GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Denver Nuggets 21 20 27 21 89
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 23 21 28 21 93

Bynum, Bryant lead Lakers past Nuggets 93-89


Posted Feb 03 2012 10:31PM

DENVER (AP) Andrew Bynum scored 22 points, Kobe Bryant added 20 and the Los Angeles Lakers opened a season-high six-game trip with a 93-89 victory over the weary Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

Al Harrington missed a 3-point attempt with 2 seconds left that would have put Denver ahead.

Pau Gasol added 14 points and 17 rebounds for the Lakers, who won for the third time in 10 road games this season and prevailed in Denver for only the second time in their last seven trips to the Pepsi Center.

The Lakers took control after Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov rolled his left ankle while scoring a bucket early in the second half. He was helped to the locker room by Chris Andersen and Julyan Stone without putting any pressure on his left foot and didn't return. The Nuggets said X-rays were negative.

Two minutes later, Denver's leading scorer, Danilo Gallinari, was accidentally poked in his left eye by Metta World Peace and retreated to the locker room for a few minutes to replace his contact while the Lakers put the finishing touches on a 10-2 run.

Gallinari was held to six points on 1-of-9 shooting and watched from the bench for the final 6 minutes as the Nuggets turned to their deep and balanced bench. Harrington, who led Denver with 24 points, hit back-to-back 3-pointers that got them to 84-83 with 4 minutes remaining.

It stayed tight until the final minute, and Nene's slam with 28 seconds left cut the Lakers' lead to 91-89.

Bynum missed a dunk with 11 seconds left, and after the officials reviewed the tape, they overturned their initial ruling that the ball went off a Nuggets player and out of bounds.

As Andre Miller was about to inbound the ball, the Nuggets called a full timeout. Miller then got the ball in to Ly Lawson, who passed to Harrington, whose long-range attempt was off the mark.

Matt Barnes was fouled on the rebound and sank two free throws with two-tenths of a second left.

Usually, it's the Lakers who are wearied after flying into Denver on the red-eye after playing the night before in L.A., and the Nuggets who are well-rested.

Not this time.

The Lakers were hunkered down in snowy Denver Thursday night while the Nuggets were beating the Clippers by 21 points at the Staples Center and then flying back to Denver, which was getting hit by a storm that dumped more than a foot on snow on the Mile High City.

It showed as the Lakers negated the Nuggets' superior speed by getting back on defense often enough to keep the game from turning into a track meet.

Behind Bynum's 15 first-half points, the Lakers took a 44-41 lead into the locker room after stifling both Denver's fast-break and Gallinari, who averages 17.5 points but scored just two in the first half, on free throws in the final minute.

It was noted before the game that Nuggets coach George Karl finally had a roster with enough big men to match up to the Lakers' size, but he said he wanted nothing to do with a matchup like that.

"This team goes to the post as much as anybody in basketball. I don't want to try to beat them power vs. power, I want to go speed. I want pace vs. power," Karl said. "We're always going to try to outrun them."

The Nuggets took their first lead, at 47-46, on Gallinari's 3-pointer with 10:34 left in the third quarter, and a half-minute later Mozgov went up for a bucket that made it 49-46 and immediately hit the floor in excruciating pain as the Pepsi Center got quiet. He was replaced by Harrington.

When Gallinari went out, he was replaced by forward Corey Brewer, and Bryant capitalized with six quick points until Gallinari returned to the floor. The Lakers used a 10-2 spurt to take control at 56-51 and they never trailed again.

The game finally turned up-tempo late in the third quarter, but the Nuggets didn't ever regain the lead.

Notes: Brown said he didn't think PG Steve Blake would play on the Lakers' trip. He is out with broken cartilage in his ribs. ... Brewer returned to action after missing the Clippers game to deal with a personal issue.

