LOS ANGELES – Ty Lawson posted a double-double of 21 points and 10 assists Sunday to help Denver hand the Los Angeles Lakers a third straight NBA defeat, 112-105.
Danilo Gallinari scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Nuggets, draining a big three-pointer with 13.8 seconds remaining to stretch Denver’s lead to 108-102 after Lakers star Kobe Bryant had trimmed the deficit to three points with a three-pointer.
Bryant led the Lakers with 29 points, 18 of them in the fourth quarter. Dwight Howard scored 14 points and tied his career high of 26 rebounds with four blocked shots and Steve Nash added 10 points and 13 assists.
But Bryant said the Lakers had too many defensive lapses and too many mistakes, including 18 turnovers.
“We’ve just got to try to focus on the next one,” Bryant said. “We’ve got to execute better … we’ve got to buckle down and try to minimize mistakes.”
Pau Gasol scored 11 points – all in the first half, and departed in the fourth quarter after an inadvertent elbow to his nose left him bleeding profusely.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he expected the Spaniard to be ready for the Lakers’ next game at Houston on Tuesday.
D’Antoni admitted that the Lakers’ slump – which has seen them fall to 15-18 for the season – increased the pressure on the team.
“So be it,” D’Antoni said. “That’s the way it is and we’ve got to overcome it … We can’t shrug our shoulders or hang our heads. We’ve got to go out and fight as a unit.”
The Nuggets notched their fifth win in seven games. Andre Miller scored 12 points with 10 assists. JaVale McGee added 17 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.