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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     LA LAKERS        31   24   27   30    112  
     DENVER           18   29   22   24    93      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   LAL - KOBE BRYANT 39, SHAQUILLE O'NEAL 22, TWO
                      PLAYERS WITH 9
                DEN - JUWAN HOWARD 20, RODNEY WHITE 16, 
                      DONNELL HARVEY 14

HIGH REBOUND:   LAL - SHAQUILLE O'NEAL 13, ROBERT HORRY 8, 
                      KOBE BRYANT 6
                DEN - NENE HILARIO 6, THREE PLAYERS WITH 4

HIGH ASSISTS:   LAL - DEREK FISHER 9, KOBE BRYANT 6, RICK FOX 
                      5
                DEN - JUWAN HOWARD 8, JOHN CROTTY 5, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 4

         ATT:   19,099

Box Score

LA LAKERS (112) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp S Medvedenko 16 2-2 1-1 0-1 0 5 5 R Fox 23 3-5 0-0 1-3 5 2 7 S O'Neal 34 10-15 2-2 0-13 4 3 22 D Fisher 35 3-6 0-0 0-3 9 0 8 K Bryant 35 15-26 7-7 0-6 6 3 39 M Madsen 18 0-3 0-0 2-3 1 5 0 D George 15 2-5 2-2 0-2 1 1 6 R Horry 26 3-4 3-4 3-8 4 5 9 T Murray 13 3-4 0-0 1-1 2 0 7 K Rush 14 4-5 0-0 0-1 3 0 9 B Shaw 11 0-2 0-0 0-1 1 0 0 S Walker DNP - TONSILITIS _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 45-77 15-16 7-42 36 24 112 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.584, FT-.938. 3-Point Goals: 7-11, .636 (R Fox 1-2, D Fisher 2-3, K Bryant 2-4, T Murray 1-1, K Rush 1-1). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:3 (S O'Neal 3). Turnovers:18 (K Bryant 4, D George 3, S O'Neal 2, S Medvedenko 2, R Fox 2, R Horry, D Fisher, M Madsen, K Rush, B Shaw). Steals: 5 (R Horry 2, K Bryant 2, S Medvedenko). DENVER (93) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Howard 38 7-16 6-7 0-4 8 4 20 R Bowen 9 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 3 2 M Blount 13 2-5 0-0 0-1 0 1 4 V Yarbrough 21 4-12 0-0 0-1 0 4 8 L Harrington 25 2-4 0-0 2-4 4 1 4 R White 27 6-10 4-4 0-1 1 0 16 J Crotty 23 3-7 0-0 1-1 5 0 7 N Tskitishvili 30 5-9 0-0 3-3 4 0 12 N Hilario 22 1-7 3-4 2-6 2 3 5 D Harvey 27 5-7 4-5 0-4 3 3 14 M Bryant 5 0-1 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 P Savovic DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-79 18-22 8-25 28 20 93 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.456, FT-.818. 3-Point Goals: 3-12, .250 (V Yarbrough 0-3, R White 0-1, J Crotty 1-3, N Tskitishvili 2-5). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots:3 (J Howard 2, L Harrington). Turnovers:10 (J Howard 2, D Harvey 2, R White 2, L Harrington 2, V Yarbrough, N Hilario). Steals: 7 (J Howard 2, J Crotty, R Bowen, V Yarbrough, N Tskitishvili, L Harrington). -------------------------------------------- LA LAKERS 31 24 27 30 - 112 DENVER 18 29 22 24 - 93 -------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: La Lakers - 1 (Defensive Three, 7:07 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,099. T: 2:12. Officials: Monty McCutchen, Sean Corbin, Tommy Nunez.


