Print RSS Newsletter

Balanced attack leads Nuggets past Mavericks

By The Associated Press

Posted March 7, 2014 22:58

DENVER (AP) -- Kenneth Faried scored a career-high 32 points, Ty Lawson had 30 and the Denver Nuggets beat the skidding Los Angeles Lakers 134-126 on Friday night.

Lawson also had 17 assists and Faried grabbed 13 rebounds. Wilson Chandler had 19 points, and Timofey Mozgov and Evan Fournier added 13 apiece for the Nuggets, who swept the three-game season series.

Pau Gasol scored 27 points to lead the Lakers in their third straight defeat and sixth in eight games. This one ensured their first losing season since going 34-48 in 2004-05.

Jordan Farmar and Robert Sacre had 24 points apiece for the Lakers, who were coming off a 142-94 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. The 48-point defeat was the biggest in franchise history.

Trailing by 19 heading into the fourth quarter, the Lakers put together a 9-2 spurt to pull to 117-104 with 7:40 remaining. But they couldn't cut the lead below double digits until the final 1:30, and Faried responded with a layup on the other end before Gasol put in a final basket that still left the Lakers well short.

Faried hit a reverse layup in the final moments of the second quarter to push Denver's lead at halftime to 77-66 in what was their highest-scoring opening half of the season.

The Lakers had pulled into a 55-all tie when Farmar and Ryan Kelly hit 3-pointers sandwiched around a 3 by Randy Foye, but the Nuggets gained some separation with a 10-0 burst that began and ended on baskets by Lawson.

Denver led 42-35 after the first quarter, surpassing its previous high for points in the first by a point.

NOTES: Gasol played in his 898th career game, ranking 29th among active players. ... The Nuggets' previous high in the first half was 69 points against Orlando on Jan. 11. ... Faried had his 58th career double-double. Denver is 47-11 in those games. ... The Lakers had 47 rebounds to 43 for Denver, snapping a string of 11 consecutive games in which they were outrebounded.


STAR OF THE GAME

Ty Lawson

Points 30 12-22 FG, 1-3 FT
Rebounds 4, 2 OFF 2 DEF
Assists 17
Steals 0
Blocks 0
GAME LEADERS
Points Kenneth Faried 32
Rebounds Kenneth Faried 13
Assists Ty Lawson 17
Steals Kenneth Faried 3
Blocks MarShon Brooks 2
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

Nuggets guard Evan Fournier on teammate Ty Lawson

"The game is really easy for him and I’m glad he is back playing because he brings so much energy and things to the court. When he was injured he was studying his game to improve."

KEY MOMENT

Denver's third-quarter binge puts L.A. in rearview mirror

The Lakers were still hanging around midway through the third quarter before the Nuggets went on an 18-6 run to turn an 11-point lead into a 23-point advantage.

VIDEO: LAWSON CROSSOVER

Postgame Quotes

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw

On tonight’s game:
“Well I don’t know if there was much defense played but we outscored them so I guess that means we won the game. We just had some lulls out there where we allowed them to stay just close enough where they were still dangerous.”

On individual effort:
“We had some great individual efforts. Ty: 30 [points] and 17 [assists]. Kenneth with his career-high: 32 points and 13 rebounds. [There was a] great balance in our starting lineup; everybody [had] double figures.”

On the upcoming five-game road trip:
“It’s a win; we’ll take it. It’s good for us to finish on this note before we head out on this road trip [and] build up some confidence and like I said, [it’s] just a good starting point for us because we’re going to have some tough games on this trip.”

Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson

On high-scoring game:
“Coach said he wanted to score 40 a quarter, so he was pretty excited. Actually, he was bummed because he said he wanted to get 160. There wasn’t much defense being played, but we won nonetheless.”

On the play of Kenneth Faried tonight with 32 points and 13 rebounds:
“This game is all about energy, whoever plays with the most energy is going to get a lot of points and rebounds and you know he brings it, so I’m happy for him.”

On the key to the upcoming five-game road trip:
“Just staying focused. I feel like we can get all of these games. New Orleans and Charlotte scare me because we all know how we play against teams that don’t have a great record. Against the Heat I know everybody is going to bring it—especially playing primetime everybody is going to bring it. This is going to be a good road trip for us.”

On why he’s been able to play so well after missing almost a month due to injury:
“When you sit out, you watch a lot of tape—you just watch a lot of games. I could see things that were opening up or things that I wasn’t taking and it’s been helping. Shooting the threes and now making them is opening up the rest of my game—the mid-range and getting to the basket and things like that as well as getting more assists.”

