The Lakers collapsed in the third quarter against the Nuggets, getting blitzed 35 to 17 in a 119-101 loss on Wednesday night in Denver.
Both teams tied with 84 points apiece in the first half and fourth-quarter combined, but the Lakers has no answer for Kenneth Faried (19 points and 11 rebounds) and Danilo Gallinari (27 points on seven made three-pointers).
Ty Lawson added 16 points and eight assists. Randy Foye scored 12 with six rebounds and seven assists.
The Lakers, playing in the high altitude of Denver on the second night of back-to-back games after falling to the Clippers on Tuesday, shot 48% from the field and had 15 turnovers.
Jordan Clarkson led the way with 21 points and nine assists. Ryan Kelly hit six of eight shots for 17 points.
Reserves Ed Davis, who had 12 rebounds, and Dwight Buycks both scored 15 for the Lakers while Robert Sacre fell one rebound short of a double-double with 10 points and nine boards.
Jeremy Lin (knee) was a late scratch, giving rookie Jabari Brown his first NBA start. He finished with 11 points on three-of-12 shooting.
The Nuggets shot 50% from the field and 43.3% from three-point range (13 of 30).
The Lakers are 20-58 after their fifth consecutive loss. They'll next host the Minnesota Timberwolves (16-61) on Friday at Staples Center. The Nuggets (29-49) visit the Dallas Mavericks (46-31), also on Friday.
The Orlando Magic (25-53) defeated the Chicago Bulls (36-32) on Wednesday, locking the Lakers into no worse than the fourth position in the NBA draft lottery on May 19.
The Lakers are unlikely to catch the Philadelphia 76ers (18-61) to move up to third in the lottery. In fourth, the Lakers have 82.8% odds of landing a top-five pick.
Nuggets 93, Lakers 71 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers completely fell apart in the third quarter, getting bombarded by the Nuggets to fall behind by 22 points heading into the fourth.
After scoring the first seven points of the quarter to take a three-point lead, the Lakers were outscored, 35 to 10.
Denver forward Kenneth Faried leads all scorers with 25 points. Danilo Gallinari has 16 for the Nuggets, who are shooting 49.3% from the field.
Ryan Kelly has 17 points to lead the Lakers, who are shooting 43.1% from the field.
Rookie guards Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown have struggled from the field, totaling 19 points on five-for-24 shooting (20.8%).
Nuggets 58, Lakers 54 (halftime)
The Lakers pulled ahead of the Nuggets briefly in the second quarter, but Denver finished ahead by four.
Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari leads all scorers with 15 points on five-of-13 shooting while Ty Lawson has and Kenneth Faried 11.
The Lakers shot 47.5% from the field, getting 13 points from Ryan Kelly and 10 from Ed Davis.
Denver shot only 41.3% from the field but made six three-pointers in 15 attempts (40%) to the Lakers' four in 11 (36.4%). The Nuggets also made 14 of 18 free throws (77.8%) while the Lakers converted 12 of 20 (60%).
Nuggets 35, Lakers 33 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers didn't have a difficult time scoring against the Nuggets in the first quarter, scoring 33 points on 52.4% shooting.
Where they struggled was on the defensive side of the ball, giving up 35 points on 43.5% shooting. The Lakers made a higher percentage, but Denver attempted 14 free throws, making 11.
The Lakers were awarded 11 attempts from the line, making eight. Ryan Kelly and Ed Davis are pacing the team with eight points apiece.
Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson leads all scorers with 10 points. Kenneth Faried added nine points with five rebounds and two steals in just nine minutes.
Jeremy Lin sat out (knee) against the Nuggets, giving the Lakers an all-Missouri rookie backcourt with reserve Jabari Brown starting alongside point guard Jordan Clarkson, who went scoreless in the first quarter. Brown has four points on one-of-four shooting.
The Nuggets will play without
For an in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers at Denver Nuggets.