Another up-and-down season had another down night for Nuggets center Jusuf Nurkic as the Nuggets fell to the Lakers, 120-115, on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Playing in place of injured starter Nikola Jokic for the second straight game, Nurkic was 0-for-7 shooting and contributed just four rebounds in 12 minutes. His teammates, meanwhile, couldn’t keep pace with D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young, who combined for 45 points in the victory.

Nurkic earned a starting spot early in the season thanks to a diligent offseason and strong preseason, but was moved back to a bench role in favor of Jokic when Denver’s “Twin Towers” lineup featuring the both of them failed to produce wins early in the season. Nurkic has started each of the last two games as Jokic heals from a hip strain, but has logged just 15 and 12 minutes in each and a combined six points over the two starts.

Nurkic wasn’t the only culprit in the loss on Tuesday, however. Each of Denver’s starters finished with a negative plus/minus and the team shot just 41.4 percent from the floor. Defensively, they allowed Los Angeles to shoot better than 52 percent on the night in what head coach Michael Malone called, “just a poor, poor defensive effort.”

The loss ends Denver’s three-game winning streak and puts Portland within a half-game of tying them for the No. 8 seed in the West. In addition to playing the late game on Tuesday, the Nuggets had to travel home to Denver and will face the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.