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NBA: Lakers beat Nuggets for first win

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Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates after scoring a basket and getting fouled against the Denver Nuggets during the second half at Crypto.com Arena on October 30, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP

LeBron James scored a game-high 26 points and the Los Angeles Lakers became the last NBA team to win a game this season, defeating Denver 121-110 on Sunday.

Anthony Davis added 23 points and 15 rebounds while Russell Westbrook came off the bench to contribute 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as the host Lakers improved to 1-5 by ending their futility run.

“We needed this one,” Davis said. “We needed this for our team, our spirits, our fans, our organization. We come out and showed what we’re capable of. It could be the start of a run for us.”

The 0-5 start had matched the 2014-15 Lakers for the worst in the club’s history, which dates to 1947, but the victory avoided a new mark and gave coach Darvin Ham his first victory.

“It feels good to get that monkey off our back,” Davis said. “Get a win in the win column and try to get this thing going.”

The Lakers scored their most points of any game this season and grabbed their largest lead of the campaign late in the fourth quarter to subdue the Nuggets, who fell to 4-3 despite 23 points and 14 assists by Nikola Jokic.

“When we play defense like that, we’re a tough team to beat,” Davis said. “But today we made shots.”

Davis played despite a painful back injury.

“It was killing me tonight but I tried to do whatever I could do to help the team get the win,” Davis said.

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