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Nuggets take down Lakers
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Ty Lawson took advantage of a sluggish Los Angeles defense, tallying 30 points and 17 assists as the Denver Nuggets topped the Lakers 134-126 in a shootout at Pepsi Center.
Kenneth Faried had a game and season-high 32 points with 13 rebounds for Denver, winners of two straight on the heels of six straight losses. Wilson Chandler added 19 points in the victory.
"Great individual efforts (by) Ty and Kenneth. Great balance in our starting lineup," Denver head coach Brian Shaw said.
Lawson became the first Denver player to post at least 30 points and 15 assists in a game since Allen Iverson had 44 points and 15 dimes on March 17, 2007.
The Nuggets are set to embark on a five-game road trip starting in New Orleans on Sunday.
Pau Gasol scored 27 for the Lakers, who have given up at least 100 points in eight straight tilts. In three consecutive losses, opposing teams are averaging 136.
"We are trying everything we can do," Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I don't know if the air has gone out or we are tired or what the problem is."
Ryan Kelly and Jordan Farmar each had 24 points in reserve roles, while Kendall Marshall dished out 14 assists. The setback guaranteed LA's first losing season since 2004-05.
Denver led by as many as 12 points during the first quarter and owned a 42-35 edge after one.
The Lakers jumped in front on Farmar's driving layup 4:30 into the second period, but in the blink of an eye the Nuggets regained control. Chandler put the finishing touches on a 14-2 flurry with his layup a few minutes later. It was 77-66 at intermission.
Timofey Mozgov's alley-oop from Faried with just over four minutes gone in the third pushed the spread to 88-73. Denver continued to build on its lead during the frame, eventually taking a 23-point lead on Faried's slam from Foye.
LA outscored the Nuggets by nine in the fourth period, but still trailed by double figures until Kelly's free throws with 1:23 remaining. Gasol's dunk with 3.6 ticks to play resulted in the final margin.
Denver scored 77 points in the first half, matching the total output from the Chicago Bulls on Friday in an 85-77 loss to Memphis ... This was the first time the Nuggets scored 110 points through three quarters in franchise history ... Mozgov and Evan Fournier scored 13 points apiece for Denver ... Jodie Meeks netted 16 for the Lakers.
03/08 01:28:08 ET
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