Lakers Gameday | 02/05/10 | Nuggets

Box Score
Play by Play

3.5 Games between the Lakers (38-13) and Nuggets (34-16) in the standings.

9 Career high three-pointers nailed by Chauncey Billups, including five in the third quarter alone, for 27 of his game-high 39 points.

17 Rebounds for Pau Gasol, plus 17 points.

27 Points for J.R. Smith off the bench, including 19 in the second half. Shannon Brown led the Lakers with 13 off the pine.

33 Points for Kobe Bryant on 11-of-22 shooting, plus nine rebounds despite his injured ankle.

68 Denver’s unheard of shooting percentage from three-point land, including Billups’ 9-of-13 and J.R. Smith’s 3-of-4.

Mike Trudell,

Denver’s 3’s Win Game of Runs
Video Preview: Lakers - Nuggets

More Videos:
Phil Jackson Postgame
Kobe Bryant Postgame
Andrew Bynum Postgame
Lamar Odom Postgame
Bryant to Gasol
Three Ball
Arena Link: Shannon Brown


Billups scores 37 as Nuggets bury Lakers 126-113


Posted Feb 06 2010 1:11AM

LOS ANGELES(AP) Chauncey Billups tied his career-high with 37 points, including nine 3-pointers, and the Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 126-113 Friday night, ending the Lakers' eight-game home winning streak.

Billups was 12 of 20 from the floor, 9 of 13 from 3-point range and made 6 of 8 free throws to go with eight assists for the Nuggets, who played without Carmelo Anthony for the seventh straight game because of a sprained left ankle.

Billups scored 21 points in the third quarter alone, the most against the Lakers in one period since Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia 76ers had 23 in a game in February 1966. Billups' nine 3-pointers were the second-most ever against the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant scored 33 points on his sprained left ankle, but the first-place Lakers proved no match for the Western Conference's No. 2 team, the one they beat in last year's conference finals en route to their 15th NBA championship.

Denver coach George Karl had wondered before the game how the Nuggets would make up Anthony's 29.7 scoring average. Billups took all the concern away as he beat up the Lakers in the third, when Los Angeles had its nine-point lead erased on his long-range daggers.

He hit three consecutive 3s to give Denver an 84-83 lead, its first since late in the second quarter. He hit his ninth 3 about 35 seconds later before Shannon Brown's fastbreak driving layup gave the Lakers a tie at 87.

Ty Lawson took a cue from Billups, making his own 3-pointer and the Nuggets regained a 94-89 lead heading into the fourth.

J.R. Smith and Lawson took over in the final 12 minutes, combining for the Nuggets' first 12 points and extending their lead to 106-96. Billups became the distributor in the end, finding Arron Afflalo in the left corner for a 3-pointer - one of a season-high 15 by the Nuggets - that made it 121-110.

Smith finished with 27 points and Lawson 13 as six Nuggets reached double figures.

The win allowed the Nuggets to get to .500 on the road at 12-12.

They shot 57 percent from the floor, 68 percent from long-range and 71 percent at the line. The Lakers hit 45 percent from the floor.

NOTES: Karl and Billups were among Denver's late arrivals on a rainy night, showing up 60 minutes before tipoff. ``A wrong turn and too much traffic,'' Karl said. ... Karl said Anthony could return in a few days. ... Denver leads the season series 2-0, having won 105-79 at home in November. ... Dodgers manager Joe Torre and Denzel Washington attended the game. Jamie McCourt, the estranged wife of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, sat courtside after greeting Torre.

Copyright 2010 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

On tonight’s game:

“Well they really put a rush on us in that third quarter with Chauncey hitting four 3-pointers in a row and changing the course of the game. We really never recovered after that quarter, although we kept the ? kind of close there for awhile. But they were really hot in the second half.”

On the Lakers losing despite Carmelo Anthony not playing:
“That doesn’t matter. That’s not even something I think about. What’s important is about the game and who played in the game tonight.”

On if he’s happy about the outcome of tonight’s game:
“I’m not going to berate my team. You know, obviously we didn’t shoot well in the second half. We shot 53% in the first half and ended up in the game with about 45% but it’s obviously a big fallout. But we really tried to do things, outrebounded them, things that I thought were good. We didn’t turn the ball over that many times; although they were costly the ones we did. But we tried to work the ball in the right places and we weren’t fruitful on our end of the court.”

On the definitive changing point during tonight’s game:
“We had a nine point lead in that third quarter and it looked like we were playing pretty well until Kobe got run out of the game with his fourth foul and that kind of changed the course of the game.”

