DENVER (AP) — Kenneth Faried scored a season-high 29 points and had 11 rebounds, Danilo Gallinari added 27 points and the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 119-101 on Wednesday night.
Ty Lawson had 16 points for the Nuggets in the matchup of teams headed for the lottery for the second straight year. Denver has the seventh worst record in the NBA and the Lakers the fourth-worst.
Rookie Jordan Clarkson had 21 points, and Ryan Kelly added 17 for the Lakers. They have lost four in a row and 17 of 21.
Faried had his best offensive game in more than two months. He scored 14 points in the third quarter to jelp the Nuggets blew open the game.
The Lakers led 61-58 early in the third before Denver took over. Randy Foye and Gallinari each hit a pair of 3-pointers and Faried had six points as part of a 20-2 run that gave them the lead for good
Faried scored Denver’s last six points of the period on a dunk and two layups as the Nuggets went up 93-69.
Faried hit a hook shot and a putback early in the fourth before taking a seat for the rest of the night with Denver ahead 98-78.
The Lakers, who lost a close one to the Clippers on Tuesday night, overcame an early 14-point deficit to lead by four midway through the second period. Gallinari scored eight points late in the first half to give Denver a 58-54 lead at the break.
Lakers: Coach Byron Scott dismissed using altitude or playing on consecutive nights as an excuse for players struggling. “Back in the day when we played we never thought of playing back-to-back games as a big deal,” he said. “It’s better than practicing. It’s one of those mental blocks guys get in their heads that back-to-back games are tough. I just don’t believe it.”
Nuggets: Forward Darrell Arthur missed his seventh straight game with a right calf strain. … G Jameer Nelson did not play because of a strained right hip flexor suffered in Saturday’s loss to the Clippers. … Former Nuggets great Lafayette “Fat” Lever was honored by the team at halftime. Lever played six seasons in Denver and averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.5 assists.
Lakers: Host Minnesota on Friday night.
Nuggets: Host Dallas on Friday night.
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