GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 26 38 29 19 112
Play by Play Denver Nuggets 24 35 26 33 118

Nuggets rally to hand Lakers first loss, 118-112

DENVER(AP) Carmelo Anthony had 32 points and 13 rebounds to rally the Denver Nuggets past Los Angeles 118-112 on Thursday night, handing the Lakers their first loss of the season.

Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 34 points and Pau Gasol had 17 points and 20 rebounds for the Lakers, who were trying to win their first nine games for the first time since the 1997-98 season.

Bryant came in needing 17 points to reach 26,000 for his career. He hit the milestone with a 13-foot jumper 49 seconds into the third quarter.

Nene had 18 points and Ty Lawson scored 17 for the Nuggets, who snapped a two-game skid.

Down 105-103, the Nuggets took over. A 3-pointer by J.R. Smith and two baskets by Anthony sparked an 11-0 run that gave Denver the lead for good.

Los Angeles was leading by 10 early in the fourth when the Nuggets rallied behind Lawson. The speedy point guard scored 11 points in a 16-0 run that gave them a 101-95 lead.

Shannon Brown's putback dunk and 3-pointer keyed an 8-0 Lakers spurt that gave the two-time defending NBA champions a 103-101 lead.

The Lakers led by five at halftime but opened a 14-point lead with a 13-2 surge to start the third quarter. Derek Fisher hit a 3-pointer and Bryant scored six quick points to spark the run.

The Nuggets made a run of their own and cut the lead to 79-74 on Al Harrington's 3-pointer. Bryant answered right back with two of his own to push the lead to 85-76 with 4:20 left in the third.

Smith's three-point play got Denver within 89-85 late in the third, but Anthony was called for a loose-ball foul and a technical on Los Angeles' next possession. Bryant hit the free throw and Brown nailed a 3-pointer to give the Lakers a 93-85 lead heading into the fourth.

Bryant struggled from the field in the first half, shooting 4 of 14 for 13 points. He was 11 for 32 for the game.

The teams traded leads throughout the first half. The Lakers finished the second quarter on a 9-4 run to take a 64-59 lead at the break.

Notes: Bryant is the youngest player (32 years, 80 days) in NBA history to reach 26,000 points, besting Wilt Chamberlain by 34 days. ... Lakers F Theo Ratliff sat out with tendinitis in his left knee.

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

26,000 Career points reached by Kobe Bryant with his second jumper of the third quarter, making him the youngest player in NBA history to reach that plateau. Bryant had 13 points in the period and a game-high 34 total.

33 Points conceded by the Lakers in the critical fourth quarter, as the Nuggets enjoyed separate runs of 10-0 and 11-0 to take the game out of L.A.'s grasps despite the visitors leading by as many as 14 points in the third quarter.

29 Three-pointers attempted by the Lakers, far more than Phil Jackson has said he'd prefer.

20 Game-high rebounds for Pau Gasol, who nonetheless appeared to have tired legs particularly late while playing in all but four minutes of the contest. He was uncharacteristically way off offensively, making only 6-of-17 shots.

0 Minutes played in the fourth quarter by Lamar Odom, who was just 1-of-6 from the field through three quarters despite his 12 rebounds.

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Points Bryant 34, 11-32 FG
Rebounds Gasol 20, 5 OFF 15 DEF
Assists Bryant 5
Steals Artest, Gasol, Fisher 2
Blocks Artest 3


Phil Jackson - Lakers Head Coach
"(4th quarter) It sucked. (Why) We just didn't take care of the basketball and we sat back and let them run out. Lawson had some lay-ups, he did some great things for them tonight. He ignited the crowd and this team. (Laker's offense) We were very poor. We got the game within four and there was plenty of time to take that game down another notch and we cranked up a couple threes. We shot one, Ron shot one, and instead of doing some execution we settled for three-point shots and I was not happy with that. They felt like the game was at that level. We kind of got desperation, but we got back in the game with threes. Shannon (Brown) hit a three and put us back in the ball game. Koby got three foul-shots and we are back in the game. It was one of those games where it was run after run after run. I was waiting for our run to catch theirs, but we didn't get it."

