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Lakers

Kobe Bryant, Julius Randle give fans something to cheer about in loss to Nuggets

Darrell Arthur, Roy Hibbert

Lakers center Roy Hibbert tries to block a shot by Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur during the first half Friday.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The Lakers were slowly falling apart, their fortunes looking bad when rookie D’Angelo Russell sprained his right ankle in the second quarter, the game turning into a blowout not in favor of the home team in the third quarter.

The Lakers showed some grit by pulling to within four points early in the fourth, but it still turned into just another loss in this lost season, a 116-105 defeat to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night at Staples Center.

As the game began to get away in the fourth, the chants of “Ko-be…Ko-be…Ko-be” rang out.

The fans got their wish when Lakers Coach Byron Scott put Kobe Bryant back into the game midway through the fourth quarter.

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Bryant had 28 points on 10-for-22 shooting in 28 minutes in the final game of his career against the Nuggets.

He left the Nuggets with one last vintage move, spinning baseline around Will Barton, scoring the layup while being fouled by Barton.

Bryant’s three-point play didn’t put much of a dent in the Lakers’ deficit.

But the fans didn’t seem to care. They rose as one and cheered Bryant when he checked out the game with 1:44 left.

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Julius Randle had a positive moment, posting his first triple-double with 13 points, a career-high 10 assists and 18 rebounds.

“I thought he looked pretty good,” Scott said of Randle. “He was getting up and down the floor, rebounding, the little things that he normally does. So his first triple-double I thought was a real big-time positive tonight.”

With the loss, the Lakers dropped to 15-57. Now they face the very tall order of having to win seven of their last 10 games just to surpass last season’s mark of 21-61, the worst record the team has ever produced.

Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter: @BA_Turner


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