Gameday: Nuggets 126, Lakers 114

GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 26 28 33 27 114
Play by Play Denver Nuggets 29 28 39 30 126

Brewer's 27 points lead Nuggets past Lakers


Posted Dec 26 2012 11:50PM

DENVER (AP) Corey Brewer matched his career high with 27 points and the Denver Nuggets overcame a 40-point effort by Kobe Bryant to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 126-114 on Wednesday night for their seventh straight win at home.

Brewer hit four of his six 3-pointers in the final 12-plus minutes, helping the Nuggets hold off the Lakers, whose five-game winning streak was snapped.

Bryant, who hit 40 points for the 116th time in his career, has scored 30 or more points in 10 straight games.

Kenneth Faried had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Danilo Gallinari added 19 points for Denver. Ty Lawson had 17 points to go with 14 assists, and Andre Iguodala also scored 17 points.

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

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Points Bryant, 40
Rebounds Faried (DEN), 15
Assists Lawson (DEN), 14
Steals Iguodala, 3


Mike D'Antoni:

On allowing a season high of 126 points:
“The first half was the second-chance points. The main thing was that the first half was that we held them to 41 percent shooting in the first half and they got 57 points on the board; they had 17 second-chance points and they ended up with 25 second-chance points. You can’t play a team on the road, time after time, and just stop them and they get the rebound and put it back in. You can’t do it. ”

On whether it was because of hustling or positioning:
“You’ll have to ask them, I don’t know. Whatever it was, we didn’t come up with the ball. So somebody did something and we didn’t do it.”

On the [Dwight] Howard ejection:
“I saw it live but I didn’t see it on tape. They are good at looking at the tape and figuring it out.”

On a late comeback:
“Well they had some nice shots. Corey Brewer was really good tonight and we missed some key, we missed some layups, we missed a three, which might have gotten us over the hump a little bit. You can’t just keep coming back; you can’t just keep letting them score. For whatever reason, they just had legs more than we did. Whether they are younger or faster, I don’t know but we couldn’t keep in front of us.”

On Steve Nash:
“He got in foul trouble in the first half. The first half, I tried to give him one extra minute. And then the second half, he played regular minutes.”

On Kenneth Faried:
“Well, he is one of the best in the league. That’s what he does. You have to give him credit. He was all over the ball; second effort all over the place. I thought we could expend some more energy out there. We could have done a better job. If we had done a better job, we would have been up at the half. When you are up ten, you take threes. They are easier than when you are done five or six. You have to make them so we let them out of the bag. We didn’t play well and we have to go on to the next game.”

Dwight Howard:

On his ejection:
“It was a hard foul. That’s all I know. I’ve been fouled harder than that before and nobody’s ever gotten kicked out of the game for it, but I get penalized for fouling people hard. It’s basketball. ”

On if the game would have been different if he hadn’t been ejected:
“Anything could have happened out there. I don’t think our effort as a team was there tonight. They just played harder than us.”

On giving up second-chance points:
““They ran the floor. We turned the ball over a lot. They were able to capitalize on it.”

On the loss:
“It’s over. There is no need to keep this in our heads. We just need to give a better effort.”

Kobe Bryant:

On Dwight Howard’s foul:
“I think it is the right call. I don’t think it was extensive enough to warrant a one-game suspension. I believe it was a flagrant too.”

On the loss:
“Tonight it just seemed like we were a step slow. It just seemed like we had a wheel stuck in the mud. We played old. They played with a lot of energy. It was like we were in a lower gear all night. It’s a little bit more alarming now because of the way we started the season. We cut the deficit to six points or so but we missed a couple of chippies and they made a couple of big ones. Tonight was just a tough one.”

George Karl:

On the satisfaction of this win:
“It was just good to see us shoot the ball and beat a good team with some confidence. I just think the last couple of games, we have been playing with a little more confidence and more awareness of how to win close games. I thought Ty [Lawson] was sensational. It’s the best he’s played all year. He’s had some cockiness to his handle. We just need him to duplicate that about 45 more times. We’ll give him five or six days off.”

On if he had a star of the game:
“Kenneth [Faried] got us going in the game. His offensive rebounding in the first seven minutes was out of sight. And Kosta [Koufos] had a solid game. JaVale [McGee] gave us good numbers and had some good plays. I sometimes think our big guys don’t get enough credit. Our guys do a good job of piecing 60 or 70 minutes together. [Our big guys] usually put up big numbers as a group.”

On Corey Brewer:
“He and I were chatting before the game on how we lost him last night; probably the worst game of his year and the three ball going in has tremendous karma to it. And his defensive plays and his energy, he energizes us on the perimeter and Kenneth [Faried] energizes us in the middle. We were smart tonight. We did a good job of getting everyone in a good place on almost every possession. In the second half, we scored 70 points against them. That’s a big number.”

