Nuggets entertain Lakers at Pepsi Center
The Denver Nuggets shoot for a two-day sweep of Los Angeles when they welcome a Lakers team that has struggled on the road this season to the Rocky Mountains.
The Nuggets were in the City of Angels on Thursday and summarily dispatched of the Clippers when Danilo Gallinari went 5-of-5 from behind the arc and scored 21 points, as Denver silenced the streaking Clips, 112-91, at Staples Center.
The Clippers came in 10-2 at home and were riding a four-game winning steak that featured a win in Denver on Sunday. The Nuggets avenged that setback emphatically, taking control by outscoring the Vinny Del Negro's team by 32 points over the second and third quarters.
"In the middle of the second quarter we started to be more aggressive," Gallinari said. "We were able to win the game in the third quarter."
Ty Lawson finished with 18 points and six assists, and Arron Afflalo chipped in 15 points for the victors. Andre Miller, playing in his 1,000th regular season game, added eight points for the Nuggets, who shot 53 percent from the field and 12-of-21 from three-point range.
The Lakers, meanwhile, are just 2-7 on the road as they begin a season-high six-game trek tonight.
Things have been far different in SoCal for the Lakers and Kobe and Company improved to 11-2 as the host on Tuesday when Bryant led six scorers in double figures with 24 points as the Lakers cruised to a 106-73 win over the hapless Bobcats.
Andrew Bynum, named a Western Conference All-Star starter along with Bryant on Thursday, added 20 points and 11 rebounds while rookie Andrew Goudelock chipped in 12 points for Mike Brown's club, which has won two straight and three of four overall.
"We got a lot of good production from our team," said Brown. "Our bench was terrific. Our spacing is a lot better, we're moving the ball."
The Lakers, who are off to their worst start on the road in nine years, will also visit the Jazz, Sixers, Celtics, Knicks and Raptors on the trip.
Denver has won four of its last six regular season games over the Lakers at Pepsi Center. The last one was a 99-90 triumph back on New Year's Day when Bryant scored 16 points to become just the sixth NBA player to reach 28,000 in a career but shot a dismal 6-of-28 from the field.