Andrew Bynum was strong in his return for the Los Angeles Lakers, scoring 29 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, and blocking two shots in 32 minutes, leading the Lakers to a 92-89 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday afternoon at Staples Center. Bynum had a key block immediately followed by the go-ahead layup with 1:52 remaining in the game.
The Lakers trailed 89-84 with 3:40 remaining, but scored the final eight points of the game for their third straight win. Danilo Gallinari had a breakaway layup with less than two seconds remaining that would have tied the game for the Nuggets, but he missed it.
Al Harrington led Denver with 21 points off the bench. Harrington single-handedly outscored the Lakers' bench, who put up 16 points against the Nuggets two days after scoring 40 against the New York Knicks. Harrington missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied it.
Kobe Bryant nearly had a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists, but didn't play particularly well, especially in the final minute with a turnover and an ill-advised three-point attempt.
The Lakers had success going inside all game, as Bynum and Pau Gasol combined to make 20 of 28 from the field (71.4%) and the Lakers had a 50-36 rebound advantage over Denver. But the Lakers couldn't buy a bucket from outside, as they made just two of 24 three-pointers (8.3%).
The Lakers head to Denver to battle the Nuggets again on Sunday night to complete their home-and-home series.
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