GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Denver Nuggets 34 26 29 23 112
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 26 34 23 22 105


Nuggets beat struggling Lakers 112-105


Posted Jan 07 2013 12:16AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Ty Lawson had 21 points and 10 assists, Danilo Gallinari scored 20 points and hit a big 3-pointer with 13.8 seconds left, and the Denver Nuggets beat the struggling Los Angeles Lakers 112-105 Sunday night for their fifth win in seven games.

JaVale McGee scored 17 points for the Nuggets, who showed no signs of weariness after a home win over Utah one night earlier. Despite two last-minute 3-pointers by Kobe Bryant, Denver maintained a lead throughout the fourth quarter of its second win in 12 days over the Lakers.

Bryant scored 29 points and Dwight Howard had 14 points and a career high-tying 26 rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost three straight and four of five.

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


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Points Bryant, 29
Rebounds Howard, 26
Assists Nash, 13
Steals Lawson (DEN), 3
Blocks Howard/World Peace, 4


Mike D'Antoni:

On what bothered him most about the loss:
“It’s the points we’re giving up in the first half, and the first quarter, loose balls we just can’t get to, and turning it over in moments that you can’t do it. We’re just being a little disorganized on offense, guys going a little too much one-on-one. I don’t think there’s one point we can point out. I thought we played hard, I thought they competed. It’s a little perplexing, it’s not an easy thing, but when they take 19 more shots at the basket than we take it’s hard to overcome. I mean, we outshoot them, we shot better foul shots. It’s turnovers and fast break points that just killed us.”

On if the pressure is building:
“Well, I think because of our record the pressure is building, but so be it, that’s the way it is. We have to overcome it, and we can. We just can’t let teams start out with 34 points in the first quarter, it just can’t happen. Now we’re starting to dig out every game and somehow we have to try to figure out why that’s happening, and if we can solve it then we need to do it.”

On what it’s going to take to play better defense:
“We had bouts where we’re real good. The other night with the Clippers in the fourth quarter was great; tonight there were some things at the end of the first half, and the end of the game. It’s just the body of it all we’re struggling with. Everybody can sit around and ask why this, why that, but we’ll just try to tighten it up and get it better. We have to do a better job; it’s something we’ll have to work on.”

On if he knows why his team falls behind early so often:
“Not really, because it’s the same group that at the end of the game plays great defense. It’s like, why is this happening? We’ll look at different things and try to just be more aware of it. There’s just not a simple answer, we wouldn’t be 15-18 if there was a simple answer. We just have to keep working, like I said we have to get the bright spots and put them over 48 minutes. We can’t give up, and shrug our shoulders, and hang our heads. We have to fight as a unit and get out of this rut, that’s the only way we can do it.”

On if he is concerned:
“Oh I am concerned, I’m like you guys, everybody’s got concern. You can say, ‘oh yeah we’ll turn it around, we’ll turn it around’ but you have to do that. There’s concern, but the whole isn’t too big. Mathematically we can still make the playoffs. We just have to figure out our identity and play better. We’re just not playing well.”

Kobe Bryant:

On the game:
“You have just got to try to focus on basketball…Got to try to execute better. Defensively, not give up so many easy ones. ”

“We have just got to execute better. We are missing too many insiders. We just got to buckle down and try to minimize those mistakes.”

“Penetration is really the big key. That is what allows guys to the rim and finish inside of the paint. It gives them a lot more opportunities, high percentage opportunities.”

“I think your activity. We had active hands, and good hands. I think we tried to pass out of motion too much and really telegraphing our passes.”

“We have got to get better defensively…Offensive is the sexier of the conversations to have. Defensive rebounding is the way you win championships and it’s not too late for us to trn that around. We have just got to buckle down.”

Dwight Howard:

On the game:
“I just tried to get all of the rebounds….Make the team have one shot. You know last game they beat us on the boards. I just tried to do the best I could at blocking that and getting the rebound.”

“Stay together. Play with a sense of urgency. The biggest thing is that we have got to stay together. We can’t let the tough times that we are in right now make us fold, make us point the finger at each other. We have just got to continue to stay together.”

“We turn the ball over and they get the fast break points. Their guards, especially tonight, Ty Lawson, those guys were out running. Sometimes it is tough for these bigs to fight for the offensive rebound and try to get back, but everyone has just got to make an effort to get back and protect the paint.”

