DENVER (AP) –– Kenneth Faried scored a career-high 32 points, Ty Lawson had 30 and the Denver Nuggets beat the skidding Los Angeles Lakers 134-126 on Friday night.
Lawson also had 17 assists and Faried grabbed 13 rebounds. Wilson Chandler had 19 points, and Timofey Mozgov and Evan Fournier added 13 apiece for the Nuggets, who swept the three-game season series.
Pau Gasol scored 27 points to lead the Lakers in their third straight defeat and sixth in eight games. This one ensured their first losing season since going 34-48 in 2004-05.
Jordan Farmar and Robert Sacre had 24 points apiece for the Lakers, who were coming off a 142-94 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. The 48-point defeat was the biggest in franchise history.
Trailing by 19 heading into the fourth quarter, the Lakers put together a 9-2 spurt to pull to 117-104 with 7:40 remaining. But they couldn’t cut the lead below double digits until the final 1:30, and Faried responded with a layup on the other end before Gasol put in a final basket that still left the Lakers well short.
Faried hit a reverse layup in the final moments of the second quarter to push Denver’s lead at halftime to 77-66 in what was their highest-scoring opening half of the season.
The Lakers had pulled into a 55-all tie when Farmar and Ryan Kelly hit 3-pointers sandwiched around a 3 by Randy Foye, but the Nuggets gained some separation with a 10-0 burst that began and ended on baskets by Lawson.
Denver led 42-35 after the first quarter, surpassing its previous high for points in the first by a point.
NOTES: Gasol played in his 898th career game, ranking 29th among active players. … The Nuggets’ previous high in the first half was 69 points against Orlando on Jan. 11. … Faried had his 58th career double-double. Denver is 47-11 in those games. … The Lakers had 47 rebounds to 43 for Denver, snapping a string of 11 consecutive games in which they were outrebounded.