On if he thought the Dwight Howard foul was ruled correctly:
“I thought it was. I thought he went intentionally to endanger him [Kenneth Faried]. It looked like he [Kenneth] was pretty stunned after that and I thought it was a good call from where I was. I haven’t looked at the video yet.”

Kenneth Faried:

On total team effort:
“We won. I’m happy. After last night’s performance on Christmas, we wanted to come out and prove a point. The last time we played them [the Lakers] they beat us by a lot. They were laughing and giggling, so we came out to prove a point tonight.”

On physicality of the game, shot taken from Dwight Howard:
““I didn’t really care. He was just mad. I was getting in his head and he couldn’t get the rebound. He wanted to, but I kept getting every rebound. It’s not like I said anything, or talked to him. I just play.”

On inspiration from last night’s loss:
“We are inspired after any loss, and then we come back home. When we come home, the home-crowd gets behind us; these fans are just amazing and it’s just fun to play.”

Corey Brewer:

On second half shooting:
“It was just a matter of time; we stayed confident. We missed a lot of shots that went in-and-out.”

On his third quarter play and effectiveness:
“We were pushing the pace, if you’ve got wide open shots; you’ve got to knock them down.”

p>On feeling it, shooting wise:
“It was just a matter of time; we stayed confident. We missed a lot of shots that went in-and-out.”

On tying his career high in points:
“I didn’t know what my career high in points was. I just shot the ball. No-one was on me, so I was feeling it all night so I just shot the ball.”



Posted Dec 26 2012 2:54AM

It may have taken longer than expected, but the Los Angeles Lakers are finally starting to look like a force to be reckoned with.

The Lakers try to extend their winning streak to six for the first time in two seasons Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets, who've proven nearly unbeatable on their home court. L

os Angeles (14-14) appears to have found it its stride after getting off to a rough start. The Lakers, who've averaged 106.4 points during their run, got back to .500 for the first time since Nov. 30, with a 100-94 victory over New York on Christmas Day.

"Sometimes when you start winning you expect to win," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "You do the right thing. ... I just think we're getting a good shot every time we're down. You do that and good things are going to happen."

Averaging 33.8 points in 12 games this month, Kobe Bryant scored 34 while Dwight Howard had 14 to go along with 12 rebounds for Los Angeles, which outscored the Knicks 46-26 in the paint.

"The last five games we have done a good job of moving the ball and playing together," said Bryant, who's scored at least 30 in nine straight contests. "We continue to compete. We continue to play hard and read the defense and try to make the right plays."

Some of the Lakers' recent success can also be attributed to Steve Nash's return to the court. The two-time league MVP posted season highs of 16 points and 11 assists Tuesday in his second game back after missing 24 due to a fracture in his left leg.

"Well it's a lot," D'Antoni said in regards to Nash being the missing piece. "A point guard like him has that respect. A lot of it is just the credibility that he has built up over the years. And he is good. It just puts everything into perspective and calms everybody down. It gives you the chance to win every night.

"I don't know if he's all of it but he's maybe the last piece that makes it work. There are a lot of pieces that you have to have. A lot of guys are contributing."

Having boarded a flight to Denver shortly after Tuesday afternoon's victory, the Lakers could be a bit more rested for this game than the Nuggets (15-14), who fell 112-100 to the Clippers in the second half of a doubleheader at Staples Center.

Kosta Koufos had a season best-tying 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting and 10 boards for Denver, which took a one-point lead into the second quarter before getting outscored 42-22 over the next 12 minutes.

While the Nuggets have gone 7-13 on the road, they've won eight of nine on their own court - including six straight since falling 98-93 to Miami on Nov. 15. They're also 10-5 against the Lakers in Denver since 2004-05.

Los Angeles, however, has strung together three consecutive victories in this series, taking the only meeting this season 122-103 on Nov. 30. Howard had 28 points and 20 rebounds while Bryant had a season-low 14 points. Bryant is averaging 16.8 points in four games against Denver since the start of last season, compared to 29.1 against everybody else.

Denver leading scorer Danilo Gallinari had a team-best 19 points in the first meeting but was limited to seven points on 1-of-10 shooting against the Clippers.

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 .
  #24 Bryant SF #8 Gallinari  
  #16 GasolPF #35 Faried  
  #12 Howard C #41 Koufos  
  #1 Morris SG #9 Iguodala  
  #10 Nash PG #3 Lawson  

Lakers strong>Steve Blake
(abdominal surgery) is out.
Jordan Hill
(herniated disMarcus Camby) is probable.

Mavericks Ty Lawson
(left achilles) is probable.
Wilson Chandler
(left hip) is out.
Julyan Stone
(right hip) is out.

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

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