NBA: Lakers end disappointing season with win over Nuggets
Austin Reaves established career highs of 31 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists and excelled in overtime as the Los Angeles Lakers overcame a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to record a 146-141 victory over the host Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.
Malik Monk scored a career-best 41 points and made seven 3-pointers for Los Angeles (33-49), which won its second straight game following an eight-game slide to end one of the most disappointing seasons in NBA history. Wayne Ellington had 18 points in a game that was contested primarily with second and third teamers.
Career nights for Austin Reaves and Malik Monk as the @Lakers win an OT thriller!
Monk: 41 PTS (career high)
Reaves: 31 PTS, 16 REB, 10 AST (career highs) pic.twitter.com/7bYDTpWJj3FEATURED STORIES
— NBA (@NBA) April 11, 2022
Markus Howard scored a career-high 25 points and Bryn Forbes added 24 points for the Nuggets (48-34), who are the sixth-seeded team in the Western Conference and will meet the third-seeded Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.
DeMarcus Cousins and Bones Hyland each added 17 points for Denver, which missed its final 12 field-goal attempts, including all eight in overtime.
Reaves scored seven straight Lakers’ points in overtime, including a 3-pointer to give Los Angeles a 142-137 lead en route to the comeback win.
The Lakers played without LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard.
Denver played without Nikola Jokic, Aaron Gordon, Will Barton and Monte Morris.
Jeff Green added 16 points, Davon Reed had 14 and JaMychal Green tallied 11 for Denver, which made 49 percent of its shots and was 15 of 47 from 3-point range.
Stanley Johnson scored 15 points, Wenyen Gabriel added 14 and Talen Horton-Tucker had 10 for the Lakers, who shot 46.8 percent and made 16 of 43 from behind the arc.
The Lakers’ final lead in regulation was 74-73 after two free throws by Johnson with 10:25 left in the third quarter.
Denver scored 24 of the next 33 points to open up a 14-point lead.
Forbes converted a four-point play to give the Nuggets a 91-80 advantage with 5:15 left in the quarter.
Just 56 seconds later, Hyland recorded a four-point play to make it 95-82. Hyland capped the spurt with a layup for a 97-83 lead with 3:52 left.
It was 108-95 entering the final stanza and the lead increased to 17 early in the quarter but Monk scored 18 points over the first 7:04 to trim Denver’s lead to 123-118.
The Nuggets led by 11 with 3:21 left before Los Angeles’ late burst to force the extra session.
Monk scored 17 first-half points for the Lakers in a game that was tied at 69 at the break.
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