Kobe Bryant – Lakers Guard
"They got to the basket pretty quickly; they did a great job of getting in there. We just weren't ready and we got to be ready for the rotation. We have to make it tough for them, like shooting threes instead of getting to the basket. (His part of the offense) I felt like we were in more flow of the offense tonight than we were last game. We were just taking what the defense gives you. When they collapsed, I made plays for others or when they collapse, I shot. (Surprise by Nuggets' momentum) No, that is what they do. We know this team very well. We know what they are capable of doing. Ty Lawson is very good at that, JR obviously is too, so we are not surprised by that. (Melo's game) He played like Melo, that is a bad boy."

Pau Gasol - Lakers Forward/Center
"(Turn of the game, surprised?) Not really. They are very capable of making runs and getting hot, especially here at home. With a small line up they open the floor and they are on more of an attack mode. They made their run and got back into the game and were able to make another run at the end and get a win. (Did offense tonight seem as fluid as it has been) Not really, we weren't executing on getting the shots we would have like to. Our ball movement was ok, it could have been better. Their defense was pretty active and forced us to settle sometimes. Tonight was not a good game for me as far as offensively and I couldn't establish myself as an inside presence as I usually do, so that didn't help."

George Karl – Nuggets Head Coach
"(Is this the best one of the year) It was fun. Played a good team, playing great, the fans got into it and there was intensity to the game. Offensively we were solid. Defensively we were a little better. That tie was huge; I mean the speed and the quickness of the game. The second unit really went small. The speed beat the guys and even though they got a lot of offensive rebounds, it got to be a dominating problem. Melo played solid, did great all night and our job defensively on Gasol and Kobe, we would take that every night. They missed some shots they probably would have made, but I thought at least we kind of messed around with them enough that we didn't have to give up the three-ball."

Carmelo Anthony – Nuggets Forward
"(Bench support) Gary, Ty, JR came out and gave us that spark off the bench tonight. I think that this was by far our bench's best performance thus far in the season. They came in, hit some shots and played some D, got out in the open court and opened that lead for us. (Big run in 2nd half) I think the first half we were trying to figure out what to do with Kobe when he got the ball. The first half we played off of him; he kind of picked us apart. He got what he wanted. That fourth quarter we double-teamed him, put two on the ball, shifted the court on him. We made him see some defense that I have been seeing out there for once. I think that was the big key for us. (Importance of win) It was a big win. Regardless of whether it was early or late in the season, it is a big win for us. We dropped two in a row against Chicago and Indiana. We came back here and got that monkey off our back. The way we bounced back and responded, I am really proud of my team."

Ty Lawson – Nuggets Guard
"(Effort tonight) I was just trying to attack, their back court was a little stagnant and no body was moving too much. I wanted to speed up the game and negate their height. That is what I was trying to do today. (Second unit in 4th) Like I said, I came in and just wanted to push the ball and get everyone involved. We were taking one shot and done, not playing concessive ball. Gary was getting the ball, JR got him involved. So, I was trying to get people the ball. I had a lot of different options and it is tough for the Lakers to guard that. (Pass to JR on three) I just came down and was about to attack, but everyone was late getting down. I saw JR at the top of the key. He is a great shooter. I threw it to him and he knocked it down."



The Los Angeles Lakers turned in possibly their worst performance in their last game, but at least they got a victory.

It was a completely different story for the Denver Nuggets.

The Lakers will try to improve to 9-0 for the second time in their history Thursday night when they visit a Nuggets team that was embarrassed its last time out.

Los Angeles (8-0) matched the 1987-88 team for the second-best start in club history with a lackluster 99-94 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday. Only the 1997-98 Lakers were better, starting 11-0.

Kobe Bryant scored 33 points and Pau Gasol had 18 and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, which was not sharp after coach Phil Jackson canceled practice Monday.

