|W. Johnson||SF||J. Hamilton|
|J. Hill||PF||K. Faried|
|P. Gasol||C||J. Hickson|
|J. Meeks||SG||Randy Foye|
|S. Blake||PG||T. Lawson|
K. Bryant: Achilles Out
S. Nash: Back Out
W. Chandler Hamstring Questionable
J. McGee Leg Out
D. Gallinari Knee Out
Mozgov scores 23 in Nuggets' win over Lakers
By Dennis Georgatos
November 13, 2013
DENVER (AP) Timofey Mozgov matched his career high with 23 points, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 111-99 on Wednesday night to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
First-year Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, who was part of five championship teams with the Lakers as a player and assistant coach, beat Los Angeles in his first matchup against his former team.
Kenneth Faried added 21 points and Ty Lawson had 19 for the Nuggets, who won their fourth straight against the Lakers, their longest winning streak against Los Angeles since 1994.
Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 25 points.
Both teams have been impacted by injuries, though the Nuggets were bolstered by the return of forward Wilson Chandler, who saw his first action of the season after missing the first six games with a strained left hamstring. Chandler scored 12 points, making a pair of key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers are still without Kobe Bryant, who continues to recover from surgery last spring to repair to a torn Achilles' tendon, and Steve Nash remains sidelined by a nerve problem in his back.
Nuggets center JaVale McGee is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his left leg and Danilo Gallinari is recovering from reconstructive knee surgery stemming from an injury late last season.
Mozgov jammed home a dunk to put the Nuggets up by 10 with 36 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Lakers scored six straight points to close the period, starting with a 3-pointer by Nick Young to pull to 83-79 going into the fourth.
The Nuggets again pulled away, scoring 10 of the first 13 points starting the final period, including a layup by Nate Robinson off a stolen inbounds pass, putting Denver in front 93-82.
After a basket by Gasol and a free throw by Jordan Hill helped the Lakers narrow the gap to 93-87, the Nuggets responded with a 10-0 run that included two 3-pointers by Chandler and a pair of free throws by Mozgov for a 16-point cushion with about five minutes remaining.
It was more than the Lakers could overcome.
The Lakers pulled to 60-54 at halftime after trailing by as many as 13 points earlier.
Chandler also hit a couple of 3-pointers in the last four minutes of the second quarter to help offset a 7-0 run that the Lakers used to get close.
NOTES: The 60 first-half points were a season high for the Nuggets. ... Mozgov has come off the bench to score in double figures in five of the first seven games. ... The Lakers lost the back end of a back-to-back after beating New Orleans the night before.
Copyright 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach Mike D’ Antoni:
(On what caused the loss tonight)
“There were different stages. First we started off and didn’t guard the basket. I think [the Nuggets] got 22 points in the paint in the first quarter. They just came at us and we didn’t react very well to their speed and their athleticism. That was probably the occurring theme throughout the game, their athleticism. They just beat us to the ball and second chance points. We would do a decent job at defending once we got them stopped and set up. But their foot speed was just more than ours most if the time.”
(On the Nuggets 23 offensive rebounds)
“They are good at it. That is what [Kenneth] Faried does, along with [Timofey] Mozgov and [Jordan] Hamilton. That is why they are there. They are good at it. We know that. They were good at it last year and are good at it this year. We just have to keep battling. I don’t want to make excuses, but this was a back-to-back game. You get in late and our legs weren’t there all the time. But, you have to give [the Nuggets] credit.”
(On if losing momentum late in the game is a concern)
“I’m not concerned, those are things that when Kobe [Bryant] comes back will be taken care of. We have to do a better job of finding solutions and finding guys that are going to step up. We need to hit shots as a team.”
Los Angeles Lakers Forward Jordan Hill:
(On Nuggets offensive rebounding)
(On own performance)
“I know I can play. I’m just going out there and doing what I have to do when I get minutes and have fun with it, just keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
Los Angeles Lakers Guard Nick Young:
(On Nuggets offensive rebounding)
“They play hard. We just have to somehow match their intensity and their aggressiveness to get rebounds. They have Faried in there who goes for an offensive rebound every time. They work hard. JJ Hickson does the same thing.”
