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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.