The Lakers (28-30) had won 11 of their last 15 games heading into the game, but Denver (36-22) used a 55.7 percent shooting mark from the field and an incredible 78 points in the paint and 33 fast-break points to put Los Angeles away early.
Ty Lawson had an outstanding game for Denver, putting together a stat line that included 22 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Andre Iguodala had a strong game of his own, with a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Kobe Bryant led the way for the Lakers, scoring 29 points and adding nine assists. L.A. shot well from the field in the loss with a 55.1 percent mark. An abysmal 14-for-31 showing at the free throw line cost them as they fought to climb back into the contest, but the Lakers couldn't muster enough offense to match the red-hot Nuggets.
Denver got contributions from everywhere, as five players scored in double figures. Turnovers cost the Lakers, who committed 12 first-half giveaways in the loss.
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