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Lakers Lose to Denver

I caught the last few minutes of the fourth quarter of the game. That was the time when the Lakers were trying to overcome the lead of the Denver Nuggets. The game was aired at 4:30 AM here, and I saw it via the internet. Looks like the game was one of those after lunch events where the aging Lakers have struggled this season. The result was a loss to a much younger and improved Denver Nuggets, 90-95.

Just read about the Laker loss in the accounts below.

L. A. Times' Mike Bresnahan

Andrew Bynum didn't finish the game, held out for precautionary reasons after aggravating a sore right knee that was surgically repaired last July. Pau Gasol finished the game after tweaking his left knee but planned to have an MRI exam Monday.

Nothing major is expected, but both big men shuffled stiffly around the locker room afterward. It was an apt metaphor for the end of the Lakers' nine-game winning streak.

Kobe Bryant shot poorly, scoring 28 points on 10-for-27 shooting, and the Lakers lost a home game for the first time since Feb. 3. They also slipped 2 1/2 games behind San Antonio after losing for only the second time in 19 games since the All-Star break.

L. A. Times' Mark Heisler

The Spurs won Sunday, ending their six-game losing streak.

The Lakers lost . . . at home . . . to the new, improved post-Carmelo Anthony Denver Nuggets, ending their nine-game winning streak.

The Spurs' lead is now back to 2 games with their magic number down to four. Any combination of four San Antonio victories in its five remaining games, or Lakers losses in their six, and it's see you on the Riverwalk for Games 1-2-5-7.

That's if they meet in the Western finals, of course.

As Denver, now 15-4 since the Anthony trade, reminded the Lakers, there's no guarantee they or the Spurs will get the far.

OC Register's Kevin Ding

The team's season-high nine-game winning streak ended, 95-90, against a retooled Denver Nuggets team closing in on a 50-victory season. The Lakers dropped to 21/2 games behind San Antonio and one game behind Chicago in the race for best record in the NBA.

"I was concerned about this game," Jackson said.

The Lakers' areas of concern heading into the playoffs were evident: The bench play - especially from Kobe Bryant's backup, Shannon Brown - showed limited ability to read Denver's defense and make good decisions. Also, the Lakers' three-point shooting was poor: 4 for 18 (22.2 percent), including 0 for 4 from Bryant.

Silverscreen and Roll's Derek Fishmore

We knew there'd come a day like this. We didn't know exactly when, but deep down, we knew this Lakers team wouldn't stay locked in forever. Eventually they'd show up to work dragging ass and in need of some Five Hour Energy Drink. In fact, what's most striking about today's game, a 90 to 95 loss to a Denver Nuggets team on a serious roll of its own, isn't that the Lakers failed to close or that for most of the afternoon they lacked verve and attentiveness. It's that performances like this have become the exception, rather than the rule. In years past, it was standard operating procedure for the Lakers to mail it in come late March and early April. But their 17-1 rampage after the break had imbued Lakerdom with a nearly unflinching optimism. Today's a reminder that the occasional flop is inevitable. Clunkers happen. Perspective is a healthy thing.

Forum Blue and Gold's Philip Barnett

With 15 seconds left to play, Lamar Odom pulled up and knocked down a huge three to cut a Denver Nuggets lead from five to two. On the ensuing inbounds play, Denver got the ball into Danilo Gallinari, forced him to pass the ball and fouled Nene, who is a career 68 percent free throw shooter. He knocked down the first one to extend the lead to three, but missed the second. The Lakers catch a break, or so we thought. Kenyon Martin was able to force Lamar Odom under the rim and tip in the missed free throw to put the game on ice and end the Lakers nine-game winning streak with a 95-90 win.

Lakers - Nuggets Running Diary

With this Laker loss, and the Spurs' victory earlier over Phoenix, the standings in the West stand at:

  1. San Antonio 58-19 (.753)
  2. L. A. Lakers 55-21 (.724)
  3. Dallas 53-24 (.688)
  4. OKC 50-26 (.658)
  5. Denver 47-29 (.618)
  6. Portland 45-32 (.584)
  7. New Orleans 44-33 (.571)
  8. Memphis 44-23 (.571)

The Lakers are third overall behind the Spurs and the Bulls (54-23, .701), and ahead of the Heat (54-23, .701) and the Celtics (53-23, .697)

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