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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, January 6th (All times Eastern)
Denver Nuggets (19-16) at Los Angeles Lakers (15-17), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers will try to halt a two-game losing slide on Sunday night when they welcome the Denver Nuggets to the Staples Center.
The Lakers lost a "road" game to their fellow Staples Center residents, the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. They also fell to the Philadelphia 76ers on New Year's Day.
It was after the Sixers loss Kobe Bryant said his team was "old as (expletive)." He's doing his part. Bryant leads the NBA in scoring and posted 38 points and five steals on Friday against the Clippers.
Dwight Howard was fantastic as well with 21 points and 15 rebounds. He fouled out, as did Metta World Peace, who did not enjoy a strong game against his fellow Los Angeles players.
World Peace, who returned to the starting lineup, and Pau Gasol combined for four points on 2-of-12 shooting.
The Clippers built a 16-point lead after the third quarter, but the Lakers won the final quarter by 11. There was too much Chris Paul late and the Lakers slid two games below .500.
"Moral victories right now aren't good," said head coach Mike D'Antoni. "We did come back, Kobe had a great game, but it wasn't enough."
The Nuggets have won four of their last six, including a 110-91 victory Saturday night, at home, over the Utah Jazz. Denver's starting unit was fantastic with Danilo Gallinari leading the way with 27 points.
Kenneth Faried had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Andre Iguodala netted 18 and Ty Lawson 14.
Nuggets head coach George Karl was able to rest some of his key rotation guys in the fourth quarter with a huge lead. It was an impressive rebound performance after a disappointing home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night.
"It was good for us to not only just get the win, but to get the win and give us some confidence going into (Sunday)," Iguodala said. "It might be a really important game for us to get a good start. (The Lakers) will be waiting for us and they've been struggling, so we know they want to play well, especially at home."
The Nuggets will be playing their NBA-leading 23rd road game on Sunday. They are 8-14 away from home.
The two teams split their two games this season with each winning on their home court. The Nuggets have lost three straight and four of five to the Lakers in Los Angeles.
01/06 10:32:30 ET