Shaw and his coaching staff met with each of the players late last
week and solicited their input on all that troubles them.
"Stress, grieving, whatever it is, if you hold it in it will eat you
up inside," Shaw said. "I thought we aired out a lot of things, and
that clarified for everyone where they stood."
The Nuggets have looked like a different club the past two games. On
Sunday night, point guard Nate Robinson scored 12 of his 21 points
in the fourth quarter, sparking Denver to a 137-115 rout of the Los
Angeles Lakers before a sellout crowd of 18,997 at Staples Center.
"We just found our niche and our energy though we had a tough
month," said Robinson, who scored 15 points Friday when the Nuggets
beat the Memphis Grizzlies to end their skid. "It was just about
that time to turn a new leaf and continue to play like we did
tonight. Hopefully, it will be a snowball effect and we can go
"We just checked each guy's attitude at the door. We just said we
were going to come in and be a more team-oriented team. We did that
Center Timofey Mozgov and point guard Ty Lawson scored 20 points
apiece for Denver. Lawson also recorded 12 assists.
Nuggets forwards Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried each scored 17.
Faried also grabbed 13 rebounds. Guards Randy Foye and Evan Fournier
had 14 and 12, respectively.
"Contributions from everyone," Shaw said.
The Nuggets (16-17) dealt the Lakers their seventh defeat in eight
outings. Los Angeles (14-20) also fell for the fourth time in its
past five home games.
Denver's point total was a season high for a Lakers opponent.
Forward Pau Gasol, the subject of trade rumors, led Los Angeles with
25 points and 10 rebounds.
"It could be my last game (as a Laker), but it's not that's not
something you think about that often," Gasol said. "It could be due
to an injury or trade ... anything like that. I am happy with the
way I am playing. In these last two games, I am giving everything I
have, and that's all I can do."
Los Angeles guard Jodie Meeks had 23 points, while forward Nick
Young finished with 21. Point guard Kendall Marshall compiled a
career-high 17 assists and nine points.
[to top of second column]
A 19-6 run to open the third quarter gave Denver a 79-67
lead. The Lakers rallied, cutting the deficit to 86-80 before a
strip by Lawson led to a dunk by Mozgov. Fournier hit a
3-pointer, and the Nuggets were on top 91-80 with 40.1 seconds
remaining. Denver led 93-83 at the end of the third.
An 11-2 surge in the fourth quarter, capped when Mozgov slammed
home Robinson's alley-oop pass with 9:35 remaining in the game,
allowed the Nuggets to move in front 104-85. The Lakers never
within single digits again.
"We just didn't have that backbone as a team, that grit we need
sometimes in hard times," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said.
"We've got to find that. The second half was just like the air
went out of our team. We didn't fight hard enough, and they got
every rebound and loose ball."
The first half was a back-and-forth affair resulting in 10 lead
changes and the score being tied 14 times. Gasol led all scorers
with 15 first-half points, and the Lakers claimed a 61-60
advantage at intermission.
In addition to being outscored 77-54 in the second half, the
Lakers were outrebounded 58-38 on the night.
The game was the first for Shaw as a head coach in Los Angeles
against his former club. Shaw played four seasons with the
Lakers, three of those clubs winning NBA championships. He also
was an assistant to former Lakers coach Phil Jackson for seven
seasons, earning two more NBA titles.
NOTES: Injured Lakers G Kobe Bryant is practically limited to
riding a stationary bike as he recovers from a fractured left
knee that sidelined him Dec. 17 and expected to keep him out for
at least another three weeks. Bryant held a press conference
before the game, covering a range of topics, including the
possibility of the Lakers trading C/F Pau Gasol. "He does a
phenomenal job of staying composed," Bryant said of Gasol's play
despite the rumors. "He's fine. He's used to it. He knows how to
deal with it." ... Denver coach Brian Shaw said his verbal
altercation with reserve PG Andre Miller last week was blown out
of proportion. ... With PG Kendall Marshall and F Wesley Johnson
getting nods as starters, the Lakers used their 19th starting
lineup in 33 games.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.