DENVER - NOVEMBER 11: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers tries to drive between Arron Afflalo #6 and Chauncey Billups #1 of the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on November 11 2010 in Denver Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this Photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Three-Happy Lakers Get First Loss Of Season After 4th Quarter Run By Nuggets

The Lakers have lost four straight regular season games in Denver.

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Lakers Fall To Nuggets, 118-112, Get First Loss Of Season

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony finished with 32 points and 13 rebounds, as the Denver Nuggets dominated the fourth quarter to hand the Los Angeles Lakers their first loss of the season, 118-112. Ty Lawson added 17 points off the bench, including 11 in a key run early in the fourth that put the Nuggets on top. Denver outscored the Lakers by a 33-19 margin in the final period.

Nene ended with 18 points for the Nuggets, who snapped a two-game slide.

Kobe Bryant had 34 points to pace the Lakers, who were looking to improve to 9-0 for just the second time in their history. But their loss leaves just one undefeated team in the NBA, the 7-0 New Orleans Hornets. Pau Gasol added 20 rebounds and 17 points in the setback.

With the Lakers ahead by 10 early in the fourth quarter, Lawson drove for a layup to start a 16-0 run. Lawson then scored the final seven points of the rally, including a three with 7:39 left that had Denver up by a 101-95 score.

Los Angeles countered with the next eight points to go back in front, and held a 105-103 edge after Shannon Brown got a reverse layup to fall with 4:52 remaining.

However, the Nuggets unleashed another run, this one powered by Anthony. He had six points in the 11-0 stretch, including a turnaround jumper from the right side with 2:51 left.

After Bryant couldn't get a layup to drop in at the other end, Arron Afflalo drained a step-back jumper along the left baseline, ending the run for a 114-105 lead.

Bryant poured in the next five points, getting the Lakers within two possessions with 1:27 left. But neither team could make a shot on their next few touches, and free throws from Chauncey Billups and Anthony secured the win.

Los Angeles held a 26-24 edge after a tight first quarter, and was up 64-59 at the break. The Lakers led by as many as 14 in the third, before taking a 93-85 advantage to the fourth.

This was the first meeting between the teams this season. Denver won three of four in 2009-10...Brown had 19 points off the bench for LA, while Ron Artest scored 18...The Lakers shot 40.8 percent, and made just 9-of-29 three-point tries...Denver, which got 15 points from Billups, shot 48.9 percent from the field.

For more Lakers news, analysis, and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers 64, Nuggets 59 At Halftime: Kobe Bryant Closing In On Record

In a half that saw several runs by both teams, the Los Angeles Lakers lead the Denver Nuggets at halftime, 64-59 Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 15 points in the first half. Kobe Bryant scored 13 points for the Lakers, leaving him just four points shy of becoming the youngest player in NBA history to score 26,000 points. Ron Artest lead the Lakers in scoring, with 14 points.

The Lakers, who shot a combined 33.6% in their last three regular season games in Denver -- all losses -- shot 44% in the first half. After making eight of 22 shots in the first quarter (36.4%), the Lakers shot 50% (14-for-28) in the second quarter.The Lakers had separate runs of 9-0, 7-0, 7-0, and 7-0 in the first half.

The highlight of the half was a steal by Shannon Brown followed by Brown going coast to coast, beating and then hiding the ball from Josh Smith as he went dunked the ball to give the Lakers a 31-30 lead. That play sparked a 9-0 run by the Lakers. The Lakers bench provided quite a boost on the offensive end, scoring 18 points, led by Brown and Matt Barnes. However, the Nuggets went on a 12-0 run of their own, mostly without Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom in the game to protect the middle.

For more Lakers news, analysis, and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Nuggets: Shooting Has Been A Problem For Lakers In Denver

Not only are the Los Angeles Lakers looking to remain undefeated on the season tonight, but they are also looking to snap a three-game losing streak in Denver. Here's a look at the last three losses the two-time defending champs have had in Denver:

April 8, 2010: Nuggets 98, Lakers 96

Kobe Bryant didn't play, but the Lakers managed a one-point lead at the end of three quarters. The Lakers shot 36.6% on the night, with an effective field goal percentage of 41.5%.

November 13, 2009: Nuggets 105, Lakers 79

The Lakers also played their ninth game last season in Denver, but they were only 7-1 entering this game. Shooting 34.8% from the field, with an effective field goal percentage of 38.8%, quickly dropped the Lakers to 7-2 with a 26-point drubbing. The Lakers were somehow able to regroup and secure the best record in the conference, en route to the NBA title.