(On final five minutes)
“We are figuring it out game by game. We’re just about a point away. We got down by three. Next thing you know they have a few fast breaks and we are down by ten. Somehow we have to figure how to make a few plays when we get that close.”
Los Angeles Lakers Guard Steve Blake:
(On final five minutes)
“They started dominating the offensive boards and getting out in transition off of our offensive turnovers. If you give this team momentum at home they take full advantage of it and that’s what happened.”
(On Jordan Hill)
“He’s been doing that all training camp and in practice. It’s not a surprise to us. He’s just now getting the opportunity and making the best of it. He’s a workhorse. When we take shots he knows how to put himself in position to get rebounds. So that’s a big advantage we can use.”
(On Memphis Grizzlies)
“They are a very good team. It starts with their bigs. (Marc) Gasol and Zach Randolph down at the post are one of the best big combinations in the league. They have (Mike) Conely who is a really good point guard. We have to try to keep them off the boards and off the free-throw line.”
THE FACT: Denver tied a franchise record with its fourth straight win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
THE LEAD: Timofey Mozgov tied his career high with 23 points and added nine rebounds, Kenneth Faried had 21 points and 13 rebounds and the Denver Nuggets raced past the Los Angeles Lakers 111-99 on Wednesday night.
Ty Lawson had 19 points and seven assists and Wilson Chandler scored 12 points in his season debut for Denver (3-4).
Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill and Steve Blake all had double-doubles for the Lakers (4-6), who have yet to win consecutive games this season. Gasol finished with a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds and Blake had 11 assists to go with his 15 points.
QUOTABLE: "We know he has it in him, but I'm glad that he was able to put it together like that. He just played a great all-around game." -- Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, on Mozgov
THE STAT: The Nuggets hit just 40 percent from the field -- on 40 made field goals. Their percentage was helped by hitting 30 shots in the lane, where they outscored the Lakers 60-32.
TURNING POINT: After the Lakers pulled to within six midway through the fourth, Chandler hit two 3-pointers, Jodie Meeks missed two free throws and Faried had a tip-in to make it 101-87. In the midst of that, Mozgov had two of his four blocks on Gasol.
QUOTABLE II: "We held them to 40-percent shooting and they probably shot all layups on the 40 percent. There were too many times they got to the basket without either big showing up." -- Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni
HOT: Mozgov had a great night but he was especially effective in the second half. He hit 5 of his 7 shots, scored 14 points and had all four blocks in the final 24 minutes. He even overcame an elbow to the chin to help close out the game.
QUOTABLE II: "It's a basketball game, it's a real man's game. You just have to keep playing if you can." -- Timofey Mozgov, on staying in the game after getting hit on the chin
NOT: Meeks didn't get many offensive opportunities and he misfired when he did. He missed both of his field goals and both free throws he attempted. His stat line was full of zeroes.
FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Hill followed up Tuesday's strong performance with another Wednesday. He had a career-high 21 points in a win over New Orleans and followed it up with 18 points and 15 rebounds Wednesday. His 15 rebounds tied a career high.
GOOD MOVE: Denver was pushing the pace all night and wearing down the tired Lakers. The Nuggets only outscored L.A. 11-5 on the break, but the uptempo style had the desired effect -- a huffing-and-puffing opponent.
BAD MOVE: The interior defense by L.A. was nonexistent. They had nine blocks but they let the Nuggets get through the lane fairly easily and get great looks.
NOTABLE: Steve Nash missed his second straight game with a nerve root injury. ... The Nuggets are 26-5 when scoring more second-chance points than their opponent. ... Wesley Johnson set a career high with five blocks. ... Faried has had at least 15 points and 13 rebounds in two consecutive games.
UP NEXT: For the Lakers, Friday vs. Memphis, Sunday vs. Detroit, Wednesday vs. Golden State. For the Nuggets, Friday vs. Minnesota, Saturday @ Houston, Monday @ Oklahoma City.