"You want to go back and try and figure out what you can do better," Jackson said. "It's not so much as a stopping point. We're going to have losses, we know this is a long season. We know we are going to have losses.

"So in the process sometimes I tell the team maybe it would have been better if we had lost that game than win it. Because you think you're OK because the end score was OK."

The Lakers' disappointment, though, pales in comparison to how the Nuggets (4-4) felt about their effort Tuesday. Denver fell 144-113 at Indiana, allowing the Pacers to make 20 of 21 shots in a 54-point third quarter.

"Hopefully we will use this to respond well to the Lakers Thursday," coach George Karl said. "This goes in the bad column. But we've had some good also. I'm not going to go negative."

The Lakers and Nuggets met in the Western Conference finals two seasons ago, with Los Angeles winning in six games. Denver won three of four meetings last season, and Bryant and Carmelo Anthony each sat out once.

"They definitely bring their 'A' game whenever they face us," Bryant said.

Bryant did not play well against Denver last season, averaging 22.0 points on 37.5 percent shooting. He shot 29.4 percent and averaged 16.5 points in the two meetings Anthony also played in.

Anthony will try to bounce back after he scored a season-low 13 points on 5-for-15 shooting Tuesday. He averaged 25.7 points on 47.5 percent shooting against the Lakers last season.

"His strength and his quickness," said Bryant when asked to describe Anthony's best attributes. "Strong as a bull and quick as a cat. He can shoot the long ball, shoot the mid-range, he can post up. He can go left, he can go right. He's a complete player."

The Nuggets allowed Indiana to make 16 of 30 3-pointers Tuesday, and that's sure to be a concern two nights later with the Lakers leading the NBA with a 43.5 percentage from beyond the arc.

Los Angeles was outrebounded 54-42 against Minnesota, and expects a similar challenge from Denver's big men.

"They're a physical frontcourt," Gasol said. "They play hard. Obviously at home, they play a little better. I'm sure they are ready to bounce back after the couple of losses that they had. So we have to be ready to go out there and play a tough game."

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

Lakers Andrew Bynum (right knee surgery) is out.
Theo Ratliff
(sore left knee) is probable.
Luke Walton (strained right hamstring) is probable.

Mavs Kenyon Martin (left knee patella tendon) is out.
Chris Anderson
(right knee patella tendon) is out.

11/11 - LAL @ DEN
01/21 - DEN @ LAL
03/01 - LAL @ MIN
03/18 - MIN @ LAL

The Denver Nuggets started this season with the cloud of Carmelo Anthony's future hanging over the organization that was on the brink of the NBA Finals in the Spring of 2009. Consequently, they find themselves at 4-4 and coming off a 144-113 loss at the hands of the Indiana Pacers. When a veteran team loses a game like that and then comes home to play a rival usually they regroup and come out with a strong effort. We fully expect the Nuggets to be ready to play tonight and we know that they have the weapons to be an elite team if or when they want to be.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


The Lakers dropped last season's series with Denver 1-3 after taking the previous season series from the Nuggets 3-1. The two teams have met 143 times in the regular season with the Lakers leading the all-time series 94-49. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 overall regular season meetings with the Nuggets. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 18-3 against the Nuggets all-time and 10-2 in their last 12. In Denver, the Lakers are 3-7 in their last 10 road games at Pepsi Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 25-13 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 50 career regular season games including 41 starts against the Nuggets, Kobe Bryant is averaging 25.4 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, Carmelo Anthony (3rd/28.2) and Bryant (4th/27.0) both finished in the top 10 in the NBA in scoring for the third straight season.

