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.
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