DENVER (AP) — Will Barton was back in the role of sparkplug for the Denver Nuggets.
The struggling sixth man scored 22 points, as did Jamal Murray, and the Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 129-101 on Monday night to match a season high with their third straight win.
Barton had made just five of his previous 21 3-point tries, going 0 for 4 in his last game. He went 3 of 4 behind the arc Monday and 6 of 9 overall in his most productive outing since the All-Star break.
“We needed that man,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who gave Barton a pregame pep talk. “Will Barton is a very important piece of our team and we all know that. Since the break, he hasn’t found his groove and tonight to see him shoot the ball as well as he did and to be the playmaker he was, it was fantastic.”
Barton said he was buoyed by his pregame chat.