Lakers hold off NuggetsFeb 4, 2012 - 7:43 AM Denver Nuggets, 93-89.
Kobe Bryant added 20 points and nine assists for the Lakers, who have won three in a row. Bryant shot just 7-of-23 from the floor, including a 1-of-4 performance from beyond the arc.
"I didn't shoot the ball particularly well but my teammates did. We are doing a great job of recognizing traps and double teams," Bryant said.
Pau Gasol donated 13 points and 17 boards for Los Angeles, which improved to 3-7 on the road this season. Andrew Goudelock also had 13 points.
Al Harrington ended with 24 points and eight rebounds for the Nuggets, who have lost three of four. Andre Miller and Ty Lawson chipped in with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
To make matters worse, Denver lost starting center Timofey Mozgov to a sprained left ankle. With about 10 minutes to go in the third quarter, Mozgov came down awkwardly on his left ankle after making a layup. He was not able to put pressure on his left foot, but X-rays came back negative.
Bryant's three-pointer with 7:23 to play gave the Lakers an 80-72 lead.
But Denver responded with an 11-4 run to make things interesting down the stretch. Harrington made a pair of three-pointers around Bynum's slam to cut the gap to 84-83 with 4:23 left.
Metta World Peace made a much-needed trey from the corner to give the Lakers an 87-83 margin.
Still ahead by four moments later, Bryant turned the ball over. Lawson failed to make a three-pointer at the other end.
Denver was still alive after Los Angeles missed three shots. Nene's layup cut the gap to 89-87 with 1:40 to go.
Derek Fisher came up with a big shot at the other end, making a 21-foot shot from the corner.
Lawson's steal of Gasol led to Nene's slam with 28.6 seconds remaining, making it 91-89.
At the other end, Bryant found Bynum open under the hoop. But instead of going up strong, Bynum tried for a layup. Nene was able to block the shot. Upon review, it was determined the ball went out off Los Angeles.
Harrington's three-pointer bounced off the rim in the final second. Matt Barnes made two free throws with 0.2 seconds left to seal the win for the Lakers.
"For an end of the game situation against a good defensive team he got a fair release," Denver head coach George Karl said. "I wouldn't call it a great shot. I'd like better, I would have liked to have gone quicker. I would have liked to have gone to the rim in four or five seconds. [Derek] Fisher has been there a lot of times. He made a good defensive play and Ty didn't give it a second attempt. The play before that broke open very well and the last play didn't open very well."
Los Angeles led by as many as 11 in the first half and took a 44-41 lead into the locker room.
Denver started the second half on an 8-2 surge to take the lead. But the Lakers stormed right back and led for the remainder of the third period. It was a 72-68 game heading to the fourth.
The Lakers have taken two of three from the Nuggets this season...Los Angeles started a season-high six-game road trip on Friday...Fisher had 10 points...Nene had 12 points for Denver.
- LOS ANGELES: 93
Feb 4 1:18 AM
- LOS ANGELES: 72
End of 3rd
Feb 4 12:31 AM
- LOS ANGELES: 44
Feb 3 11:42 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 23
End of 1st
Feb 3 11:09 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 3 10:45 PM
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