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Smith's three-point play got Denver within 89-85 late in the third, but Anthony was called for a loose-ball foul and a technical on Los Angeles' next possession. Bryant hit the free throw and Brown nailed a 3-pointer to give the Lakers a 93-85 lead heading into the fourth.
Bryant struggled from the field in the first half, shooting 4 of 14 for 13 points. He was 11 for 32 for the game.
The teams traded leads throughout the first half. The Lakers finished the second quarter on a 9-4 run to take a 64-59 lead at the break.
NOTES: Bryant is the youngest player (32 years, 80 days) in NBA history to reach 26,000 points, besting Wilt Chamberlain by 34 days. ... Lakers F Theo Ratliff sat out with tendinitis in his left knee.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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