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News » Carmelo, Nuggets crush Kobe, Lakers

Carmelo, Nuggets crush Kobe, Lakers

Carmelo, Nuggets crush Kobe, Lakers

"No one stepped up in the second half and played ball," Jackson said. "We ended up taking long shots and turning the ball over at the start of the third quarter. Those are the results you get."

Bryant was held scoreless in a half for the first time since the first half of a game at Sacramento on April 11, 2004.

Limited by foul trouble in the first half, Anthony scored 10 quick points in the third quarter to give the Nuggets (7-3) a double-digit lead and turn this one into a laugher.

'Melo's run was highlighted by his steal from Lamar Odom and a breakaway basket. After that, the Lakers (7-2) looked every bit like the team that was coming off a late game in Los Angeles the night before.

J.R. Smith came off Denver's bench again and scored 20 points in his third game back from a seven-game suspension to start the season.

Andrew Bynum and Bryant each scored 19 points to lead the Lakers, who sat their starters in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach. Artest scored 11.

While so much was made in the offseason of how the Lakers augmented their championship resume with the signing of Artest, the Nuggets quietly improved their versatility and offense with the additions of Aaron Afflalo and Lawson and the subtractions of Dahntay Jones and Linas Kleiza.

Many preseason prognosticators painted the Nuggets' run to the Western Conference finals as an aberration, but Jackson wasn't among them. He said the Lakers view the Nuggets as bona fide challengers in the West.

"There's no doubt that we consider the team among the three or four (top) teams in the Western Conference," Jackson said before tip-off.

He was even more impressed with them after the game.

"They were great today," Jackson said.

NOTES: Bynum had 15 rebounds. ... The Nuggets were without backup PG Anthony Carter, whose chronic strained left hip prevented him from suiting up. He's day to day.

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Added: November 14, 2009


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