The Los Angeles Lakers have come away from Colorado with a massive road win against one of their direct rivals for playoff positioning, clinching a 93-89 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. The Lakers have been poor away from home this season, and are now 3-8 on the road following this win.
Kobe Bryant was not at his best, shooting 7-23 of the floor as he scored 20 points, but the Lakers rode their defense, along with an efficient shooting night from Andrew Bynum and a surprising performance by Andrew Goudelock to victory. Paul Gasol only scored 13 points, but shot 5-10 from the field and grabbed 17 boards.
Though Bynum had an excellent game statistically, he made mistakes down the stretch that let the Nuggets back into the game. With the Lakers up by four points, Bynum lost Nene coming out of a timeout and allowed him to score a layup on an inbound play, bringing the Nuggets back within one possession. On the Lakers' next possession, Bynum missed a dunk, then touched the ball out of bounds to give the Nuggets a chance to win or tie the game with their final possession.
Whatever George Karl drew up for that final possession, his team wasn't able to execute it. They ended up settling for an Al Harrington stepback three-point shot, which unsurprisingly missed. Matt Barnes grabbed the defensive rebound and was fouled, then hit both of his free throws to ice the game.