Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets too much for Lakers, 106-96

Jordan Clarkson, Jusuf Nurkic
Jordan Clarkson is wrapped up by Denver center Jusuf Nurkic while battling for a loose ball during the first half of the Lakers’ 106-96 loss to the Nuggets on Tuesday at Staples Center.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Denver Nuggets 106 - Lakers 96 (end of regulation)

Ty Lawson was just too much for the Lakers down the stretch of a close game at Staples Center on Tuesday night.

Lawson turned in a dominating 32-point, 16-assist performance, scoring 16 in the fourth quarter to push the Nuggets to victory, despite playing on the second night of a back-to-back after a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

The Lakers led after the first and second quarters, holding onto a tie at 71 heading into the final period, but Lawson and the Nuggets were too much to handle in the fourth.


Carlos Boozer led the Lakers off the bench with 21 points. Wayne Ellington scored 18 points while Nick Young and Wesley Johnson both added 12.

The Nuggets had five scorers in double figures including Darrell Arthur (15), Wilson Chandler (13), J.J. Hickson (13) and Randy Foye 12). Denver shot 54.4% from the field but just 25% from three-point range (4-16).

The Lakers hit 43.5% and 33.3% (6-18), respectively. Both teams had seven turnovers through three quarters, but the Lakers finished with 12 -- Denver seven.

The Lakers played without Jordan Hill (hip), along with Kobe Bryant (shoulder), Julius Randle (knee) and Steve Nash (back), who are all done for the season. Jameer Nelson (Achilles) sat for the Nuggets.


With the loss, the Lakers fall to 13-39. They’ll travel to Portland to play the Trail Blazers (35-17) on Wednesday night. The Nuggets (19-33) are off until after the All-Star break.

Lakers 71 - Nuggets 71 (end of third quarter)

The Nuggets pulled ahead by as many as five points in the third quarter, shooting 49.2% from the field for the game, while holding the Lakers to 40.0%.

The Lakers were able to tie the game at 71, on four straight-points from Nick Young, who had six for the game.

Wayne Ellington led the Lakers with 18 points on eight of 13 shooting. Carlos Boozer added 12 off the bench.

Ty Lawson was the high scorer for the Nuggets with 16 points along with 10 assists. Wilson Chandler scored 13.

Jordan Clarkson shot just two for 10 from the field for his five points but led the Lakers with six assists.

Both teams had seven turnovers.


Lakers 48 - Nuggets 45 (halftime)

The Lakers were able to push their lead back to double-digits, as high as 12 points, but once again the Nuggets responded.

By halftime, the Lakers led by just three, getting a game-high 13 points from Wayne Ellington.

Denver was led by Wilson Chandler with 11, out-shooting the Lakers as a team from the field, 47.6% to 40.8%.

The Lakers held their slight advantage with 11 free throw attempts, making just five (45.5%). Denver got to the line just four times, making three. The Lakers also hit three of eight from behind the arc (37.5%) to the Nuggets’ two of nine (22.2%).

Lakers 29 - Nuggets 24 (end of first quarter)

The Lakers extended to a quick 10-point lead against the Nuggets, only to see that advantage shrink to five after a quarter at Staples Center.

Wayne Ellington led all scorers with 11 points on five of six shooting. The Lakers shot 54.2% from the field and 60.0% from three-point range (3-5).


Denver was led by Wilson Chandler with six. Former Clippers guard Randy Foye added five off the bench as the Nuggets shot 44.0% as a team and 20.0% from behind the arc (1-5).


The Lakers (13-38) host the Denver Nuggets (19-33) on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

Both teams have struggled tremendously over the past month.

The Lakers play the Nuggets without Jordan Hill (hip) as well as without Kobe Bryant (shoulder), Julius Randle (knee) and Steve Nash (back), who are all done for the season.

Denver visits Los Angeles on the second night of a back-to-back, after a loss at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Veteran point guard Jameer Nelson (Achilles) is questionable.

For an in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets.

Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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