The short-handed Denver Nuggets (13-9) pieced together their lineup, then finished strong in a 115-100 victory Saturday night against the Los Angeles Lakers before a six-game road trip. Here are eight additional observations from the victory: 1. Mason the playmaker. Nuggets coach Michael Malone said prior to the game that he felt comfortable running large chunks of the offense through Plumlee in the high post, much like they would do with injured star Nikola Jokic. Plumlee delivered in his first start of the season, tying a season high with six assists to go with 12 points, six rebounds and a team-high plus/minus rating of plus-28. Plumlee noted the Lakers packed the paint and constantly switched on defense, freeing up teammates to receive kick-out passes on the perimeter or to cut backdoor. In all, Plumlee’s performance was the latest example of a Denver big man taking advantage of increased minutes while that position group has been hit hard by injuries in recent weeks. “He is a complete basketball player,” said Malone, also praising Plumlee’s defense down the stretch. 2. Advantage, Murray. Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray put together his latest home gem, posting a game-high 28 points (including five 3-pointers), four rebounds and four assists. Malone noticed Murray relax when his first shot went in less than two minutes into the game. But the coach was perhaps most impressed with how Murray guarded Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, who notched a triple-double against the Nuggets in their first meeting. Ball finished Saturday with nine points, nine rebounds, five assists and five turnovers. “Jamal, right now, gets great energy when he’s making shots,” Malone said. “He’s got to have that same energy whether he’s making shots or not, and that’s gonna be the biggest thing for him as he matures as a player.” 3. Late “Thrill.” One game after scoring a career-high 37 points — including the game-winning layup — against the Bulls, Will Barton struggled mightily on offense until scoring 13 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. Barton said he was getting the shots he wanted, but they simply weren’t falling. He was also called for carrying three times, which surprised him. “I