Notebook: Nuggets 119, Lakers 108



Posted Feb 26, 2013 1:15 AM

By Michael Kelly, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Wilson Chandler scored 23 points in a rare start, Ty Lawson chipped in with 22 and nine assists and the Denver Nuggets used a fast-paced style to run past the Los Angeles Lakers 119-108 on Monday night.

Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and had nine assists and Dwight Howard had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

The Nuggets (36-22) took the lead for good in the first quarter and led 67-54 at half thanks to an uptempo style against L.A. (28-30). They outscored the Lakers 22-3 in fast-break points at intermission and 33-3 for the game.

Kenneth Faried added 12 points and 10 rebounds for his 24th double-double of the season for Denver.

QUOTABLE: "The fast-break points, that's a killer. That team is like a track team over there. Their speed was something that was tough for us to adjust to all night long. They continually pushed the ball down our throats. Shots go up and those guys are already leaking out, to go along with the speed. They got a lot of easy buckets because of it."

-- Kobe Bryant on the Nuggets' style.

THE STAT: The Lakers shot 60 percent in the first half, and 55 percent for the game, but still lost by double digits. One reason was Denver's 44-36 edge in rebounding and a 78-50 advantage in points in the paint.

TURNING POINT: After the Lakers trimmed an 18-point deficit to seven on two baskets by Bryant, the Nuggets put it away. Chandler hit a jumper and a 3-pointer to spark Denver's 13-4 run that iced the game.

QUOTABLE II: "Once they missed a shot it was like a jailbreak. Everybody was trying to get down the court and get a layup."

-- Ty Lawson

HOT: Denver's defense. Although the Lakers scored 108 points and shot better than 50 percent, the Nuggets were active on defense -- which led to 33 fast-break points. The defense tightened when needed, especially after the Lakers cut it to 106-99 with 5:17 left.

QUOTABLE III: "Our running game was sensational and we put enough defense in the game."

-- Nuggets coach George Karl

NOT: Howard has never been known for his free-throw shooting, but Monday he was downright foul. He made his first two from the line and then went 1-for-12 the rest of the game. Overall, the Lakers shot 14-for-31 from the line..

QUOTABLE IV: "We missed 17 free throws and you get beat by 11, you can do the math. And it doesn't add up. You can't go 14-for-31 from the line and turn it over on the road and expect to win."

-- Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Lawson has been dominating in February. He had his seventh straight game of 20 or more points and he is averaging 25.6 points and 8.3 assists in that span.

GOOD MOVE: Putting Chandler in the starting lineup. He missed most of the first half of the season as he recovered from offseason hip surgery but he has started to find his rhythm. He hit 10 of his 18 shots and was 3-for-5 from 3-point range. He also plays versatile defense, guarding everywhere from the point to power forward.

BAD MOVE: Bryant picked up a technical at the end of the first half. It was his league-leading 14th of the season. Two more and he will be suspended for a game.

NOTABLE: Nuggets leading scorer Danilo Gallinari did not play due to a bruised left thigh suffered Friday at Washington. ... Denver's 67 points in the first half was two less than the most given up by the Lakers in a half this season. Denver scored 69 in the second half against them on Dec. 26. ... Bryant has scored 29 or more points 450 times in his career. ... Denver is now 24-3 at home, tied with Miami for the second-best mark in the NBA.

UP NEXT: For the Lakers, Thursday vs. Minnesota, Sunday vs. Atlanta, Tuesday, March 5, @ Oklahoma City. For the Nuggets, Wednesday @ Portland, Friday vs. Oklahoma City, Monday vs. Atlanta.