Brewer's 27 points lead Nuggets past Lakers

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 27, 2012 at 5:59 am •  Published: December 27, 2012

DENVER (AP) — Kobe Bryant went on another scoring tear for the Los Angeles Lakers. This time, it wasn't enough.

Corey Brewer matched his career high with 27 points and the Denver Nuggets overcame Bryant's 40-point effort to beat the Lakers 126-114 Wednesday night for their seventh straight win at home.

"He's Kobe Bryant, so he made some tough shots, but other guys didn't get involved so we were able to get a win," Brewer said.

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. But Bryant said it felt as if the Nuggets, who finished with the highest point total by a Lakers opponent this season, kept beating Los Angeles to the punch.

"Tonight it seemed like we were just a step slow, seemed like we were stuck in mud," Bryant said. "We played old. They played with a lot of energy, a lot of youth, got up and down. It just seemed we were in a lower gear."

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.

"It was just good to see us shoot the ball and beat a good team with some confidence," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "I just think the last couple of games, we have been playing with a little more confidence and more awareness of how to win close games."

Karl added of Brewer, "His defensive plays and his energy, he energizes us on the perimeter. Kenneth energizes us in the middle. We were smart tonight. We did a good job of getting everyone in a good place on almost every possession."

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.

Howard acknowledged it was a hard foul and that it looked bad when seeing it on replay, but he didn't think it merited ejection.

"I was surprised it was a flagrant 2," he said. "My intention was never to hurt Faried. I like the young fellow and my intention was just to foul. I come down the lane, somebody is going to foul me hard, put me on the free throw line and make me shoot free throws. It was the same kind of thing."

Faried said he thought Howard may have been frustrated and also sensed his determined drive to the basket.