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

View More Photos

Points Bynum 22, 10-13 FG
Rebounds Gasol 17, 3 OFF 14 DEF
Assists Bryant 9
Steals Bryant/Fisher 2
Blocks Bynum 3


Mike Brown:

On winning the game late:

“We made it tough on ourselves down the stretch. The missed call was tough to swallow. We didn’t execute well but we got a clean dunk but didn’t get the call. It was tough to watch. It was good to get a win; we found a way to grind it out. Give our guys credit for hanging in there and for finding a way to win. It is what it is. We found a way to win and I’ll take that everyday. We did some good things. We tried to control the tempo offensively.”

Derek Fisher:

On getting better defensively:

“We’re getting there, we’re communicating and trying to trust each other on the defensive end. Like I said, if we straighten out some execution things on the offensive side I think our defense will actually get better. We’re having some bad possessions at times which makes it even harder to play really good defense at times. When you think about what we’re doing on the defensive end and in terms of points per game we’re really holding teams down so as we good better offensively we believe we can improve on the defensive end.”

Kobe Bryant:

On if this win means anything:

“Yeah, we just tried to grind it out and keep the tempo up.”

On what it say about the Lakers getting a road win against a top team:

“It says a lot. We did a really good job of spacing. I didn’t shoot the ball particularly well but my teammates did. We are doing a great job of recognizing traps and double teams.”

On Andrew Goudelock’s play:

“He’s found his niche. He comes in off the bench and he lights it up.”

On what was working for him offensively in the second half:

“Just being more aggressive. I had some shots, easy shots that I missed that were all perimeter shots. The second half I got to below the free-throw line a little bit started being a little bit more assertive in terms of establishing my post.

George Karl:

On if the last play was designed to be a three:

“The last play was to try and get Ty [Lawson] in the gap and find the three if it came open or try and find Nene under the defense.”

On if he thought Al Harrington’s three was a good look:

“For an end of the game situation against a good defensive team he got a fair release. I wouldn’t call it a great shot. I’d like better, I would have liked to have gone quicker. I would have liked to have gone to the rim in four or five seconds. [Derek] Fisher has been there a lot of times. He made a good defensive play and Ty didn’t give it a second attempt. The play before that broke open very well and the last play didn’t open very well.”

On defending Andrew Bynum:

“I thought our start was poor. We gave up many more paint-points than we should have to a team that doesn’t make a lot of shots. I thought as the game went on we got better control, better feel. He’s just a big horse, a big tree. I thought our double teams and triple teams at times were very effective. The only time I thought our defense wasn’t in a good place was in the third quarter. I thought the third quarter was, to me, a weird quarter for us. We scored with them we just didn’t stop them. We never got our flow and our attitude and our rhythm in the game. We weren’t half court but we weren’t running either then I thought the two possessions where we had good opportunities in the last minute or two minutes of the game we didn’t get anything done.”

Al Harrington:

On who takes the last shot and will it be a big topic of discussion:

“Probably, but it is what it is. We are a team so we win as a team, lose as a team and like I said it will vary in those situations of who that guy is going to be.”

On confidence in his final shot:

“It was for Ty [Lawson] first to tie the game. We tried to use his quickness on [Derek] Fisher and I was the last option on a kickback. We were hoping to kickback to me wide open but [Metta World Peace] was there and then it was just a one-on-one play at that point.”

Ty Lawson:

On Derek Fisher’s defense on the last play:

“He played great defense. I had to go to the second option when I saw Al [Harrington]. He had a good shot with a step back and it almost went in. He hit two big three’s and went to the basket so he had a hot hand and we definitely wanted to give him the ball.”

On not being able to get over the hump in game:

“Every time we came out and made a push Kobe [Bryant] would make a shot, a pass or get fouled. We tried to push through it but we came up short.”

Lakers-Nuggets Preview


Posted Feb 02 2012 11:44PM

The Los Angeles Lakers have done a nice job taking care of business at home.

That hasn't been the case on the road.

The Lakers begin a season-high six-game trip Friday night when they face a Denver Nuggets team coming off an impressive victory in Los Angeles.

With Tuesday's 106-73 rout over league-worst Charlotte, Los Angeles (13-9) improved to 11-2 at home. The Lakers, though, are off to their worst road start in nine years with a 2-7 record.

