Yet as was the case in L.A.’s first game, second round picks Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter showed why Mitch Kupchak and Co. drafted them, Ebanks posting a game-high 24 points and Caracter contributing his second straight double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
L.A. cut Denver’s lead to just four late in the second quarter, as Ebanks and Caracter combined for 18 points in the period, but couldn’t lead the Lakers back in the second half.
Ebanks, known more in his two years at West Virginia as a defensive player, showcased his offense for the second straight game, bringing his average to 22.5 points, and he added three steals on defense.
Caracter had worked his way to a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double in the first game, and his 17-and-12 effort brought his 2-game averages to 18.5 points and 11 boards.
On the injury front, forward Rob Kurz left the game in the second to receive stitches in his head and did not return, while Nuggets center Brian Butch suffered a knee injury.
Next up for the Lakers is a Monday afternoon contest against New York.
We’ll be there in Vegas to cover you.