With their victory over Minnesota on November 9th, the Lakers improved to 8-0 for the 3rd time in franchise history dating back to their days in Minneapolis. The Lakers most recent 8-0 start came in 1997-98 when they won 11 straight to open the season before suffering their first loss. This is the first time under head coach Phil Jackson that the Lakers have started a season 8-0 or better. With the Bulls, Jackson opened the season 8-0 once, going 12-0 to start the 1996-97 season. Below are a list of the Lakers longest undefeated streaks to start a season:

1987-88 – 8-0
2001-02 – 7-0
2010-11 – 8-0
1997-98 – 11-0
2008-09 – 7-0

With 33 points in the Lakers November 9th victory over Minnesota, Kobe Bryant moved within 17 points of 26,000 for his career. Should Bryant reach the milestone November 11 at Denver, he would be the youngest to do so in NBA history (32 years, 80 days), surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (32 years, 114 days) and Kareem Abdul- Jabbar (33 years, 331 days). Additionally, Bryant would be the 12th player in NBA history to score 26,000 points and the 8th fastest to do so (1,030) in terms of games, behind Shaquille O'Neal (1,022). Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 26,000, doing so in 734 games. Among the remaining top five scorers in NBA history (Chamberlain and O'Neal already mentioned), Michael Jordan reached 26,000 points in 815 games, Abdul-Jabbar in 925 games and Karl Malone in 997 games.

Last season, with a free throw at the three minute mark of the 2nd quarter January 21st at Cleveland, Kobe Bryant scored his 25,000th career point, becoming the 15th NBA player in league history to do so as well as the youngest ever to reach the milestone at 31 years and 151 days of age. Bryant surpassed Wilt Chamberlain (31 years, 186 days) in terms of youngest to 25,000, with Karl Malone (33 years, 228 days) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 years, 249 days) 3rd and 4th respectively. In terms of games, Bryant (989 games) became the 9th fastest to 25,000 career points, behind Dominique Wilkins (960). Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 25,000 (691 games).

The youngest player in league history to accumulate 16,000 – 20,000 and 23,000 – 25,000 points, Bryant was the 22nd fastest to 16,000, 20th fastest to 17,000, 16th fastest to 18,000, 15th fastest to 19,000, 15th fastest to 20,000, 12th fastest to 21,000, 12th fastest to 22,000, 11th fastest to 23,000, 9th fastest to 24,000 and 9th fastest to 25,000 points in terms of games.

With 30 points from Pau Gasol and 23 points from Kobe Bryant in the Lakers November 5th victory over Toronto, the two became the first pair of teammates to both score at least 20 points in each of their team's first six games of a season since Larry Kenon and George Gervin did so over the first seven games for the 1979-80 San Antonio Spurs. Bryant and Gasol are the first pair of Lakers to do so since Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West scored 20+ points each in their first six games of the 1970-71 season.

In first quarter of the Lakers November 3rd victory at Sacramento, Kobe Bryant passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (37,492) for first on the Lakers all-time minutes played list (regular season). Additionally, in the first quarter of the Lakers November 5th victory over Toronto, Bryant passed Jerry West (9,016 FGM) for 2nd on the franchise's all- time field goals made list (regular season). Abdul-Jabbar ranks 1st in franchise history with 9,935 field goals made. In all, Bryant now ranks 1st or 2nd on the Lakers all- time list in points (1st), games (2nd), minutes (1st), steals (2nd), field goals made & attempted (2nd), free throws made & attempted (2nd), 3-point field goals made & attempted (1st) and free throw % (2nd).

Over the first five games of the season, Lamar Odom shot 35-for-50 (.700) from the field, ranking first in the NBA. The last player to shoot 70% from the field through the first five games of a season (min. 50 FGA) was Charles Barkley, who shot 43-for-60 (.716) over the first five games of the 1991-92 season. The only other time a Lakers player did so was Wilt Chamberlain, who shot 49-of-70 (.700) over the first five games of the 1968-69 season.

With 17 points 11/2 vs. Memphis, Lamar Odom recorded his 11,000th career point, becoming just the 29th player in NBA history to reach 11,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists and the 10th fastest to do so in terms of games. Only Larry Bird (527 games), Chris Webber (667 games), Kevin Garnett (681 games), Oscar Robertson (688 games), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (691 games), Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Elgin Baylor (716 games) Alvan Adams (718 games) and Bill Russell (746 games) reached those totals faster than Odom, who did so in 751 career games.