On if Chauncey Billups’ shooting success tonight was a result the Lakers poor defense:
“No, that was all him. He might have had one in the first half that guys didn’t close out, get to him, and Fish’ a couple of times was down helping out and as a consequence [Billups] got going. He was shooting beyond the line considerably… I’m just glad that didn’t happen in a playoff game, that’s all.”


On the Lakers defensive performance tonight:

“Not good.”

On defending players that are having a good shooting night:
“You just guard them, just guard them a little better.”

On if he’s seen such a shooting execution like the Nuggets had tonight before:
“Sure. They shoot the ball really well.”

On how they can bounce back against Portland tomorrow night:
“Just go up there and get a win.”

On playing through his injuries:
“I could still be effective and play. Obviously I’m not as explosive as I was but I can still command double teams, things like that.”

On if the Nuggets think they’re a better team:
“I’m sure they do. That’s the responsibility of each team to feel that way. The last two seasons when we played them in the post-seasons, they played extremely well the first two games this season and they have every right to feel that way.”



On Lakers’ performance tonight:
“Obviously we are disappointed. They shot really well. They got the ball and we just let them play a little too much. When guys get hot, especially All-Star caliber players like Chauncey and guys like JR Smith, they are very streaky and when they are on they are on. We need to drive and give it to them and we need to understand that as a team, as a unit and we didn’t do that.”

On playing Portland:
“It was a tough loss but we have to move on. We have a tough game tomorrow night and we understand how hard it is in Portland for us and we have to go out and get a win.”


On the Denver Nuggets:

“Chanucey had a lot of shots tonight, he played well. We just have to do a better job. There were too many times where we scored and they were still getting penetration. After taking the ball out in transition we have to make this team play a half-court game. They were playing transition all night.”

On playing Portland:
“Just play well, we want to play well. Win or lose the draw we want to play our game. We will have to move the ball. It will be a different atmosphere and a different type of game, so we will have to put tonight behind us in order to win tomorrow.”


On tonight’s game:

“We were trying to get in good position. They had hot shots. Chauncey was hot tonight but we had opportunities to win the game and make comebacks. We had a couple of leads, but then we had some turnovers and they came right back.”

On the Denver Nuggets:
“Nuggets were trying to get physical and they beat us on the offensive end tonight coming into the paint and they just got what they wanted.”

On the Nuggets’ three point shooting tonight:

“Chauncey was in a zone. JR got contagious. Afflalo probably made the biggest one. We cut it to six and he made the three out of the corner. We believe in the three-ball. I understand that we were incredibly hot.”

On whether his team has the Lakers’ number this season:
“It has yet to be determined. It’s going to be determined in May or June, probably. I feel our players feel is we know how we have to play. That doesn’t mean we’re going to beat them. We know how not to play. I think we know how we have to play. If we play that way, I think we will have a good chance of having a chance to win. They’re the best team in the NBA right now.”

On a positive aspect of his team:
“The one thing I think my team does really well is when we lose a game, we have a lot of attitude in the next game. Phoenix could maybe have pumped us up a little bit for tonight’s game.”

On his players stepping up in Carmelo Anthony’s absence:
“Chauncey was huge. I think our big guys competed very well. Chris gave us a big lift off the bench rebounding the ball. There’s no question that Chauncey’s zone – he getting in the zone like that in the third quarter – it’s a pleasure just to be a part of that. It’s kind of like Kobe in the first quarter.”

On how this game reminded him of the ABA:
“It reminded me a little bit of an ABA date, an old ABA game. Momentum swings. Explosiveness. They weren’t shooting the three like we were but a lot of the old ABA games were three ball, three ball, three ball.”

On whether this game went as he expected:
“I’m not sure I thought this was how we’d win tonight. It’s fun to be sitting here.”

On their second straight win against the Lakers:

“We’re 2-0 against them in the season but that’s still the best team in the Western Conference, there’s no question about that. They’re the world champs but we feel that we can compete with them, we just really feel that way.”

On his career high 3 point shooting in tonight’s game:
“I got some good looks. They gave me space to get my shots off. Any shooter, sometimes when you get it going, you just feel like you can’t miss sometimes and I feel like I had a couple stretches like that in the game.


On how big this win is for the Nuggets:
“It was huge, especially to win on their court. We’ve been struggling a lot out here. The win here is big and when we get back, hopefully we can keep it rolling.”

On whether the 3-point shooting was part of the game plan in tonight’s game:
“It was just part of the flow. Our game plan really is to attack. To help with defense and to attack. Kick it out and keep penetration going.”

Lakers vs. Nuggets Game Preview


Posted Feb 04 2010 10:52PM

A matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets brings two of the league's premier scorers into the spotlight. There's a chance neither could play this time, though.