Extended Box

LA LAKERS (112) AT DENVER (93) LA LAKERS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === S MEDVEDENKO 16 2-2 1-1 0 1 1 0 5 1 2 5 R FOX F 23 3-5 0-0 1 2 3 5 2 0 2 7 S O'NEAL C 34 10-15 2-2 0 13 13 4 3 0 2 22 D FISHER G 35 3-6 0-0 0 3 3 9 0 0 1 8 K BRYANT G 35 15-26 7-7 0 6 6 6 3 2 4 39 M MADSEN 18 0-3 0-0 2 1 3 1 5 0 1 0 D GEORGE 15 2-5 2-2 0 2 2 1 1 0 3 6 R HORRY F 26 3-4 3-4 3 5 8 4 5 2 1 9 T MURRAY 13 3-4 0-0 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 7 K RUSH 14 4-5 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 0 1 9 B SHAW 11 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 S WALKER DNP - TONSILITIS TOTALS 240 45-77 15-16 7 35 42 36 24 5 18 112 (.584) (.938) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 19 (20 PTS) DENVER REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J HOWARD C 38 7-16 6-7 0 4 4 8 4 2 2 20 R BOWEN G 9 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 3 1 0 2 M BLOUNT 13 2-5 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 4 V YARBROUGH 21 4-12 0-0 0 1 1 0 4 1 1 8 L HARRINGTON G 25 2-4 0-0 2 2 4 4 1 1 2 4 R WHITE F 27 6-10 4-4 0 1 1 1 0 0 2 16 J CROTTY 23 3-7 0-0 1 0 1 5 0 1 0 7 N TSKITISHVILI 30 5-9 0-0 3 0 3 4 0 1 0 12 N HILARIO F 22 1-7 3-4 2 4 6 2 3 0 1 5 D HARVEY 27 5-7 4-5 0 4 4 3 3 0 2 14 M BRYANT 5 0-1 1-2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 P SAVOVIC DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 36-79 18-22 8 17 25 28 20 7 10 93 (.456) (.818) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 12 (14 PTS) LA LAKERS 31 24 27 30 - 112 DENVER 18 29 22 24 - 93 BLOCKED SHOTS: LA LAKERS - S O'NEAL 3. DENVER - J HOWARD 2, L HARRINGTON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: LA LAKERS 7-11 (.636), R FOX 1-2, D FISHER 2-3, K BRYANT 2-4, T MURRAY 1-1, K RUSH 1-1. DENVER 3-12 (.250), V YARBROUGH 0- 3, R WHITE 0-1, J CROTTY 1-3, N TSKITISHVILI 2-5. TECHNICAL FOULS: LA LAKERS - DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: MONTY MCCUTCHEN, SEAN CORBIN, TOMMY NUNEZ. A - 19,099. T - 2:12.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- Robert Horry's guarantee could prove accurate if the Los Angeles Lakers have more games like this. Kobe Bryant scored 39 points and Shaquille O'Neal added 22 as the Lakers pulled away for a 112-93 victory over the reeling Denver Nuggets. The win came days after Horry guaranteed the Lakers would be a .500 team by the end of January. His prediction meant the three-time defending champions would have to win 12 of their next 14 games, starting with this contest at the Pepsi Center. Los Angeles (12-19) hosts injury-plagued Toronto on Sunday and face Cleveland and Miami at home before concluding the 14-game stretch with a visit to Sacramento on January 31. "We won by a double-digit margin, we have not done that in a while," Lakers guard Brian Shaw said. "We got to try and win two in a row and we have not done that all year. You can gauge (whether we are getting better) by this game." "We realize we have a big challenge and it is starting to excite us," Bryant added. "We're not down about it or holding our heads. We're accepting that challenge. We're tired of going through the same ol', same ol'. Our competitive juices are starting to flow now. We have a good month coming up in January, and now is the time to respond to it." Bryant had a streaky first half. He made his first nine shots in the first quarter as Los Angeles raced to a 31-18 lead, then missed all six attempts in the second as Denver closed within 55-47 at halftime. Bryant began his big night with rookie guard Vincent Yarbrough trying to defend him, and went right to work. He hit a long jumper, a fadeaway and another long jumper at the start. "We did not come out flat," Yarbrough said. "It is just that Kobe came out on fire. "I am not a fan of his, but I respect his game and admire it." Denver switched to Ryan Bowen and Rodney White on Bryant, but it had little impact. Bryant followed with a tough reverse layup, a three-point play through traffic and another reverse layup. The Lakers, who had two lengthy scoring droughts in Wednesday's loss to Sacramento, made their first 10 shots and were 14-of-18 in the first 12 minutes. The Nuggets closed the first half with a 15-6 run and were within 62-58 following Mark Blount's dunk with eight minutes remaining in the third quarter. But Bryant recovered and made 5-of-9 shots in the period. He scored three of Los Angeles' final four baskets, stretching the lead to 82-69 heading into the final period. Bryant closed the quarter with a turnaround jumper, a fadeaway over White and a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining. O'Neal overwhelmed the Nuggets' frontcourt. He shot 10-of-15 from the field and grabbed 13 rebounds. The 7-1 superstar had three big baskets in the third quarter as the Lakers withstood Denver's rally. Overall, Los Angeles played one of its better games of a difficult season and improved to 4-13 on the road. The Lakers shot a season-high 58 percent (45-of-77), held a 42-25 rebounding advantage and matched a season best for points. "Outside of turnovers tonight, I was pleased with how we played basketball," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said. "We were ready to play the game. We answered their charge in the second half. Overall we shot the ball well. We know they play a lot of teams well on this court. We don't take anything away from Denver, they played hard." "Nobody's jumping up and down," Bryant added. "We just came in and did what we had to." Juwan Howard had 20 points and eight assists for the Nuggets, who have lost nine straight. "The two constants that have been there for us all season, defense and rebounding, were not there for us tonight," Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "We just plain forgot about those two areas tonight."


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