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NBA: Nuggets use third-quarter surge to dispatch Lakers

October 7, 2013 12:14pm

The Denver Nuggets used a strong third-quarter effort to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers on the latter's homecourt, the Staples Center in LA, 97-88, Sunday (Monday, PHL time).

It was Denver's preseason debut, while the Lakers were coming off a win against the Golden State Warriors, Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). For new Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw, it was also a homecoming of sorts, as he played four seasons with the Lakers, winning three championships, before becoming an assistant to Phil Jackson for the club from 2005-2011, picking up two more titles in the process.  

The Nuggets had a slim 46-44 lead at the half, but they used a 26-14 third period to go up big, 72-58 with 12 minutes remaining in the game.

A 6-3 run to start the final canto padded the visitors' lead, 78-61, but the third-stringers of LA unleashed a 14-4 run to make it a ball game, 82-75, 5:24 left.

Jordan Hamilton and JJ Hickson restored the Nuggets' double-digit lead, 89-77, but an and-one play from Xavier Henry, the Lakers' previous preseason game standout, made it a nine-point affair, 2:49 still to play. Hamilton however teamed up with starting point guard Ty Lawson for an 8-2 run, 97-82, and Elias Harris' two triples were just too little, too late.



Hamilton and Lawson each scored 15 to lead the Nuggets, with Lawson adding 10 rebounds, six assists and a steal, versus just one turnover. JaVale McGee posted 12 points and seven boards, while offseason signing JJ Hickson provided 10 points, six boards and a block.

Henry led LA with 15 points on an efficient 4-of-7 shooting clip from the field, 7-of-9 from the stripe. Pau Gasol made his preseason debut with 13 points, four rebounds, two assists and a block in 22 minutes, while Steve Nash missed both his shots for zero points, though he managed five boards and six dimes.


Starter Wesley Johnson logged just eight minutes for LA, finishing with two points and three rebounds before exiting due to a strained left foot.

Denver's defense held their foes to a 32.3 percent shooting clip, but they committed more turnovers to let their foes back in the game late, 28-22. - AMD, GMA News




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