NBA Game Summary - Denver at LA Lakers
(Friday, November 21st)
Final Score: LA Lakers 104, Denver 90
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 29 points to pace the Lakers to their 10th win in 11 games this season, a 104-90 triumph over the Denver Nuggets.
Andrew Bynum contributed 13 points and 13 rebounds as Los Angeles beat Denver for the fifth straight time. Lamar Odom also scored 13, while Pau Gasol had 12 and Trevor Ariza 11.
Bryant, who ended 12-of-18 from the field, had 11 points in the third quarter and didn't play in the fourth with the outcome in hand.
"It's a good start," said Bryant of the team's record, "But it's not what we play for at all. But it means we're on the right track and the important thing is to stay there."
J.R. Smith and Nene led the way for the Nuggets with 18 points apiece. Chauncey Billups added 15 points for Denver, which had a four-game winning streak broken.
"We're still playing good, but we just had a tough night," said Billups. "That team is a really good team. They don't let you do what you want to do and that's what great teams do. They're long, they can play fast, they can play slow, we just had a rough night."
It was a poor offensive night for Carmelo Anthony, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, but shot 5-of-19 from the field.
The Lakers were ahead 67-47 at the half, but the Nuggets made their run in the third quarter. A Dahntay Jones layup had Denver within 71-60 at the midway point, but Bryant's jumper started 10 straight LA points. Ariza's jumper culminated the push, and Bryant had the final bucket of the period for an 88-67 difference.
Denver didn't threaten over the final 12 minutes, never getting the deficit under double digits.
The Lakers surged early, as Jordan Farmar's three-ball expanded the lead to 29-15. It was 35-20 going to the second, and LA continued to pull away. Gasol's jam off a feed from Farmar moved the cushion to 59-32 with 4:26 remaining in the half.
Denver has lost 11 of its last 12 on the road versus the Lakers...Linas Kleiza scored 13 for the Nuggets...This is LA's best start since winning 16 of its first 17 games of the 2001-02 season...Bynum tied his career high with five assists.
11/22 01:56:27 ET