Ball, who was coming off a robust 15-point, 10-assist performance Wednesday evening against the Golden State Warriors, fell back to earth a bit with nine points on 4-of-10 shooting, including 1-of-4 from three.
As has generally been the case, Ball made his presence felt most as a passer and rebounder.
In 33 minutes, the No. 2 overall pick grabbed nine boards, including four on the offensive glass, and tallied five assists and five turnovers.
On an evening largely encapsulated by inconsistencies—a theme that's carried through much of the season—Altitude TV's Vic Lombardi noted Ball's jumper looked particularly shaky:
The Nuggets didn't have the same kind of problems at point guard.
Matched up with Ball, second-year floor general Jamal Murray paced the Nuggets with a game-high 28 points (8-of-20 shooting, 5-of-8 from three), four boards, four dimes and two steals.
Shooting guard Gary Harris added 13 points, while sixth-man extraordinaire Will Barton poured in 16 points in 28 minutes to help the Nuggets compensate for the absences of Nikola Jokic (ankle), Paul Millsap (wrist) and Wilson Chandler (back).
The Lakers, who have lost four in a row, don't have easier days ahead.
Following a showdown with the Houston Rockets on Sunday at Staples Center, the Lakers will pack their bags and head east for a four-game road trip that features matchups against the Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers.