Saturday , Jan , 06 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Lakers crush Nuggets despite just eight points from Kobe

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Smush Parker scored 23 points and the LA
Lakers torched the Denver Nuggets, 123-104, despite only eight points from
Kobe Bryant.

Earl Boykins led the Nuggets off the bench with 24 points, and Allen Iverson
only managed 16 points on 5-of-17 shooting. Marcus Camby scored 14 points and
grabbed 12 boards for the Nuggets, who have dropped four straight. Nene scored
14 points off the bench for Denver

Andrew Bynum scored 19 points and raked in 10 boards for LA, which has won
three straight and four of its last five. Luke Walton scored 18 points and
tallied eight assists for the Lakers, and Brian Cook and Maurice Evans scored
16 points apiece. Bryant finished with 10 assists to go with his eight points.

LA blasted open its already sizeable lead in the third quarter. Leading 87-71,
the Lakers went on a 12-4 stretch that padded their lead to 23 points. A
Walton three-pointer capped the stretch, putting the Lakers up 96-73 with 3:43
left in the third.

LA maintained the 23-point advantage, leading 104-81 entering the fourth
quarter.

Denver never threatened the massive Lakers lead in the fourth quarter, and
trailed by as many as 28 points on its way to the 19-point loss.

The Lakers hit the ground running in the first half, despite only two points
by Bryant in the first two quarters.

LA ripped off a 15-0 run early in the first quarter, taking a 21-6 lead after
back-to-back baskets by Bynum were followed by a reverse layup from Parker.
The Nuggets cut into the 15-point advantage, and an Evans free throw brought
Denver to within 31-25 with a minute left.

LA led 35-28 entering the second quarter.

Denver got to within 35-30 on a hook shot by Boykins in the first minute of
the second quarter, but the Lakers rolled off eight straight points, and a
Evans jumper put LA up 43-30 with 8:50 left.

The Lakers stretched their lead to 68-55 by halftime.

Game Notes

Iverson was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Friday for his criticism of referee
Steve Javie following Denver’s 108-97 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on
Tuesday…Denver has lost eight straight and 18 of 19 at the Lakers…The
Nuggets are 3-5 since the suspensions of Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith for
their involvement in the brawl with the New York Knicks on Dec. 16…This was
Phil Jackson’s 899th career victory. He goes for No. 900 Sunday against
Dallas.

DEN LAL