With Kobe Bryant nursing a sore left ankle and Carmelo Anthony recovering from a left ankle sprain, Friday night's meeting between division leaders could be missing some of its luster.

Bryant will be a game-time decision for the Pacific Division-leading Lakers (38-12) after aggravating his already-sore foot when teammate Lamar Odom stepped on it late in the first half in Wednesday's 99-97 win over Charlotte. The 12-time All-Star originally sprained his ankle in a win at Philadelphia last Friday.

With his jumping and speed clearly hindered, Bryant made just 2 of 12 shots to finish with a season-low five points, well below his average of 27.9 - fourth-best in the NBA.

"It was just stiff - stiff and tight,'' said Bryant, who passed Jerry West in Monday's loss to Memphis as the Lakers' career scoring leader. "Lamar stepped on my foot as I was changing directions, so ... it just made it worse. It just set it back to Square One.''

Odom picked up the scoring slack Wednesday, hitting 8 of 10 shots to finish with 19 points, one off his season high. Odom, Pau Gasol and Ron Artest will likely be more involved in the offense if Bryant can't go.

Bryant has been bothered by injuries throughout the season, most notably a broken finger on his shooting hand, but has still started 234 regular-season games dating back to the 2006-07 season.

Anthony hasn't been nearly as durable for the Northwest-leading Nuggets (33-16).

Anthony, who is tied with Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant for the league lead in scoring with an average of 29.7 points, sat out the first five games in January because of a right knee contusion and has missed Denver's last six games with an injured ankle. Anthony suffered his injury Jan. 23 against New Orleans, and it has taken longer than expected to heal.

The Nuggets lost for just the fourth time without their three-time All-Star forward in Wednesday's 109-97 home defeat to Phoenix.

Chauncey Billups is carrying Denver's offense in Anthony's absence and found out before Wednesday's game that he was added to the All-Star squad. Billups, who is also suffering from a sprained left ankle, struggled against the Suns and finished with 11 points on 5-of-14 shooting.

"I couldn't get the lift I wanted," Billups said of his ankle. "I was trying to go out and give the team what I had. I can't really attack."

One of his worst shooting performances of the season came in the only meeting between Denver and Los Angeles on Nov. 13, but Anthony was able to offset Billups' struggles to help the Nuggets get the best of Bryant and the Lakers.

With Billups held to six points on 1-of-8 shooting, Anthony went 11 for 20 and finished with 25 points to lead the Nuggets to a 105-79 home win.

Bryant had 19 points on 7 of 17 shooting as Los Angeles lost for just the second time in eight meetings with Denver. The Lakers have had a decisive advantage against the Nuggets in Los Angeles, winning 21 of 23 meetings there since Bryant's rookie season in 1996-97.

The Lakers are enjoying similar success at Staples Center this season, posting a league-best 24-3 home record.

Copyright 2010 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


Kobe Bryant
(sprained left ankle / avulsion fracture, right index finger) is probable.
Luke Walton
(pinched nerve, back) is probable.


Carmelo Anthony (sprained ankle) is questionable.

The Lakers currently trail their season series with Denver 0-1, after taking last season’s series from the Nuggets 3-1. The two teams have met 140 times in the regular season with the Lakers leading the all-time series 93-47. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 overall regular season meetings with the Nuggets but are 6-2 in their last eight games and are 26-13 against Denver since the 1999-00 season. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 17-2 against the Nuggets all-time and 9-1 in their last 10. In Denver, the Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 road games at Pepsi Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 24-11 versus Denver. In the postseason, the Lakers and Nuggets have met five times with the Lakers advancing on each occasion, most recently defeating Denver 4-2 in the 2009 Western Conference Finals. The Lakers are 17-4 overall against the Nuggets in postseason games (9-2 home, 8-2 road). Additionally, the Lakers won 11 straight playoff games against the Nuggets from 5/17/85 – 5/19/09, the 2nd longest postseason win streak against one team in NBA history behind the Lakers 12-game win streak versus Seattle from 1980-89. In 48 career regular season games including 39 starts against the Nuggets, Kobe Bryant is averaging 25.5 points. Bryant established the series record for points in a game (51) in February of 2003 but was tied by Allen Iverson in 2007-08 when he scored 51 points in the Lakers 111-107 victory at Pepsi Center on December 14, 2007. Last season, Bryant and Carmelo Anthony both finished in the top 10 in the NBA in scoring for the second straight season, finishing 3rd (26.8 points) and 7th (22.8 points) respectively.

