DENVER (AP) The Denver Nuggets offense came to life just as their defense stifled the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jamal Murray had 28 points, Will Barton scored 13 of his 16 points in the final 7:44, and the Nuggets scored the last 15 points of the game to beat the Lakers 115-100 on Saturday night.
The Nuggets kept the Lakers to two points in the final 5:41 to extend their local winning streak to seven games.
"If we're going to win, it's always going to be a defense," said Gary Harris. "We were able to make stops when we needed them."
Denver did not have front line starter Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap and Wilson Chandler. Millsap is out several months after the surgery on his left wrist, Jokic was in a boot after suffering a sprained left ankle on Thursday, but Chandler (back) could return on Monday.
The Nuggets missed the trio, which combined by almost 40 points and 21.2 rebounds per game. The Lakers outscored Denver 52-39, including an 18-7 lead in the second quarter when Los Angeles took a 59-55 lead at halftime.
"We practice with many alignments, we know the offense, we know each other, our chemistry is growing," Murray said. "We know what everyone can do."
Brandon Ingram led the Lakers with 20 points and Brook Lopez had 15 points. Lonzo Ball had nine points, nine rebounds and five badists, but could not double the triple-double against the Nuggets at home on November 19.
The Lakers took a 98-94 lead in triple Kyle Kuzma but managed a field goal the rest of the way and had four turnovers. Barton and Murray led the Denver rally by combining for 20 of the 37 points in the fourth quarter.
"I thought a lot of what happened to us tonight was self-inflicted," said Lakers coach Luke Walton. "The most exciting thing is that if we self-inflict, we can be the ones who modify it."
Barton gave the Nuggets the advantage for always with two free throws, Murray hit a triple to go five and Denver closed it.
"We just keep turning the ball around," Kuzma said. "We made some expensive turnovers and they became."
Lakers: Kuzma was named rookie of the month for the NBA's Western Conference in November and games were played in October. Kuzma took second place among the rookies of the West in rebounds (6.1) and third in percentage of field goals of 3 points (37.9). Kuzma returned to the lineup after missing Thursday's game with spasms in the back. … The Lakers committed 21 turnovers.
Nuggets: Assigned F Torrey Craig to Sioux Falls of the G League. … Chandler has missed three consecutive games with his lower back injury. … Trey Lyles scored a season-high 18 points.
Denver retired Lafayette "Fat" Lever No. 12 in a part-time ceremony. Lever, who played for the Nuggets since 1984-90, recorded 43 triples in his career.
Lever is the sixth player to have his number retired by the Nuggets.
"I started thinking about (getting my number removed) when I was with the (Sacramento) Kings," Lever said. "I saw many ceremonies that happened there, I thought` what would happen if, & what would happen if tonight. '
Harris finished with 13 points, but his biggest cube put the crowd on his feet. With 8:41 remaining in the third episode, Harris entered the lane and started climbing for a tray. Ball cut his way and Harris made a 360 and finished with a touch of fingers.
"Once I turned, I was like, Nah, this has to stay in my right hand all the time, I'm not going to change it," Harris said.
The crowd applauded and their teammates were impressed.
"I was speechless, I did not know what to do, it was a crazy move," said Murray.
Murray shouted to Harris through the locker room: "By the way, I was open." Harris replied in a low voice: "It's bad."
Lakers: Organize the Houston Rockets leaders of the Western Conference on Sunday night.
Nuggets: Start a six-game trip in Dallas on Monday night.
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