Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 3)

Series starts 11/2

Game 1: Wednesday, November 2nd
Lakers99Final
OT
Nuggets97
Game 2: Sunday, November 6th
Nuggets92Final
Lakers112
Game 3: Thursday, April 6th
Lakers108Final
OT
Nuggets110

Nuggets 92

(1-3, 0-2 away)

Lakers 112

(2-1, 1-1 home)

    Coverage: FSW

    6:30 PM ET, November 6, 2005

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 20 24 25 2392
    LAL 34 19 25 34112

    Top Performers

    Den: A. Miller 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    LAL: K. Bryant 37 Pts, 8 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Blk

    Kobe nets 37 as Lakers trounce Nuggets

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Chris Mihm was so ineffective in the Los Angeles Lakers' first two games of the season that he didn't even play in the second half of Game 2.

    He was way, way better Sunday night.

    Kobe Bryant scored 12 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, Mihm had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and the Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets 112-92 Sunday night.

    The game was a rematch of the season-opener four days earlier in Denver, which the Lakers won 99-97 on Bryant's 20-foot jumper with 0.6 seconds remaining in overtime. Bryant scored 33 points in that game and 39 in a 122-112 loss to Phoenix the following night.

    Mihm, who totaled 10 points and three rebounds in the first two games, had 12 points and seven rebounds in the first period to help the Lakers (2-1) take a 34-20 lead.

    The Nuggets weren't closer than five points after that.

    "I think tonight I played hard and smart, which was big for me," Mihm said. "As a team, the guards did a real good job of getting the ball into us. We came out the aggressors and got the job done."

    Lamar Odom added 20 and eight rebounds for the Lakers on his 26th birthday.

    "We feel like we have a team that can do some things defensively and make our opposition extremely uncomfortable, and that is what we try to do," said Bryant, who also had eight rebounds and five assists. "Defense is the key to winning ballgames in this league. It was a good all-around performance by us."

    The Nuggets (1-3) certainly couldn't say the same.

    "Defensively, they had a lot of control. We had no control," Denver coach George Karl said. "We're fine, we're a very good team. The Lakers stole one and kicked us in one. We've just got to start filling in the holes, hopefully staying together and building confidence.

    "The one thing about the first half, we didn't play together. We are going to have to be more team-oriented and aggressive."

    The Lakers shot 51.2 percent and outrebounded the Nuggets 46-32. Denver shot 36.4 percent in the second half and 42.3 percent overall. Both teams committed 20 turnovers.

    "I liked the energy that we had to start the game," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We got it going again in the third quarter and finished with inspirational play."

    Carmelo Anthony led Denver with 21 points and six rebounds. Andre Miller added 20 points and six assists and Kenyon Martin scored 17 points for the Nuggets.

    "We didn't play team basketball," Denver's Earl Boykins said. "Sharing the ball. Making good decisions. We didn't do that tonight."

    Miller made a three-point play to open the scoring in the fourth quarter, drawing the Nuggets within six points. But the Lakers went on a 12-4 run for a 90-76 lead with 8:36 to play. Laron Profit capped the spurt with a 3-pointer -- his only points in the game.

    Bryant scored six points in a span of 33 seconds to make it 102-85 with 4:11 remaining.

    The Lakers outscored the Nuggets 9-2 to begin the third period for a 62-46 lead. It was 76-62 when Anthony made a three-point play and Voshon Lenard added a four-point play 21 seconds later to draw the Nuggets within seven. Los Angeles led 78-69 entering the final period.

    The Lakers led 53-44 at halftime thanks mainly to a 54.1 percent shooting performance and a 20-12 rebounding advantage.

    Bryant scored five straight points to snap a 10-all tie and put the Lakers ahead for good.< ^Notes@: The Lakers have won seven straight games over Denver at Staples Center, and 15 of the last 19 overall against the Nuggets. ... It appears Lakers F Luke Walton will return to action during the team's upcoming four-game road trip, which begins Tuesday night in Atlanta. Walton, who injured his left hamstring Oct. 11 in the preseason opener, returned to practice Friday and said he's doing fine. "There's a chance he'll play by next Friday," Jackson said. ... Karl, suspended for the season's first two games for violating rules that forbid contact with players not eligible for the NBA draft, smiled when asked how he handled his absence. "Very poorly," he replied. "Once game-time came around, it was miserable. I broke a rule, and I hurt my team because of it." Karl returned Friday night, and the Nuggets beat Portland 107-68. They were 0-2 under assistant Scott Brooks.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    DEN
    LAL
    Points 92 112
    FGM-FGA 33-78 (.423) 42-82 (.512)
    3PM-3PA 2-15 (.133) 3-12 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 24-32 (.750) 25-31 (.806)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-32 15-46
    Assists 26 23
    Turnovers 20 20
    Steals 12 9
    Blocks 6 5
    Fast Break Points 7 18
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 20 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 2 20

    Top Performers

    Denver
    Los Angeles
    Andre Miller Miller
    Points: 20
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Kobe Bryant Bryant
    Points: 37
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1