NBA: Lawson shines as Nuggets down Lakers

January 08, 2013 - 12:12:44 am

Ty Lawson (3) of the Denver Nuggets drives past Steve Nash (10) of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California., yesterday. The Nuggets won 112-105.

LOS ANGELES: Ty Lawson posted a double-double of 21 points and 10 assists yesterday to help Denver hand the Los Angeles Lakers a third straight NBA defeat, 112-105.

Danilo Gallinari scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Nuggets, draining a big three-pointer with 13.8 seconds remaining to stretch Denver’s lead to 108-102 after Lakers star Kobe Bryant had trimmed the deficit to three points with a three-pointer.

Bryant led the Lakers with 29 points, 18 of them in the fourth quarter. 

Dwight Howard scored 14 points and tied his career high of 26 rebounds with four blocked shots and Steve Nash added 10 points and 13 assists.

But Bryant said the Lakers had too many defensive lapses and too many mistakes, including 18 turnovers.

“We’ve just got to try to focus on the next one,” Bryant said. “We’ve got to execute better ... we’ve got to buckle down and try to minimise mistakes.”

Pau Gasol scored 11 points -- all in the first half, and departed in the fourth quarter after an inadvertent elbow to his nose left him bleeding profusely.

Denver coach George Karl admitted his team will not be ‘overinflated’ despite the win over Lakers.

“They’re struggling,’’ Denver coach George Karl said. “It’s a great win for us, but I’m not going to get overinflated,’’ he said after yesterday’s win at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

(We’re) a good team, and it’s getting better,’’ Karl said. “I just don’t want to get too crazy with it,’’ he added.

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he expected the Spaniard to be ready for the Lakers’ next game at Houston today. D’Antoni admitted that the Lakers’ slump -- which has seen them fall to 15-18 for the season -- increased the pressure on the team.

“So be it,” D’Antoni said. “That’s the way it is and we’ve got to overcome it ... We can’t shrug our shoulders or hang our heads. We’ve got to go out and fight as a unit.”

The Nuggets notched their fifth win in seven games. Andre Miller scored 12 points with 10 assists. JaVale McGee added 17 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.