Lakers, Nuggets battle in LA

( - The Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers both halted substantial losing streaks on Friday, but only one will leave the Staples Center with a winning streak Sunday night.

The Nuggets dropped eight consecutive until a 111-108 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.

It was an awful situation in Denver. Head coach Brian Shaw suspended veteran guard Andre Miller for two games, then later rescinded the suspension, but both parties agreed Miller would stay away until Jan. 6.

After a bad home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, Shaw met individually with players all day on Thursday. It paid off in victory just 24 hours later.

"It was a feeling we needed to get, especially in light of everything that's been going on with us," Shaw said. "Now we have something we can build on. As easy as it was for us to string together eight losses in a row, if we play the right way, we come with that kind of energy and continue to improve, we can string together eight wins in a row."

Ty Lawson scored 18 points and dished out 12 assists to help Denver. Kenneth Faried and Timofey Mozgov added 16 points apiece and Nate Robinson chipped in 15 points and seven assists for the Nuggets, who also snapped a five-game home losing streak. Denver was 36-5 at home last season.

Randy Foye and Evan Fournier also scored in double figures.

The Nuggets have dropped three straight on the road, but luckily this trip is a short one. After Sunday's tilt with the Lakers, Denver is back home for three straight.

The Lakers ended a six-game slide with Friday's 110-99 home win over the Utah Jazz.

Pau Gasol narrowly missed a triple-double with 23 points, 17 rebounds and eights assists as the Lakers slammed on the brakes of a three-game losing streak at Staples Center.

Kendall Marshall, pressed into duty from the D-League due to so many Lakers point guard injuries, posted career-highs with 20 points, 15 assists and six rebounds and Jodie Meeks added 18 points and six helpers for the Lakers.

"We communicated tonight. I am thankful for the position I'm in. I'm trying to make the best of it. My goal tonight was to win the game. I felt like I was back at Carolina," said Marshall, a former standout guard at North Carolina.

Nick Young (16), Wesley Johnson (11) and Shawne Williams (10) also scored in double figures for a Lakers team which shot 52 percent from the field and almost 42 percent from long range.

The Nuggets beat the Lakers by 13 in Denver on Nov. 13 and have taken four in a row in this series. LA is 3-1 in its last four at home against the Nuggets.