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Inactives for Tonight’s Game
Lakers: Trevor Ariza, Andrew Bynum, Chris Mihm
Nuggets: Chucky Atkins
12:00 It looks like the fans in attendance tonight listened to the Lakers after Kobe Bryant and other teammates chastised Thursday night’s crowd for booing Kwame Brown heavily in the team’s loss to Phoenix; Kwame just got a nice ovation from the crowd during introductions, with nary a boo bird in sight.
10:20 Derek Fisher finally scores the Lakers’ first field goal of the night–a deep corner jumper that hits nothing but net. The Nuggets still lead 8-4 though as Iverson and Anthony have come out for Denver.
8:45 Kwame just hammered home two consecutive dunks for the Lakers with authority, drawing a huge applause both times from the crowd. It’s great to see Kwame playing with such aggression early on following his debacle against the Suns.
6:22 Fish continues his hot start for the Lakers, hitting a three that brings his total for the night to 11 points on four of six shooting. After a shaky start, the Lakers’ energy has picked up and so to have their points as they now trail by only one at 17-18. AI is still burning the team though, already notching eight points.
3:52 Kobe still hasn’t scored, but a scorching hot Fisher’s got him covered, nailing another perfect three from the corner to raise the Lakers’ lead to a game-high four points at 26-22. Derek has 16 points on a six of eight shooting.
2:21 Lamar Odom electrifies the STAPLES crowd for a second play in a row, gliding across the court like Magic Johnson on his way to an easy layup following a dunk on the team’s previous trip down the court. Even though the Nuggets aren’t considered one of the elite teams in the league, the crowd tonight is treating the game as if they are.
2:06 Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar both enter the game for the Lakers.
1:02 Jordan continues to prove himself as one of team’s best three point threats, hitting his first shot of the game to give the Lakers a 34-29 lead. Not only has Kobe not scored yet, he hasn’t even attempted a shot.
0:00 The Lakers closed out the last 5:29 of that quarter on a 22-7 run to finish up with a 10-point lead at 39-29.
10:47 Kobe shot watch is entering it’s 13th minute but if he’s going to continue making ridiculous passes like the one he just fed Ronny for the dunk then no one’s going to complain. He hit Sasha with a semi-no look on the next trip down as well. Then another sweet one to Jordan underneath on the next series. Keep channeling that inner-Stockton Kobe.
8:40 #24 tried to go up with that one I swear. The foul goes to Anthony Carter and Kobe will be going to the line for his first attempt at putting the ball in the hoop tonight. He sinks both to give the Lakers a 49-35 lead.
5:51 Bad scene on the floor as Carmelo Anthony is in some serious pain as he hits the floor. He came down after the shot and immediately went to the hardwood without anyone near him. He’s being helped to the locker room by the Nuggets training staff. You’ve gotta cringe a little bit after seeing this happen numerous times to Lakers players over the past couple season and knowing the outcome of them. Let’s not hope that it’s anything like that for Melo. Lakers lead 57-44.
3:27 Kobe enters to finish off the half giving the Lakers a small lineup of Fisher, Crittenton, Kobe, Lamar, & Kwame. This is one of the first times this season that Kobe has been asked to truly play something resembling the 3-spot.
1:21 Kwame picks up his second offensive foul of the night as he goes barreling towards the basket. Talk about a guy that’s being very self-conscious about everything he does right now.
Jordan Farmar throws in his second trey of the game to push the Lakers lead back to 10 at 67-57 going into the half. Kobe has made every shot he’s taken tonight–two from the field, two from the line–giving him six points and 5 assists in 22 minutes of play.
Overall the Lakers have shot an impressive 57.8% and made 4 of their 8 shots from deep. After a fast start from Derek Fisher he failed to score in the second quarter, finishing the half with 16 points. Lamar Odom has remained aggressive and as usual is filling up every category in the stat sheet with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.
For the Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony made an immediate impact, but had to be helped to the locker room, it’ll be a surprise if he returns. Kenyon Martin is killing the Lakers down low, shooting 7/8 from the floor and snagging 8 boards.
MELO UPDATE: Sprained left ankle, x-rays negative, won’t return. Thankfully the x-rays were negative, but like we said above, we’ve seen that same prognosis keep multiple Lakers out for 6-8 weeks.
9:50 Two full minutes into the action and all we’ve seen on the offensive end so far is an AI bucket and Kobe making one of two free throws. A sluggish start for both squads.
9:01 Kobe picks up his 4th personal foul VERY early into the second half, forcing Phil to put in Sasha Vujacic. Kobe is definitely a smart enough player to be in the game while in foul trouble, but four this early is just too much. It could be quite a while until we see #24 back out there. Sasha nails his first attempt.
6:25 Kobe, playing on four fouls, hits his first shot of the second half for the Lakers. Phil didn’t really have much of a choice though with the Nuggets threatening, trailing by only eight points at 77-69.
2:49 DFish just hit a much-needed three for the Lakers after the surging Nuggets took a two-point lead at 79-77. After a poor first half, Denver has come out firing on all cylinders in the third quarter. Fisher has 25 points on five of six shooting from beyond the arc.
1:12 Make that seven of eight shooting for Derek as he hits yet another from the corner for his 28th point. It looks like Fish may be on his way to a career night…better yet, it’s helped the Lakers quell Denver’s momentum.
10:21 Fisher isn’t the only point guard who’s playing well for the Lakers as Farmar continues to excel, scoring his 18th point of the night on a nifty jumper from about 10 feet out. The two primary point guards for the Lakers have combined for 46 points already.
8:09 Sasha’s going to the line for three foul shots after Kenyon Martin decked him near the Nuggets’ bench. If Sasha makes all three, the Lakers will have a commanding 103-84 lead with a third of the quarter already gone by.
7:14 After dishing out 11 assists and playing a tremendous team game, it looks like Kobe is finally looking for his own shot here in the fourth. #24 just nailed a contested jumper and is heading to the line amid a boisterous “MVP” chant for a pair after drawing the foul on the Lakers’ next trip down the floor.
5:03 With the Lakers up by 19, DJ Mbenga enters the game for the first time as a Laker.
4:07 Farmar shows no restraint, putting his head down and driving deep into the lane for a nice layup off the glass. With 19 points, Jordan is the team’s second leading scorer tonight.
3:19 Coby Karl comes in for the final three minutes with a chance to strut his stuff in front of his Dad George Karl. Crit also joins him on the floor.
1:03 Crittenton makes a nice sweeping layup and one to tack on a few more points to the Lakers lead, now at 116-98.
FINAL SCORE: Nuggets 99, Lakers 116