Monday, March 01, 2010
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Lakers beat Nuggets 95-89

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[March 01, 2010]  LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Lamar Odom scored nine of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, Pau Gasol had 15 points and 14 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame an 11-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Denver Nuggets 95-89 on Sunday.

Kobe Bryant was just 3 for 17 from the field, finishing with 14 points and 12 assists. The two-time scoring champion was 1 for 9 during the first three quarters -- the only field goal coming on a layup with 5:37 left in the opening period.

Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points for Denver before fouling out for the second time this season with 2:13 to play and the Nuggets down by four. The loss was their first in three meetings this season with the defending NBA champions, who beat them in last year's Western Conference finals. Denver has blown double-digit leads in nine of its 20 losses this season.


Lakers guard Derek Fisher, who picked up two fouls 57 seconds apart during the first 2 minutes of the game and went to the bench, didn't get his third until he fouled Chauncey Billups behind the 3-point line with 5 1/2 minutes left in the game. Billups made all three free throws to tie the score at 82. But the Nuggets did not make a field goal over the final 4:10, ending their three-game winning streak.

Kenyon Martin missed his first seven shots in his return to the lineup and finished 3 for 11 with six points in 36 minutes. He missed Friday night's 107-102 win over Detroit because of a bruised left knee, the same one that forced him to miss two games earlier this month because of tendinitis.

Ron Artest scored 17 points for the Lakers, who gained a half-game to idle Cleveland in the overall standings and trail the Cavaliers by one game for the league's best record. They lead Denver by 5 1/2 games for the Western Conference lead.

Martin committed three fouls and two turnovers before making his first field goal with 8:37 left in the third quarter to give the Nuggets a 54-50 lead after the Lakers had rallied from a 13-point deficit in the first half.

Bryant received his 11th technical foul of the season with 1:13 left in the first quarter for turning around and yelling at referee Ken Mauer about a non-call while play was going on, after a pass from Odom was slapped away from Bryant by J.R. Smith near the Lakers' basket with Denver leading 25-21.

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Nuggets reserve guard Ty Lawson left the game with 5:53 left in the first half because of a bruised left shoulder.

This was the first meeting in which both teams had their regular starting lineups intact. On Nov. 3 at Denver, the Nuggets ended a six-game winning streak by the Lakers.

In the second meeting on Feb. 5 at Staples Center, Billups compensated for the absence of the injured Anthony by equaling a career high with 39 points in a 126-113 win that snapped an eight-game winning streak by the Lakers.

NOTE: Denver coach George Karl, who missed Thursday's game at Golden State to undergo treatment for throat and neck cancer, doesn't expect to miss another one until March 10 at Minnesota. He also is doubtful for the game at New Orleans two nights later, and possibly another one during Denver's five-game trip at the end of the month. "I'm not going to miss treatments. So when we're on the road during the middle of the week, I'm probably going to miss those games," said Karl, who received good wishes and a warm handshake from Jack Nicholson at courtside. "I'm going to be tough, but I'm not going to be stupid-tough. The radiation and the chemotherapy treatment will get harsher and more difficult in weeks to come, but putting off the treatment would not have made any sense."

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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