Chandler leads Nuggets past Lakers, 119-108

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 26, 2013 at 12:10 am •  Published: February 26, 2013
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DENVER (AP) — It's a good thing Danilo Gallinari was a late scratch for the Denver Nuggets. With a bruised left thigh, he couldn't have kept up with his hustling teammates as they sped past the aged and aching Los Angeles Lakers.

Wilson Chandler scored 23 points in place of Gallinari, and Ty Lawson added 22 in the Nuggets' 119-108 win Monday night in which Denver outscored the Lakers 33-3 on the fast break and 78-50 in the paint.

"The fast-break points, that's a killer," Kobe Bryant said. "That team is like a track team over there."

And the Lakers were like a bunch of shuffle-boarders, trailing on the scoreboard and the hardwood all night long as they trudged through the second game of a difficult back-to-back.

"First, we know that they played last night," Lawson said. "Coming into the altitude, also they're a little slow getting back. So, once they miss a shot, it seemed like a jailbreak. Everybody was trying to run downcourt and get the layup."

Or the arena-shaking slam dunk.

Or the rim-rattling alley-oop jam.

Corey Brewer also got extended minutes with Gallinari out and he scored 16, many in transition. Even seldom-used reserves Anthony Randolph and Jordan Hamilton joined in the fast-break fun.

"Our running game was sensational," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "And we put enough defense in the game."

Gallinari, the Nuggets' leading scorer, wasn't needed as the Nuggets won their ninth straight game at home, snapped the Lakers' three-game winning streak and took the season series from their long-time nemesis 3-1.

Coming off a down-to-the-wire win at Dallas the day before, the Lakers wanted to slow down the Nuggets but just couldn't keep up with their younger, more athletic and, yes, better-rested opponents.

"They just ran out of the starter's blocks and beat us down the floor," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "... We couldn't catch them. We just couldn't catch them. For whatever reason, they just took off. Even on just a missed shot, we couldn't get back quick enough.'"

Bryant led the Lakers with 29 points, and his fadeaway jumper with five minutes left cut Denver's lead to 106-99, but the Lakers got no closer.

The Nuggets scored 22 points off the Lakers' 15 turnovers.

"It's tough to neutralize speed, especially when they're very good at what they do," Bryant said. "Yeah, their speed. Their speed got us. They got out on transition, got easy buckets. Kept the pressure on us. We had to labor for opportunities, think we might have had two fast-break points. Contrast that with 33. It's crazy."