On how he hurt his shoulder:
“On one play, almost the same thing as last game. So I will get a MRI tomorrow, get it looked at, and go from there.”

Steve Nash:

On the Lakers defense:
“It’s frustrating. We gave up 60 at the half but for us we have to set our standards higher. We have to be able to hold 25 point quarters or less and we got to come out early and be determined to get it down. I thought we played pretty hard tonight, I thought we had a lot of good moments defensively. I just think there’s a lot of moments where we are just a little bit late, a little bit caught off guard. For our team we’re not the fastest team in the world but we’re big. We got to be early, we got to anticipate, we got to put teams at a disadvantage and we’ve been struggling to do that consistently. We do it at times; I think we look great defensively but too little, too late.”

On explaining the turnovers:
“I mean you can break down each one and say why. I think there’s a couple situations that maybe we can clean up, but there’s going to be turnovers sometimes so I’m not going to go crazy over the turnovers. Obviously you want to cut them down but that’s life, you got to make up for it in other ways.”

Pau Gasol:

On his nose:
“They say it doesn’t sound like it’s broken, it might be but it doesn’t make a big difference anyways.”

On the Lakers defense:
“It’s got to be a collective effort. We just have to continue to emphasize the little things. Just take away lay-ups, just take away the easy ones, make them hit tough shots and those guys hit some tough shots but make them make more. That’s the only way teams should have a chance to beat us but we gave up too many lay-ups and points in the paint. Turnovers lead to fast break points, we’re not the quickest team getting back on transition and that we know. But still, just take care of the details and help each other out.”

George Karl:

On tonight’s win:
“They’re [Lakers] struggling. It’s a great win for us, but I’m not going to get over inflated. I mean I told the team before the game I don’t remember the last time we won in here in the regular season. We beat them last year in the playoffs, but it’s a tough building to win. There’s no question. There’s ghosts in this building and there’s a lot of things and Kobe making threes like that, it’s crazy. I thought as the game went on we got better defensively and had a great win for our guys.”

On the Nuggets dominating in the paint:
“We lead the league in points scored in the paint, that’s our philosophy. I actually thought we took too many jump shots at the end of the game. I thought Ty [Lawson] got us a couple of layups in the end, in the fourth quarter. That’s who we are, and we’re not going to beat anyone by playing one-on-one we’re going to beat people by playing basketball.”

On the blocked shot ending up in Danilo Gallinari’s hands:
“We’re not going to have a go-to-guy as much as we’re going to have a go-to-team. Every guy on the court I think can make a shot. Igoudala took one, Andre [Miller] took one, Ty [Lawson] took one and [Gallinari] made one.

On the Nuggets match up with the Lakers, and their last two wins:
“It’s definitely speed against size. It’s a game of our speed and our ability to go, and I think Kenneth [Faried] and our big guys do a good job of rebounding the ball, when we rebound we’re pretty good against anybody. It’s a good team. It’s getting better. I just don’t want to get too crazy with it. But I think four out of five and the game we lost to Minnesota, at the beginning of the year when we looked at our schedule we thought Minnesota was a win, but we’ve had wins against the Clippers, a couple wins against the Lakers. Right now we’re playing pretty good basketball.”

On what tonight’s win means for the team:
“It’s a sign that we’re getting better and we’re staying focused. We’re through the tough part of our schedule and we got to be hungry for the rest of the season.”

Danilo Gallinari:

On his last minute shot:
“It felt good because it went in. It was a lucky bounce because after Dwight blocked the shot the ball came right to me and Metta World Peace was right there ready to block the shot. I had to release real quick. I’m glad we won the game. It was very important that we won the game.”

On what this victory means to the team:
“It was very important because the last time we played them here they played very well and we lost that game. It was also important for us because we won the last game at home but we lost the one before pretty badly against the Timberwolves. We want to start in a good way. We knew what we didn’t do against Minnesota so we did it very well against Utah and wanted to keep it up on the road.”

Kenneth Faried:

On 60-38 points in the post:
“We were able to attack. We’re a team that attacks. We attack each and every game no matter who is in the paint trying to protect it. We’re just going to keep attacking them and hopefully we get out of foul trouble or we dump it off to the bigs and we finish.”

