79 - 90 Final
  for this game

Andersen, Nuggets top cold-shooting Lakers

Feb 28, 2009 - 6:36 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- A poor shooting night from Carmelo Anthony still was better than what the Los Angeles Lakers had to offer. Of course, Los Angeles didn't have Chris Andersen.

Andersen collected 11 points, a season high-tying 12 rebounds and a career high-tying seven blocks as the Denver Nuggets survived Anthony's struggles en route to Friday's 90-79 victory over the ice-cold Lakers, who had their seven-game winning streak snapped.

"It felt good to tie my record (for blocks) ... I was trying to get one more," Andersen said. "I was trying to get it but I never got the opportunity.

"I wanted to come out and pick up the defensive end, which led to guys getting some easy buckets on the other end. As long as I am blocking shots and they are getting easy buckets on the other end, I'm pretty happy."

The Lakers, on the hand, will be glad to see him go.

Los Angeles posted a season-low in points by shooting a frigid 29 percent (27-of-92) from the floor, which included a 10-of-31 effort from Kobe Bryant, who managed to scored 29 points despite missing all six of his 3-pointers.

The Lakers, who also recorded a season-low 14 assists, posted their previous scoring low on December 19, 2008, when they suffered an 89-87 loss to the Miami Heat.

"Defensively, they did a great job," Bryant said. "On top of them doing a good job and us not having any legs, it was just a horrible shooting night."

Chauncey Billups and J.R. Smith scored 22 points apiece for the Nuggets, who topped the Lakers for the first time since April 9, 2007.

"It's been a long time," Denver coach George Karl said. "They've beaten us, they've hurt us, they've dominated us. I think everybody at shootaround just wanted to play hard and fight and compete."

They didn't get much help offensively from Anthony, who shot 4-of-17 from the field and committed five turnovers. Anthony did contribute 11 rebounds, having the chance to corral many misses by Los Angeles.

What the Nuggets were missing in pure firepower by Anthony, they made up for thanks to the hustle of Andersen, who was an efficient 3-of-4 from the field off the bench. He had four offensive rebounds, two assists, one steal and five fouls to his credit.

"Chris Andersen was incredible tonight," Karl said. "He blocked seven shots, and I think he had to bother another 10 or 15. That's marvelous. I feel great for him. We've been given a gift by the basketball gods. He's an excitable dude that had a fantastic night."

Denver used a 9-0 run late in the fourth quarter, when Nene capped the burst with a layup with 1:13 left to provide the game's largest lead at 90-76.

"We kept ourselves in the ballgame," Bryant said. "It was 66-63 going into the fourth and they busted us open a little bit, and it was an uphill battle from that point. Our defense kept us in there for three quarters."

Pau Gasol had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, which went 2-of-20 from the arc.

The Lakers opened the second half on a 15-4 run to lead, 55-50, after trailing 46-40 at intermission. The burst encompassed the first 4:28 of quarter.

The plodding play started early for both teams, as Denver went on a 13-0 run over the first four minutes of the second quarter to take a 29-19 lead after the teams combined for just 25 points in the opening period.

But despite the sluggish start, it was a happy ending for the Nuggets.

"This was a playoff-type of game for us," Karl said. "I'm not sure they played it that way, but it's going to be a good night and a good sunrise. It's a great win for the organization."