Anthony Davis scored a team-high 33 points as the Los Angeles Lakers beat Denver 120-116 in overtime in the final game before the all-star break for two of the top teams in the West.
“Our defense got us back in the game and we came down and finished at the end of the game,” said Lakers all-star Davis. “We wanted to make sure we came in and got a win on the road heading into the all-star game.”
LeBron James showed his two way prowess, finishing with a triple double of 32 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds and making several clutch stops on defense down the stretch.
James recorded his 12th triple double of the season to tie Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks for the league lead.
Davis scored seven points in the extra session, including a three pointer that made it 119-116 for the Lakers with 2:41 remaining.
Davis said he enjoyed the first half of the season but added wins are going to be harder to come by in the second.
“It been a fun first half of the year,” he said. “We had our struggles, but we continued to fight.
“We are going to try to have a better second half. We got to pick it up defensively in the second half.”
Nikola Jokic finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who missed their final five shots in overtime.
Dwight Howard had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Alex Caruso and Avery Bradley scored 10 points each for the Lakers.
Jamal Murray had a team high 32 points and 10 assists and Jerami Grant had 15 points for Denver, who had their four-game win streak stopped.
Gary Harris scored 13 points and Monte Morris added 12 for Denver, who lost both home games to Los Angeles this season.
Elsewhere, TJ Warren scored 35 points as the Indiana Pacers ended a six-game losing skid with a 118-111 win over the shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks.
Milwaukee clawed their way back from a 25-point second-quarter deficit to pull within five points early in the fourth but the Pacers were able to take advantage in the absence of star Giannis Antetokounmpo and pull out the victory.
Warren shot a blistering 16 of 19 from the field for the Pacers, who made 62 per cent of their baskets in the first half in front of 17,000 fans at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Malcolm Brogdon collected 17 points and 13 assists against his former team and Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Pacers, who handed the Bucks their second loss in the last 16 contests.
Donte DiVincenzo scored a team-high 19 points and Khris Middleton added 17 for the Bucks, who also suffered their first loss in six games, without reigning league MVP Antetokounmpo in the lineup.
Antetokounmpo sat out his second straight game following the birth of his first child, Liam Charles.
Milwaukee missed just one of 25 free throws on the night but they still had their five-game winning streak stopped.
Indiana were blown out in their first two meetings of the season against Milwaukee, losing 102-83 in November and 117-89 on the road a month later.
Doncic scores 33 in return
Also, Doncic marked a return from an ankle injury with a 33 point and 12 rebound performance to lead Dallas to a 130-111 win over the Sacramento Kings.
The Mavericks lost four of seven games with Doncic out of the lineup. He was 10-of-18 in shooting from the field and made 10 of 12 from the free-throw line in 31 minutes of playing time.
Kristaps Porzingis poured in 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting and also contributed 13 rebounds.
Tim Hardaway made five three-pointers on his way to scoring 19 points, and Seth Curry added 18 for Dallas.
In New York, Caris LeVert scored 20 points as the Brooklyn Nets registered a 101-91 victory over the Toronto Raptors, who saw their team-record 15-game winning streak come to a sudden halt.