On difference between tonight and last time they played here:
“More confidence. We came in with more confidence and we knew what we could do with them. We didn’t let Dwight rebound and rule the game. We took that with what he did last game. He had great rebounds but we still stayed focused on what we had to do.”

Ty Lawson:

On second half:
“Just try to keep them out of the lane. Early on they had a lot of dunks, just easy points in the paint. In the second half we wanted to make sure shot from the outside, shot a three so we could get a hand on the rebound.”

On importance of win:
“It’s huge. We haven’t won here since we played in the play-offs. They beat us pretty good last time we came here. It’s good for our confidence. And we just want to keep it rolling. We’ve been winning one game then losing one game. We’re trying to build some momentum for the next couple of weeks.”




Posted Jan 06 2013 1:41AM

Dwight Howard thinks winning stems from strong friendships, even if it's disingenuous.

That could be why even Kobe Bryant's staggering production hasn't been enough for the Los Angeles Lakers lately.

With Howard's status uncertain due to injury, the Lakers may need to find additional support for Bryant as they host the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.

Los Angeles (15-17) seemed to be reloading for a run at a third NBA title in five seasons after it acquired Howard from Orlando in a blockbuster four-team, 12-player trade in August.

The move has yet to pay off as expected, even with Howard averaging 17.4 points and 12.0 rebounds while Bryant leads the NBA at 30.5 points per game.

A weak defense continues to be the biggest issue for the Lakers, who rank among the league's worst teams allowing 100.5 points per contest.

Howard, who has a sprained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, feels a lack of cohesion is the problem.

"We have to play like we like each other," he said. "Even if we don't want to be friends off the court, whatever that may be, when we step in between the lines or we step in the locker room or the gym, we have to respect each other and what we bring to the table.

"It really starts off the court. I think you have to have that relationship and that chemistry off the court for it to really blossom on the court."

Howard's solution is time.

"It takes time to develop that," he said. "You just don't come together and then expect to be best friends right away. It just doesn't happen like that."

Los Angeles has lost three of four after a season-high five-game win streak, giving up an average of 105.8 points. That stretch started with a 126-114 loss at Denver on Dec. 26, when the Lakers wasted a 40-point effort from Bryant.

Bryant has done more than his share during that four-game stretch, averaging 35.3 points after scoring 38 in Friday's 107-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

"He's lasered in on the game and trying to get us out of this ditch," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We've just got to keep working and keep our heads up and try to do it."

Giving Bryant some offensive support could begin changing the team's fortunes. While losing the past two games, the Lakers' superstar has totaled 74 points while the rest of the starters have combined for 70.

They showed some scoring balance in a 122-103 home win over the Nuggets on Nov. 30, when Antawn Jamison had a season-high 33 points and 12 rebounds and Howard compiled 28 and 20, respectively.

Denver (19-16) has won four of six, holding opponents to 87.2 points on 39.4 percent shooting over the past five contests.

The Nuggets were terrific in nearly every facet Saturday, shooting 51.3 percent from the field while limiting Utah to 35.9 percent in a 110-91 victory that came two days after a 101-97 defeat to Minnesota.

"It was a bounce-back game played the right way, with passion and intensity," coach George Karl said. "I thought we got everything we wanted to do. We were executing our offense very well and they didn't get anybody hot. Defensively, we were sound the whole game."

Danilo Gallinari is looking to build on his 26-point performance against the Jazz after averaging 12.0 over the previous three games. The forward has scored 19 points in each of the two season meetings with the Lakers.

Copyright 2012 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.
Probable Starters .
  #15 World Peace SF #8 Gallinari  
  #16 GasolPF #35 Faried  
  #12 Howard C #41 Koufos  
  #24 Bryant SG #9 Iguodala  
  #10 Nash PG #3 Lawson  


Lakers Steve Blake
(abdominal surgery) is out.
Chris Duhon
(back spasms) is a game-time decision.
Pau Gasol
(plantar fasciitis, right foot) is probable.
Jordan Hill
(herniated disc) is probable.
Mavericks Ty Lawson
(left achille tendon strain) is day-to-day.
Wilson Chandler
(left hip) is out.
Julyan Stone
(right hip) is out.

11/30 - DEN 103 @ LAL 122
12/26 - LAL 114 @ DEN 126
01/06 - DEN @ LAL
02/25 - LAL @ DEN