris made sure the Nuggets put another game in the win column as he led a 3-point barrage that lifted them over the L.A. Lakers 113-107 on Monday night at the Staples Center.
Harris was as efficient as it gets, scoring 25 points in 20 minutes. He made 8-of-11 shots overall, including 5-of-7 from the 3-point line. Offensively, it was a reminder that the breakout season he had in 2016-17 is not likely to be a flash-in-the-pan. Defensively, Harris also played energy-filled basketball, pressing up on ballhandlers, sticking tight to players running off screens and getting good hands up to contest jump shots.
It was a complete performance that helped the Nuggets overcome an early 11-point deficit to get the victory. After trailing by five at the end of the first quarter, the Nuggets tightened up defensively, which helped spark a 20-7 run in the second quarter that put them ahead to stay. They led by as many as 20 points. The Lakers made a late run, but the Nuggets held them off to go to 2-0 in the preseason.
The Nuggets hit 15 3-pointers and connected on 51.7 percent of them. Nikola Jokic had 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, and Paul Millsap and Juancho Hernangomez each had 11 points. Hernangomez nailed 3-of-4 shots from the 3-point line.
The Nuggets also had 10 steals – Wilson Chandler collected five of them – as part of 22 Lakers turnovers forced. They turned L.A.’s turnovers into 25 points.
The Nuggets and Lakers square off again on Wednesday, in an 8 p.m. MT game on Altitude Sports.
Christopher Dempsey: email@example.com and @chrisadempsey on Twitter