DENVER (AP) – Corey Brewer matched his career high with 27 points and the Denver Nuggets overcame a 40-point effort by Kobe Bryant to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 126-114 on Wednesday night for their seventh straight win at home.
Brewer hit four of his six 3-pointers in the final 12-plus minutes, helping the Nuggets hold off the Lakers, whose five-game winning streak was snapped.
Bryant, who hit 40 points for the 116th time in his career, has scored 30 or more points in 10 straight games.
Kenneth Faried had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Danilo Gallinari added 19 points for Denver. Ty Lawson had 17 points to go with 14 assists, and Andre Iguodala also scored 17 points.
The Lakers lost Dwight Howard to an ejection with 5:02 left in the third quarter. He was called for a flagrant foul 2 when he jammed his hand in Faried’s face as the Nuggets forward drove the lane. Faried tumbled to the floor, but shook off the fall to stay in the game.
Pau Gasol added 19 points for the Lakers and Steve Nash had 15 points in his third game back from a leg injury that sidelined him for 24 games.
Leading by three points at the half, the Nuggets went on a 10-0 run capped by a 3-pointer by Gallinari for a 73-60 lead midway through the third quarter.
The Nuggets scored five consecutive points after Howard’s ejection, including one of two free throws by Faried for an 84-72 advantage. But the Lakers fought back, pulling within 91-87 with a 9-3 burst near the end of the third quarter that Bryant started with a 3-pointer.
Taking advantage of a Lakers turnover, the Nuggets stunned the Lakers with five points in the final 12.7 seconds of the third, with Brewer hitting a running 3-pointer at the buzzer from 26 feet away to allow Denver to take a 96-87 lead into the fourth quarter.
Brewer and Iguodala each hit 3-pointers in the opening minutes of the final period as Denver gained a 15-point advantage.
The Lakers cut it to 113-106 on layup by Jodie Meeks with 4:34 remaining, but Gallinari answered with his third 3-pointer of the night and Faried followed with a driving layup to rebuild Denver’s lead to 118-106. Brewer hit two more 3-pointer in the final 1:19 to ice the victory.
Faried, who had 13 points in the first half, helped the Nuggets take a 57-54 lead at the break. The Nuggets led by as many as eight points in the second quarter, going in front 40-32 on a breakaway dunk by Brewer but a couple of 3-pointers by Gasol along with a pair of long jumpers by Bryant over the final five minutes of the quarter got the Lakers close again.
NOTES: Faried has 12 double-doubles this season. … Nuggets forward Jordan Hamilton was fined $25,000 by the NBA because of a vulgar exchange with a fan during the team’s 112-100 Christmas Day loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. …Lakers still the only NBA team to have a winning record against the Nuggets in Denver, (43-33) all-time. … Gasol, who was 3-for-11 from 3-point range coming into the game, hit two of his three 3-point tries against the Nuggets. … Denver scored a season high in points against the Lakers. The previous high was 122 points at Sacramento on Dec. 16. … Bryant matched an opponent season-high in points against the Nuggets. Chris Bosh of Miami also scored 40 points against Denver on Nov. 13. … Brewer also scored 27 points against Detroit on April 4, 2010.