"I'm excited to get on the road and play," said Kobe Bryant, the league leader with 30.0 points per game. "I'm extremely confident that we'll play much better."

Lakers coach Mike Brown hopes that means a better effort on the boards. Despite having two of the NBA's better rebounders in Andrew Bynum (12.1 per game) and Pau Gasol (9.5), Los Angeles has been outrebounded by eight or more three times while losing four of five on the road.

"There are a handful of things we've got to do better on the road," said Brown, whose team plays three games in four nights. "As of late, it's been rebounding, but it also has to do with execution too."

That definitely didn't happen in the Lakers' last visit to Denver, where they committed 15 turnovers, missed 19 of 23 from 3-point range and shot 39.8 percent in a 99-90 New Year's Day defeat.

Bryant scored 16 points in that game to become the sixth player to reach 28,000, but he missed 22 of 28 shots. It was the fewest field goals made in his career with at least 26 attempts.

The Nuggets (15-7), meanwhile, will try to win for the sixth time in the Lakers' last seven visits as they continue their second back-to-back-to-back set of games this season. Denver avoided a season-high third consecutive loss Thursday with a 112-91 victory at the Pacific Division-leading Clippers.

The Nuggets are scoring a league-best 105.7 points per game, but they can also play a little defense. They held the Clippers - the NBA's fourth highest-scoring team - to 59 points the final three quarters after falling behind by 13.

Denver is 13-3 when holding opponents below 105 points.

"When we come out with this type of energy on the defensive end, it's tough to catch us," said Danilo Gallinari, who hit a season-high five 3s and scored 21 points.

The Lakers lead the NBA in field goal defense at 41.4 percent, but the Nuggets have six players averaging at least 11.1 points, led by Gallinari's 17.5 per contest.

Los Angeles has far less balance, with Bryant accounting for 32.0 percent of its offense. However, the Lakers have received a nice boost off the bench from rookie point guard Andrew Goudelock, who is averaging 11.5 points over the last four games.

"We got a lot of shooters on this team, with our second group especially," Goudelock said. "They can stretch out the floor with Troy Murphy and (Jason) Kapono obviously, and we got Bynum down low, so they can't really double team because if they do, they really have to pick their poison."

Bynum, named an All-Star starter Thursday along with Bryant, leads the Lakers with 47 points and 29 rebounds in two games versus Denver in 2011-12.

Making his season debut after serving a four-game suspension for knocking down Dallas' J.J. Barea in last year's playoffs, Bynum totaled 29 points and 13 boards in a 92-89 win over the visiting Nuggets on Dec. 31.

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 Gasol PF #31 Nene  
  #17 Bynum C #25 Mozgov  
  #24 Bryant SG #6 Afflalo  
  #2 Fisher PG #3 Lawson  

Lakers Kobe Bryant
(torn lunotriquetral ligament, right wrist) is probable.
Josh McRoberts
(sprained left big toe and left thumb) is probable.
Steve Blake
(costochaondral fracture) is out.

DeMarre Carroll
(left hamstring strain) day-to-day

Game 1: 12/31 - DEN @ LAL W 92-89
Game 2: 01/01 - LAL @ DEN L 99-90
Game 3: 02/03 - LAL @ DEN
Game 4: 04/13 - DEN @ LAL


The Lakers and Nuggets have split their first two meetings this season (1-1) with two meetings still remaining. The Lakers dropped last season’s series to Denver (1-2) as well as the 2009-10 series (1-3), marking only the second time the Lakers have lost consecutive season series to the Nuggets (1977-78, 1978-79). The two teams have met 148 times in the regular season with the Lakers leading the all-time series 96-52. The Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 regular season meetings with the Nuggets. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 19-4 against the Nuggets all-time (7-3 in their last 10). In Denver, the Lakers are 3-7 in their last 10 road games at Pepsi Center. 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 55 career regular season games including 46 starts against the Nuggets, Kobe Bryant is averaging 25.3 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. Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo attended high school locally at Compton Centennial and played collegiately at UCLA while Denver guard Rudy Fernandez played for Spain internationally along with Pau Gasol. Fernandez was on the 2008 Olympic silver medal team with Gasol while both also played together on the gold medal winning Spanish 2006 FIBA World Championships team. Nuggets head coach George Karl (senior) and Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak (freshman) played one season together at the University of North Carolina (1972-73).

