DENVER — Forward Kenneth Faried scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, guard Ty Lawson had 30 points and tied a career high with 17 assists and the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 134-126 on Friday night.
Forward Wilson Chandler scored 19 points for the Nuggets, who had all five starters score in double figures in their second straight win.
Denver (27-34) is a vastly different team with Lawson healthy. Without him, the Nuggets lost eight of nine and were non-competitive in most of the losses. His quickness and ability to create shots off the dribble has opened up Denver’s offense and put pressure on opposing defenses.
It was never more evident than late in the first half when he used a crossover to put Los Angeles guard Jodie Meeks on his rear and feed center Timofey Mozgov for an easy layup.
Center Pau Gasol had 27 points and guard Jordan Farmar scored 24 points off the bench for Los Angeles (21-41).
This is shaping up to be the Lakers’ worst season in 39 years, and it hit a low point with a 48-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night. That was the largest margin of defeat in franchise history and the largest in the NBA this season.
The Lakers were buoyed by the fact that Brooklyn came to Denver on the heels of a 44-point loss in Portland and won easily. The Nuggets scored just eight points in the first quarter against the Nets, but with Lawson in the lineup they put up 42 in the first quarter on Friday to set the tone against the Lakers that lasted the entire game.
Denver, which shot 54.5 percent from the field for the night, led 77-66 at halftime and eclipsed 100 points with 3:14 left in the third quarter. Lawson, Faried and Chandler were a combined 31-for-41 from the field heading into the fourth quarter with the Nuggets leading 110-91.
The Lakers made a little push early in the fourth quarter, getting within 13 on rookie forward Ryan Kelly’s layup with 7:40 left, but five quick points by Denver ended hopes of a comeback.
Kelly finished with 24 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
NOTES: Nuggets G Ty Lawson was in the lineup despite jamming his left heel during Wednesday night’s win over Dallas. He left the game in the third quarter but returned in the fourth. He did some shooting Thursday but did not participate in the full practice. … Los Angeles ranks fourth in the NBA in 3-point shooting. The Lakers are averaging 9.4 made 3-pointers per game. … Denver’s bench came into Friday night’s game third in the league in scoring (38.8 points per game) and first in rebounding (18 per game). … The Lakers have used 29 different starting lineups this season.
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