With 2,995 assists and 6,345 rebounds in 715 career games, Lamar Odom is five assists shy of tying Elgin Baylor as the 7th fastest player in NBA history (in terms of games) to total 3,000 assists AND 6,000 rebounds. Already a member of the 10,000 point club, Odom would join Larry Bird (574 games), Chris Webber (667 games), Kevin Garnett (681 games), Oscar Robertson (688 games), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (691 games), Wilt Chamberlain (691 games) and Elgin Baylor (716) as the only players to amass 3,000 assists and 6,000 rebounds in as few as 716 games.


In defeating Charlotte on February 3rd, Phil Jackson established a new franchise record with 534 career victories as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, surpassing Pat Riley’s old mark of 533 regular season victories. The only coach in league history to win better than 70 percent of his games (.707), Jackson ranks 12th all-time in regular season games coached and 1st in playoff games coached (300), won (209) and playoff winning percentage (.697). Last season, Jackson became the fastest coach in NBA history to reach 1,000 career victories, needing 1,423 games to do so, arriving at the mark 11 games earlier than Riley (1,434 career games). Earlier this season, Jackson (1,079) moved past Charlotte Bobcats head coach Larry Brown for 5th on the NBA’s all-time coaching win list with a victory over Detroit (11/17/09). Earning induction in his 1st year of consideration, on September 7, 2007, Jackson was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Owning a record 10 NBA Championships as a head coach, only Jerry Sloan (4th), Pat Riley (3rd), Don Nelson (2nd) and Lenny Wilkens (1st) have more career victories than Jackson while of the top five, Jackson has coached 1,000+ fewer games than Wilkens, 800+ fewer games than Nelson, nearly 500 fewer games than Riley and roughly 400 fewer games than Sloan.

In the first quarter of the Lakers 99-97 victory 2/3 vs. Charlotte, Derek Fisher connected on the 1,000th 3-point field goal of his career. Fisher, who ranks 3rd on the Lakers regular season 3-point FG made list, 2nd on the franchise’s playoff 3FGM list, 3rd in 3FGM in NBA Finals history behind Robert Horry and Michael Jordan and is tied for 6th in NBA Playoff history in 3FGM, became the 56th player in NBA history to record at least 1,000 regular season 3-point field goals in his career. .

With a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1 at Memphis, Kobe Bryant moved past Jerry West (25,192) for first on the Lakers all-time scoring list and 14th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, finishing the game with 44 points (West’s retired number). Bryant (25,213) points, is now 66 points shy of Reggie Miller (25,279) for 13th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list are Alex English (12th/25,613), John Havlicek (11th/26,395) and Dominique Wilkins (10th/26,668).

Less than a month earlier, with 22 points 1/5 vs. Houston, Bryant moved past Patrick Ewing (24,815) for 15th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. In November, with his free throw at the 6:07 mark of the third quarter 11/19 vs. Chicago, Bryant moved past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (24,176) for 2nd on the Lakers all-time franchise scoring list while with 41 points 11/6 vs. Memphis, Bryant moved past Allen Iverson for 16th on the all-time list. Bryant has been steadily moving up the list the last few years and last season alone, passed Charles Barkley (23,757) for 17th, Robert Parish (23,334) for 18th, Adrian Dantley (23,177) for 19th, Elgin Baylor (23,149) for 20th, Clyde Drexler (22,195) for 21st, Gary Payton (21,813) for 22nd and Larry Bird (21,791) for 23rd.

With his 29th point February 1 at Memphis, Kobe Bryant surpassed Jerry West as the Lakers all-time leading scorer. Additionally, having scored all his points with the Lakers, Bryant moved to sixth on the NBA’s franchise career points list. Only five players in league history have scored more points for a single franchise than Bryant.

Friday’s game against the Nuggets is the first of a back-to-back set with Denver and Portland. This season, the Lakers are 9-4 in the first game and 9-4 in the second game of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 20 sets of back-to-back games, the most the team has played in a single season since playing 22 sets of back-to- backs during the 1999-00 campaign. Last year, the Lakers played 19 sets of back-to-backs, going 14-5 in the first game and 14-5 in the second as well. Charlotte, Detroit and Milwaukee lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2009-10 while New Orleans (15) and San Antonio (17) will play the fewest sets this season.


In January, La Gazzetta dello Sport, one of the premier sports journals in the world, named Pau Gasol European Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. The prestigious award was decided on by a panel of judges comprised of players, coaches and basketball journalists. Gasol beat out Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki (2nd), who had won the award five consecutive years from 2002-06, and Toronto’s Hedo Turkoglu (3rd). The first Spanish player to win the award, Gasol joins Arvydas Sabonis (6-time winner), Toni Kukoc (5-time winner), Nowitzki (5-time winner) Drazen Petrovic (4-time winner) and Tony Parker as notable players to have won this award.