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Nuggets 106, Lakers 96

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Updated 12 months ago on
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LOS ANGELES — Point guard Ty Lawson scored a season-high 32 points and handed out 16 assists, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 106-96 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

Backup forward Darrell Arthur added 15 points for the Nuggets (20-33), who snapped a six-game losing streak. Forwards Wilson Chandler and J.J. Hickson scored 13 apiece, while guard Randy Foye chipped in 12 points.

Reserve forward Carlos Boozer scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Lakers (13-39), who dropped their fifth in a row and 14th in the past 15 games. Guard Wayne Ellington finished with 18 points.

The Nuggets, who were coming off a 124-114 setback to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night, defeated the Lakers at Staples for the fourth consecutive time. Lawson also had 16 assists, matching his season high, against the Thunder.

Denver held a double-digit lead midway through the fourth quarter before the Lakers rallied.

Two foul shots by Lawson produced a 93-83 advantage with 5:45 remaining. Los Angeles, though, mounted an 11-2 run, and a jumper by forward Wesley Johnson with 2:45 left pulled the Lakers within 95-94.

After the teams exchanged baskets, Lawson and Arthur converted jumpers for a 101-96 lead with 54.3 seconds remaining. Lawson stole a pass by guard Jeremy Lin and scored on a layup for a seven-point margin, putting the game out of reach.

Los Angeles led by as many as 12 points in the first half before a dreadful shooting exhibition in the second quarter allowed Denver to close the gap. A jumper by Ellington, who scored 13 first-half points on 6-of-7 shooting, gave the Lakers a 44-32 advantage with 4:57 left in the second quarter. However, the Nuggets responded with a 13-4 spurt to close the period and cut the Lakers’ lead to 48-45 at the break.

The Lakers made only 28 percent of their shots in the second quarter compared to 52 percent for the Nuggets. For the game, Los Angeles connected on 43.5 percent to 54.4 percent for Denver.

NOTES: Lakers coach Byron Scott remains confident owner Jim Buss is capable of leading an eventual reversal of the club’s misfortunes. Lakers great Magic Johnson publicly ripped Buss again Tuesday, saying the son of the late Jerry Buss is in over his head. Scott said, “I’ve been (working) with Jim since July. I haven’t spent a ton of time with him, but the guy has an unbelievable passion for this game and this organization, and I know he wants this thing to work out extremely well, like we all do.” Scott added that he spoke to Johnson several times recently, but the two rarely talk about the Lakers. … Denver won’t play again until after the All-Star break, when it visits the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 20. … Los Angeles visits the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday in its final game before the break.

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