Nuggets deal Lakers a 28-point beatdown to tighten grip on West eighth seed
Jamal Murray led seven Denver players in double figures with 22 points. AP

THE Denver Nuggets rode a scorching first quarter finish to a 28-point blowout over the Los Angeles Lakers, 129-101, on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) at the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets finished the first quarter with an 18-5 run to set the tone for the blowout after a tight battle early in the game. Denver went on another 15-0 blast midway through the second to lead by as much as 28 points before the break, and even extended the lead to 32 points early in the third quarter.

The Lakers fought back and cut the lead to 19 entering the fourth quarter, but the Nuggets started the period with an 11-0 blitz and encountered little resistance the rest of the way.

Seven players finished in double figures for the Nuggets (32-35) led by Jamal Murray and Will Barton, who scored 22 points apiece off the bench. Nikola Jokic and Danilo Gallinari each added 18 markers, while Mason Plumlee had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Rookie Ivica Zubac had a career-high 25 points to go with 11 rebounds for the Lakers (20-47). Jordan Clarkson, who got the start this time, added 19 markers. 

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