Boos turn to cheers in rout of Nuggets

Times Staff Writer

Win one for Phil?

It didn’t look like the Lakers would, but they did, emphatically dropping the Denver Nuggets, 127-99, Thursday at Staples Center.

On the day Phil Jackson agreed to a two-year contract extension worth about $24 million, the Lakers rewarded him with career victory No. 928.

Kobe Bryant was steady, as was Andrew Bynum, allowing the Lakers to again quiet a throng of fans who were booing when the Nuggets took a 38-21 lead with 9:43 left in the second quarter.


Toward the end of the third quarter, as Bryant was shooting a free throw to complete a three-point play, fans were chanting the ever-familiar “M-V-P” chorus.

The Lakers took a 68-57 lead after a 13-0 run to start the third quarter. It was pretty much over from there.

Veteran guard Derek Fisher said the Jackson news could only help the team.

“I think as guys start reading tomorrow and start hearing all the news, it’s definitely going to be a positive thing going forward that our team knows who’s going to be leading us,” Fisher said.

Bryant finished with 24 points, six rebounds and seven assists, and didn’t play in the fourth quarter. Bynum had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Sasha Vujacic had a career-high 22 points as the Lakers reserves outscored those of the Nuggets, 63-37.

“It’s nice to have our bench people keep the starters off the floor and carry a game to the finish like that,” Jackson said.

Denver forward Carmelo Anthony was ejected from the game with 6:18 to play when he grabbed Vujacic by the throat as Vujacic cut toward the basket. Anthony scored 23 points.


Fisher returns tonight to Utah, where he accrued a lifetime of memories -- some good, some heart-wrenching -- in only one season.

Fisher was with the Jazz when his daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer. On one unforgettable day, he made a key shot in overtime of a playoff game against Golden State after spending the day in New York for his daughter’s surgery.

“Even though I was only there a year, I think it’s still going to be pretty emotional going back because the city, the fans, the team, left impressions on me and my family that I think will last a lifetime, to be honest,” Fisher said.

Coby Karl scored 19 points Thursday afternoon in his first game with the D-Fenders, the Lakers’ Development League affiliate. His father, Denver Coach George Karl, watched the game from the Staples Center seats before the Nuggets played the Lakers a couple of hours later.


at Utah, 7:30, Ch. 9, ESPN

Site -- Energy Solutions Arena.

Radio -- 570; 1330.

Records -- Lakers 9-6; Jazz 11-5.

Record vs. Jazz (2006-07) -- 2-1.

Update -- The Jazz is 6-1 at home, the lone loss coming in the home opener against Houston.