We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 119-108 loss at Denver:
Paint points for Denver, with 26 of their first 35 points coming inside. The Nuggets, who lead the league in points in the paint (nearly 57 per game), held a plus-28 advantage in this category. It was also the second time this year they had scored 78 inside the key, the other time occurring on Dec. 22 vs. Charlotte.
Free-throw percentage for the Lakers, most of their misses coming way of Dwight Howard, who finished 3 of 14 from the charity stripe. Howard made his first two of the game, but then hit 1 of his last 12. “You can’t go 14 of 31 on the road against a good team,” coach Mike D’Antoni said.
Fastbreak points for the Nuggets, most of them coming off the L.A.’s 15 turnovers (eight in the second quarter alone). Denver scored 22 in transition during the first two quarters to take a 13-point lead into halftime. “They just continually pushed the ball,” Kobe Bryant said. “Their shots go up and guys are already leaking out to go along with the speed so they got a lot of easy buckets.”
Home wins for Denver to just three losses after the win, which ties Miami for the best mark in the league. The Nuggets also improved to 14-0 when scoring 110-plus points at the Pepsi Center.
Points from Wilson Chandler, who started in place of Danilo Gallinari (a late scratch with a thigh bruise). Chandler, who has missed most of the year due to injuries, shot 10 of 18 from the floor, including 3 of 5 from the 3-point line. He had 16 in the second half – nine in the fourth quarter – to help Denver put away the Lakers down the stretch.
Shots missed for Bryant in the second half (7 for 10 towards 19 points). In the last three second halves (vs. Portland, at Dallas, at Denver), he is shooting 26 for 35 (74.3 percent) from the floor. In total, Bryant finished with 29 points, nine assists and six boards.