Brewer, Nuggets cool off Lakers
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Corey Brewer came off the bench and buried six 3-pointers en route to 27 points on Wednesday, as the Denver Nuggets downed the Los Angeles Lakers, 126-114, at Pepsi Center.
Kenneth Faried finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds and Ty Lawson added 17 points and 14 assists for the Nuggets, who have won two of their last three.
Andre Iguodala stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, 11 boards, seven assists and three steals, while Danilo Gallinari donated 19 points and Kosta Koufos added 10 in the victory.
"It was just good to see us shoot the ball," Denver coach George Karl remarked. "We beat a good team with some confidence."
Kobe Bryant poured in a game-high 40 points and Pau Gasol followed with 19 points for the Lakers, who had their five-game win streak snapped.
Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and seven rebounds before being ejected in the third quarter when he was whistled for a Flagrant 2 foul for a blow to the head of a driving Faried.
"I really didn't care," Faried said of the hard foul. "He was just mad. I was getting in his head."
Denver led by just one, 57-56, after Bryant opened the second half with a layup, but the Nuggets used a 14-2 run to build a double-digit lead.
Faried started the surge with a three-point play and Gallinari capped it with a 3-pointer to make it 73-60 with 7:51 left in the third.
A 12-5 swing from the Lakers cut the margin to six before Howard's ejection sparked a quick 6-0 Denver spurt to push the margin above double digits.
Los Angeles was able to pull within four after a Chris Duhon jumper late in the frame, but the Nuggets netted the final five points of the third, including Brewer's buzzer-beating triple to press the lead to 96-87 heading into the fourth.
Another Brewer trey early in the fourth pressed the margin to 14 and the Nuggets led by double digits from there until three free throws from Bryant brought the visitors within 108-99 with just under seven minutes left.
Four straight points from Jodie Meeks trimmed the deficit to seven a bit later, but the Lakers would get no closer, as the Nuggets scored the next five points and never let the visitors get closer than nine the rest of the way.
"It seems like we were just a step slow," Bryant said. "We played old and they played with a lot of energy, a lot of youth, got up-and-down, and we just seemed like we were in a lower gear all night."
Faried carried the Nuggets early, tallying 11 points and nine rebounds in the first quarter to help his team take a 29-26 lead after 12 minutes.
Denver led by as many eight in the second, but the Lakers knocked down three 3-pointers in the frame to stay within 57-54 heading into the locker room.
Denver's 126 points was its highest output of the season ... Brewer's point total is a season high ... Bryant has scored 30-plus points in 10 straight games ... Denver has won seven straight at home ... Denver shot 54.5 percent (12-for-22) from three-point range, while the Lakers shot 49.4 percent (11- of-29) from distance.