With their 124-105 victory over Memphis on November 2, the Lakers won in wire-to-wire fashion for the second straight game, after claiming their first wire-to wire victory of the season in a 107-83 victory over Golden State on October 31st. Last year, the Lakers claimed NINE wire-to-wire victories (games in which they never trailed); seven during the regular season and two during the 2010 Playoffs (4/18 & 4/27 vs. Oklahoma City). During their previous championship run in 2008-09, the Lakers claimed 11 wire-to-wire victories; nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29 vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston). Last season, the Lakers also lost twice in wire- to-wire fashion (98-107 1/8/10 @ POR and 75-91 3/26/10 @ OKC).

Through the first four games of the season, Pau Gasol amassed 97 points and 44 rebounds while shooting .533 from the field. Since the Lakers moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960, only four other Lakers had at least 90 points and 40 rebounds while shooting over .500 from the floor over the Lakers' first four games of a season. Gasol joins Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal, who last did it in 2001.

This season, the Lakers are 1-0 in the first game and 1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 15 sets of back-to-back games as opposed to the 20 they faced a season ago. The only other time the Lakers have played 15 or fewer sets of back-to-back games came in the team's first ever NBA season (1948-49) when they also played 15 sets of back-to-backs. Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2010-11 while Oklahoma City (17), Phoenix (16) and the Lakers (15) will play the fewest sets this season.

On November 1, the NBA announced that Pau Gasol had earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors for games played Tuesday, October 26 through Sunday, October 31. The award is the 7th of his career (previous awards came for weeks ending 3/21/10, 2/22/09, 2/8/09, 3/26/06, 3/2/06 and 1/2/05) and 4th as a Laker. One of four Lakers (Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Shaquille O'Neal) to win the award since it became separated by Conference and one of nine to win the weekly honor overall since its inception, Gasol averaged 25.3 points (.525 FG%), 10.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.00 blocks in helping lead Los Angeles to a 3-0 week: 10/26 vs. HOU: 29 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks; 10/29 @ PHX: 21 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks; 10/31 vs. GS: 26 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks.

With the Lakers victory at Phoenix November 29, Phil Jackson became the fastest coach in NBA history to the 1,100 career victories, doing so in his 1,560th regular season NBA game. Of the four other coaches who have amassed at least 1,100 career victories, Pat Riley was previously the fastest to do so, needing 1,639 games. Of the remaining three, Jerry Sloan needed 1,823 games, Don Nelson took 1,931 games and Lenny Wilkens earned career win 1,100 in his 1,996th game on the sidelines.
Jackson (1,106-460), already the fastest coach to 1,000 career victories, established the Lakers franchise record for coaching wins in February of 2010 (534th victory 2/3/10 vs. Charlotte). The only coach in league history to win better than 70 percent of his games (.706), Jackson currently ranks 5th all-time in regular season victories, 12th in regular season games coached, 1st in playoff games coached (323), 1st in playoff games won (225) and 1st in playoff win percentage (.697). Earning induction in his first year of consideration, on September 7, 2007, Jackson was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Owning a record 11 NBA Championships as a head coach, only Jerry Sloan (4th), Pat Riley (3rd), Lenny Wilkens (2nd) and Don Nelson (1st) have more career victories than Jackson. Of the top five, Jackson has coached 900+ fewer games than Wilkens, 800+ fewer games than Nelson, 400+ fewer games than Sloan and 300+ fewer games than Riley.

Entering the Lakers game vs. Denver, Derek Fisher has played in 421 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, second among all active NBA players behind Portland's Andre Miller 621 consecutive games (began season at 612). Additionally, Fisher has started 299 consecutive regular season games dating back to January 15, 2007, tops among all active players by more than 40 games (2nd - Andre Iguodala). Former Laker A.C. Green holds the NBA record for most consecutive games played with 1,192 dating from 11/19/86 – 4/18/01 while a member of the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.

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