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Lakers Beat Nuggets, 107-97, After Third Quarter Surge

The Los Angeles Lakers used a strong third quarter to propel them over the Denver Nuggets, 107-97, collecting their first regular season win at Pepsi Center in over two years. Pau Gasol and Ron Artest each scored 19 points to lead the Lakers, who won for the ninth time in their last 11 games. Carmelo Anthony, who missed morning shootaround for what was termed "personal reasons," played and scored 23 points, but struggled shooting all night, making 10 of 24 shots, and was greeted with boos from the Denver crowd at various times during the game.

The Lakers had an amazingly balanced scoring attack. They had five players score between 17 and 19 points, each one making over half their field goal attempts:

  • Pau Gasol: 19 points (8-14 FG), 13 rebounds
  • Ron Artest: 19 points (8-12 FG) in 26 minutes
  • Kobe Bryant: 18 points (8-15 FG), six rebounds, seven assists
  • Lamar Odom: 18 points (9-14 FG), 10 rebounds in 31 minutes
  • Andrew Bynum: 17 points (7-11 FG), seven rebounds in 27 minutes

Gasol played 34 minutes, Bryant played 32, and Odom played 31 minutes, the only Lakers to play 30 minutes. The Lakers also have three days off before their next game, hosting Utah on Tuesday night, so they should be a well-rested squad. The Lakers out-rebounded the Nuggets 47-27. The Lakers are 15-8 on the road this season.

For more information on Friday's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.