On Thursday, February 2nd, the Lakers headed to Denver, embarking on their annual Grammy’s Trip. Since STAPLES Center opened prior to the 1999-2000 season, the venue has been host to the Grammy Awards each winter, with the exception of the 2003 Grammy Awards, which were held at Madison Square Garden

1999-2000 6-game 6-0 2/15 - 2/23
2000-01 6-game 4-2 2/13 - 2/21
2001-02 5-game 4-1 2/21 - 2/27
2002-03 Grammy Awards Held at Madison Square Garden
2003-04 7-game 4-3 2/1 - 2/11
2004-05 5-game 1-4 2/6 - 2/13
2005-06 7-game 2-5 1/29 - 2/8
2006-07 8-game 3-5 1/30 - 2/11
2007-08 9-game 7-2 1/31 - 2/13
2008-09 6-game 6-0 1/30 - 2/8
2009-10 8-game 5-3 1/21 - 2/1
2010-11 7-game 4-3 2/5 - 2/16

Last season, Kobe Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Moses Malone (27,409) 3/8/11 at Atlanta, Elvin Hayes (27,313) 2/27/11 at Oklahoma City, Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) 1/28/11 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7/11 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4/11 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at Chicago on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant (28,527) are Shaquille O’Neal (5th/28,596), Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419), Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292), Karl Malone (2nd/36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st/38,387). Among the top six scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform.

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. In 2009-10, he passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West’s retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).

Leading for all but 26 seconds of their January 29th victory at Minnesota, the Lakers managed their second road win of the season despite not recording a single steal for only the second time in franchise history. The only other game in which the Lakers did not record a steal came in a January 7, 2005 victory over Houston (111-104). Since the steals statistic began being compiled prior to the 1973-74 season, this was the 47th time a team has not recorded a single steal in a game. With the lack of steals, the Lakers saw the Timberwolves match an opponent franchise record for fewest turnovers in a game (4), originally established in a 108-114 loss 114 loss 12/21/01 at Memphis.

With a free throw at the 6:34 mark in the third quarter 1/28/12 at Milwaukee, Kobe Bryant surpassed Jerry West (7,160 FTM) as the Lakers franchise leader in free throws made. The following night, on a driving reverse layup with 4:52 remaining in the first half 1/29/12 at Minnesota, Bryant passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (9,935 FGM) as the franchise leader in field goals made. Bryant now holds Lakers franchise records for points, field goals made and attempted, free throws made, three-point field goals made and attempted, games played and minutes played while ranking second in steals and free throws attempted and third in assists.

Having gone 7-6 over a 13-game span from 1/5 at Portland thru 1/28 at Milwaukee, the common denominator in each contest, win or lose, was that the Lakers scored fewer than 100 points. The 13-game run of sub 100-point scoring games is the longest streak in franchise history since the introduction of the shot clock prior to the 1954-55 season. Prior to the aforementioned streak, the Lakers scored fewer than 100 points in 12 consecutive games during the 2003-04 season when Los Angeles went 12 games from 1/12/04 - 2/2/04 without hitting triple digits; the Lakers went 6-6 during the stretch of games, eventually scoring 111 points in a 111-106 overtime victory 2/4/04 at Cleveland. The Lakers finished that season with a 98.2 point per game scoring average while limiting their opponents to 94.3 points per game, ultimately winning the West before falling to the Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals. The 98.2 ppg scoring average is the lowest for a Lakers team in the Los Angeles era. In the shot clock era, only the 1954-55 Lakers have averaged fewer points per game in a season (95.6 ppg). Additionally, the only other Lakers 10-game run without scoring at least 100 points in a game came in 2002 (11/3/02 – 11/22/02), with the Lakers going 3-7 during that stretch.

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