Lakers can’t keep up with Nuggets in 119-108 loss
Nuggets 119 - Lakers 108 (final)
The Denver Nuggets owned the paint, defeating the Lakers, 119-108.
The Nuggets scored 78 points in the paint, taking advantage of 12 first-half Lakers’ turnovers to build a sizable cushion. The Lakers won both the third and fourth quarters by a single point but it wasn’t enough to overcome a 13-point halftime deficit.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 29 points on 12-of-23 shooting along with nine assists. Steve Nash shot 6-of-9 from the field with 16 points, but Nash (six) and Bryant (four) combined for 10 turnovers.
The Lakers also shot poorly from the line, making just 14-of-31 (45.2%). Dwight Howard struggled, missing 11-of-14. Howard finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks but just couldn’t connect from the stripe.
Wilson Chandler, starting for the injured Danilo Gallinari (thigh) led the Nuggets with 23 points. Ty Lawson contributed 22 points and eight assists.
Andre Iguodala scored 14 and led all players with 12 assists. The Nuggets shot 55.7% from the field. They also out-rebounded the Lakers 44-36 (including a 13-8 edge on the offensive glass).
The Lakers shot 55.1% from the field. In most cases, 108 points should be more than enough offense to win a game.
The Lakers fall to 28-30 on the season while the Nuggets climb to 36-22.
Nuggets 95 - Lakers 83 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers got in control of their turnovers in the third quarter and finally held Denver to fewer than 30 points in a period.
After scoring 67 in the first half, the Nuggets scored 28 in the third as the Lakers got within 12 heading into the fourth.
The Nuggets out-scored the Lakers in the paint 64-32. Both team shot poor percentages from the line, the Lakers missing 13 (12-25) and the Nuggets 10 (15-25).
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 19 points along with seven assists. Steve Nash (14), Antawn Jamison (14) and Metta World Peace (10) also scored in double figures.
Corey Brewer led the Nuggets with 16 points. Ty Lawson had 14.
Nuggets 67 - Lakers 54 (halftime)
Denver’s athleticism was too much for the Lakers. The Nuggets forced 12 turnovers, leading to run out and after run out.
The Lakers shot an impressive 61.8% from the field and 57.1% from three-point range (4-7) but gave up nine offensive rebounds without collecting even one of their own. Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Corey Brewer led all scorers with 11 points each.
The Nuggets shot 56.2% from the field while collecting 24 rebounds (the Lakers had just 14). Kenneth Faried chipped in 10 points, six rebounds and three steals.
Nash had five turnovers. Bryant had three. The Nuggets had four.
Both teams missed eight free throw attempts.
Bryant collected his 14th technical foul of the season at the close of the half. He’s two away from a mandatory one-game suspension.
Danilo Gallinari sat out Monday night with a bruised left thigh. Wilson Chandler started in his stead.
Nuggets 35 - Lakers 29 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers kept pace with the Denver Nuggets for most of the first quarter. After Jodie Meeks hit his second three-pointer of the game to tie the score at 25 apiece, the Nuggets closed on a 10-4 run to finish ahead, 35-29
Denver shot an astounding 65.2% from the field, led by seven each from Wilson Chandler and reserve Corey Brewer.
Steve Blake and Meeks shot a combined 4-5 from the field as the Lakers bench scored 13. Kobe Bryant struggled, hitting 1-of-7 from the field but the Laker as a team shot 52.6% and 66.7% from three (4-6).
The Nuggets had four offensive rebounds; the Lakers had zero.
The Lakers (28-29) visit the Denver Nuggets (35-22) on Monday night.
Denver is one of the best home teams in the league (23-3), an especially big challenge for the Lakers on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Nuggets have already won two of the three previous meetings this season.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Nuggets.
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