February 27, 2009: Nuggets 90, Lakers 79

Stop me if you've heard this before, but the Lakers shot poorly in Denver. This game was particularly bad, as the Lakers shot 29.8% from the field. It was the second-lowest field goal percentage since the 1986-1987 season, the first year for which full game logs are available. The Lakers managed to shoot 29.4% in Utah in November 2004.

That's three losses in three games in Denver, during which the Lakers shot a combined 33.6% from the field. Call me crazy, but the Lakers ought to shoot better tonight, especially against a team that just allowed 20-of-21 in a single quarter, if they want to win tonight to break one streak and keep another one alive.

For more Lakers news, analysis, and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Nuggets: Probable Starting Lineups & Injury Report

The Los Angeles Lakers look to start the season 9-0 for the second time in franchise history tonight, as they battle the Nuggets at Pepsi Center in Denver. The Lakers have started 9-0 only once in franchise history, when they began the season 11-0. Sure, the Lakers have been without center Andrew Bynum as he recovers from knee surgery, but for the most part they have blessed with good health in the early going this season. They have had the same starting lineup for each game, something that is not expected to change tonight in Denver.

Here are the probable starting lineups and injury reports for both teams:

Lakers

Point Guard: Derek Fisher

Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant

Small Forward: Ron Artest

Power Forward: Lamar Odom

Center: Pau Gasol

Theo Ratliff (sore left knee) and Luke Walton (strained right hamstring) are both listed as probable, and both will likely play. Rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter have taken turns as the other inactive player (aside from the injured Bynum) in the last three games.

Denver

Point Guard: Chauncey Billups

Shooting Guard: Arron Afflalo

Small Forward: Carmelo Anthony

Power Forward: Shelden Williams

Center: Nene

Both Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen have yet to play this season, and are out indefinitely as they recover from their respective knee surgeries.

The Lakers, at 41-31 all-time, are the only team that has a winning record against the Nuggets in the city of Denver. The Nuggets have won 50 straight regular season games at home in which they entered the 4th quarter with a lead.

For more Lakers news, analysis, and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Nuggets: Kobe Bryant To Become Fastest To 26,000 Points In NBA History

In addition to being part of an undefeated start for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant has had quite an eventful early part of the season. In the first eight games Bryant, who entered the season already as the most prolific scorer in Lakers franchise history, has surpassed the following milestones this season:

Tonight, Bryant has a chance to achieve another milestone. With 17 points, Kobe will become the youngest player in NBA history with 26,000 career points. Kobe would be the 12th player in NBA history with 26,000 career points.

Fastest To 26,000 Points in NBA History
Player Age
Kobe Bryant 32 years, 80 days*
Wilt Chamberlain
32 years, 114 days
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar   
33 years, 331 days

*Kobe's age today.

For more Lakers news, analysis, and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Undefeated Lakers Travel To Denver To Battle Nuggets

The Los Angeles Lakers look to run their record to 9-0 tonight, but will face a tough task facing the Nuggets at Pepsi Center in Denver. The Lakers have lost their last three games in Denver, and are 3-7 in their last 10 regular season games in the Mile High City. Then again, the Lakers are also 4-1 in Denver in the postseason over the last three years.

The Lakers are coming off an ugly win against the Timberwolves on Tuesday night, a 99-94 victory that saw the Lakers give up a whopping 26 offensive rebounds to Minnesota. Even in the win, guard Derek Fisher wasn't satisfied, per ESPN:

"The way we played tonight was irresponsible and it was reckless and it was disrespectful," Fisher said. "I can't get any clearer than that. There was an air of complacency, of arrogance, of 'we don't have to play as hard as the other team to win' that I didn't like tonight."

If Fisher was mad about a win, just think how angry he would be if he were on the Nuggets, who got blitzed by the Indiana Pacers, 144-113. The Nuggets gave up 54 points in the third quarter, the fourth-most points ever scored on one quarter in NBA history. The Pacers made their first 20 shots of the third quarter, only denied a perfect shooting period by a last-second miss by Josh McRoberts.

The Lakers have only played two of their first eight games on the road this season, winning 114-106 in Phoenix on October 29, and beating the Kings 112-100 on November 3. The Lakers do have a three-game road trip next week.

The Lakers have only been 9-0 one time in franchise history. They began the 1997-1998 season with 11 straight wins. Tonight's game will be televised exclusively by TNT. Marv Albert, Mike Fratello, and Steve Kerr will broadcast the game.

For more Lakers news, analysis, and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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