for this game

Lakers continue home dominance of Nuggets

Jan 6, 2007 - 7:25 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Sometimes, there are nights Kobe Bryant is content to watch others have the glory.

Smush Parker scored a season-high 23 points, Andrew Bynum added 19 with 10 rebounds and Luke Walton scored 18 to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 123-104 triumph over the Denver Nuggets.

Entering as the league's fourth-highest scorer (29.1), Bryant recorded his sixth 40-point performance when he scored 42 after a scoreless first quarter in Thursday's 132-128 overtime triumph at Sacramento.

A night later, Bryant collected nine of his 10 assists without scoring in the first quarter and finished with a season-low eight points.

"Kobe facilitated a lot of things tonight," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "I know there (are) some people out there that wanted him to score in the stands. But he did the right thing in the type of game that was being played."

"I just take advantage of the defense," Bryant said. I try to get into the paint and put pressure on the defense right off the bat and make them make some decisions."

Los Angeles got off to a terrific start by hitting its first 11 shots and using a 14-0 run to take a 35-28 lead after the opening period. Parker scored 15 points for the Lakers, who made 15-of-24 shots in the quarter.

"I am more pleased as the performance of my teammates tonight," Parker said. "We were able to sustain it for 48 minutes."

"Right now, this team is fitting together well," Jackson said. "They know their roles and they're fitting together very good."

Coming off a season-high 26-point effort on Thursday, Brian Cook scored 12 in the third quarter, including eight consecutive, and Bryant added six to help widen the margin to 104-81.

"(It's all) due to passing the ball, making the extra pass and just playing team basketball," Cook said. "Like I said, it has to do with team basketball and everybody touching the ball and just having fun."

"Cook is an offensive player," Jackson said. "He hustles and works hard on the defensive end. His offense is his forte and it's his strength. And when he's hot, he's a very potent player in that regard."

Cook and Maurice Evans scored 16 points apiece for the Lakers, who have won 18 of the last 19 home encounters against the Nuggets.

Earl Boykins made 9-of-14 shots and scored 24 points, Allen Iverson had 16 and Marcus Camby 14 with 12 rebounds for Denver, which lost its fourth straight contest.

"They jumped right on us from the beginning and we just couldn't recover from it," Iverson said. "They beat us all throughout the game. We couldn't stop them and we're struggling on the offensive end."

"(The Lakers) played great," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "I said before the game that I think they are the best passing (team) in the NBA right now and I think they proved that ... tonight."

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    DENVER 104

    Jan 6 12:48 AM

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    DENVER 81

    Jan 6 12:21 AM

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    DENVER 55
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    chairmanlau Added 10 roots

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    DENVER 28

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