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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.