Wednesday , Nov , 03 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Denver Nuggets Team Report – November 3

=== Denver Nuggets Team Report – November 3 ===

(Sports Network) – The Denver Nuggets lost to Kobe Bryant and the Los
Angeles Lakers, 89-78, on Wednesday at the Staples Center in the season-opener
for both teams.

Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points for the Nuggets, who made the playoffs for
the first time since 1995 last season and picked up All-Star forward Kenyon
Martin in an offseason trade with the Nets. In his debut, Martin tallied 13
points with seven rebounds and five assists.

The first half belonged the Lakers, who jumped out to a 24-14 lead after the
opening period and added to it with a 26-17 edge in the second quarter.
The Nuggets came out of the locker room and tried to cut the gap, but could
only come within 72-57 after 36 minutes of action and were never really in it.

LA cruised through the fourth quarter, but got sloppy in the final minutes and
allowed the Nuggets to sneak back in. Martin’s steal led to a Denver basket
which pulled it within seven with 1:05 to go, but it was not to be and the
Lakers captured their third home opener in the last four years.

The Nuggets made just 34 percent (30-of-88) of their field goals in the loss.
Nuggets guard Voshon Lenard left the game in the third quarter with a left
Achilles strain.

Denver is now 2-2 in its last four season openers. The Lakers have won three
straight and eight of their last nine meetings with the Nuggets.

The Nuggets are off until Thursday when they play their home opener against
Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves, who eliminated Denver in five
games in last year’s first round of the playoffs.

During the 2003-04 regular season, Minnesota emerged victorious in three of
the four games. Denver’s victory over the Timberwolves came in the last
meeting between the two squads, as the Nuggets took home a 101-92 victory on
March 24 at the Pepsi Center.