Just like that, the Los Angeles Lakers' five-game win streak was no more.
Despite 40 points from Kobe Bryant, the Lakers couldn't overcome a barrage of three-pointers and an ejection of Dwight Howard in a 126-114 loss to Denver. Kenneth Faried led six Nuggets in double figures as Denver dropped Los Angeles back under .500.
It was a shootout all the way through as both teams shot nearly 50 percent and hit a combined 23 three-pointers in the game. Corey Brewer came off the bench for Denver to score 27 points, including six threes, overshadowing Bryant's huge night for the Lakers.
The third quarter was the turning point for the game, as Denver dropped 39 points on Los Angeles in the period and the Lakers lost Howard for the night. Howard was assessed a flagrant foul type two after hacking Faried when the latter went up for an offensive rebound, earning an automatic ejection. Howard finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and a block in 27 minutes.
Even with Howard, the Lakers struggled to keep Denver off the glass and deny them second-chance points. The Nuggets collected 48 rebounds, 20 of them offensive, as both Faried and Andre Iguodala double-doubled. No Laker finished in double digits in rebounds.
Bryant's 40 led the way for LA, which also got 15 from Steve Nash and 19 from Pau Gasol, his highest-scoring game since the season opener against Dallas. For Denver, Brewer's 27 was tops, while Faried added 21 and 15 rebounds, Iguodala scored 17, and Ty Lawson double-doubled with 17 points and 14 assists. Denver did most of its damage behind the arc, nailing 12-of-22 three-pointers.
The Lakers return home to host Portland on Dec. 28, and Denver travels to Dallas that same night.