Nuggets guard Evan Fournier

On tonight’s game:
“It feels good to get two wins in a row but we can’t be happy with that because we want to win all of our games and finish the season strong. We outscored the Lakers but we have to do a better job defensively because we gave them way too many points.“

On Ty Lawson:
“The game is really easy for him and I’m glad he is back playing because he brings so much energy and things to the court. When you’re injured you have time to study the game and how to get better. When he was injured he was studying his game to improve.”

Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni

On giving up so many baskets over the last three games:
“It is a disturbing number. You can’t win that way. We are trying to do everything we can and the players are trying. A lot of it is that we were out-run, out-strengthed, out-muscled and out-fought. I don’t know if the air is going out and we are tired or what the problem is. You see flashes of play that is ok. I think Robert Sacre came in and did a great job defensively. When he came in it was like wow, we need two or three more guys like that to make us solid.”

On not being able to guard Ty Lawson and keep Kenneth Faried off the glass:
“That is what they do. We have to do a better job. They were getting into it and the speed they do it at just busted us. We probably played the pick-and-roll like 90 percent of the league and we couldn’t keep in front of them.”

On individual performances tonight:
“I had a lot of guys that I thought played well. I thought Kendall Marshall played one of his better games as of late. Ryan Kelly played real well. I thought that Wesley [Johnson], Kent [Bazemore] and MarShon [Brooks] struggled. With new guys that is kind of normal. You come in with a high and then you hit a low point. They don’t really know how we are playing and those are things we have to work out as we go forward. Some of the guys got winded and they succumbed to a little bit of fatigue. But, they rallied and hung in there and we had a couple chances to get it within striking distance. We have to somehow figure out how to keep guys in front.”

Lakers center Robert Sacre:

On defensive performance in past two games:
“I know I’m tired of it and our team’s tired of it. Our defense needs to get better. That’s the key, our defense. If we give guys an average of 140 points a night, that’s not good enough.”

On how to play better defense as a team:
“It does get infectious and people start feeding off the energy on the defensive end. One stop equals another. Two and they get frustrated and start turning the ball over. It’s just about trying to make stops as much as possible.”

On playing four games in five days:
“It’s not over yet. We have [Oklahoma City] coming down the pipe. They’re excited to play us so we just have to not really think about being tired. Everyone is playing in this league. There are no excuses.”

Lakers guard Kendall Marshall:

On what needs improvement:
“It’s everything. A loss is still a loss. When you’re playing a team like Denver and with the way we play, both teams get up-and-down so you’re going to score more points. It’s not just [the defense]. We can’t turn the ball over. We have to get stops defensively. We can’t give up easy lay-ups.”

On how the defense can improve:
“We have to sustain it for 48 minutes. When we’re in a pick-and-roll we have to make sure the weak side always comes over. We can’t give up second chance opportunities. It’s not the same thing every time; it’s always something different so we just have to find ways to get better.”

POSTGAME NOTES

INDIVIDUAL

• Ty Lawson registered 30 points (5-7 3FG) and a career-high tying 17 assists in 41 minutes tonight. It was his second 30-point and 10-assists game of the week (also did so vs. MIN on 3/3). Lawson is averaging 27.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 11.7 assists and 2.00 steals while shooting 56% from the field and 63% from three in his last three games.

• Lawson is the first NBA player to register 30+ points and 17+ assists since Derrick Rose on 3/26/11 at MIL (also had 30 and 17). He is the first Nugget to do so since Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf on 11/15/95 at PHX (30 points, 20 assists). Including Lawson, there have only been 17 total players since 1985-86 to score 30+ points and dish out 17+ assists in the same game.

• Kenneth Faried tallied a career-high 32 points, 13 rebounds and three steals. He is the first Nugget since Carmelo Anthony on 12/20/07 vs. HOU and just the fifth Nugget since 1985-86 to post 32+ points, 13+ rebounds and 3+ steals in the same game. Only three other players this season have accomplished this as well (Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson and DeMarcus Cousins).

• Wilson Chandler posted 19 points (3-4 3FG) and five rebounds in 28 minutes. Chandler has scored 19+ in each of his last three games and is averaging 21.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.33 steals while shooting 50% from the field during this stretch.

• Ryan Kelly recorded 24 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. It was his third career 20-point game and first career double-double.

• Kendall Marshall had eight points and 14 assists tonight. It was eighth career game with 14+ assists, with seven of those coming since Jan. 2014.

TEAM

• The Nuggets won consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 3-5 and swept the season series for the first time ever against the Lakers. Denver has now won the last six contests against Los Angeles, the longest streak ever for the Nuggets.

• Denver has now won 54 of their last 55 home games when scoring 110-or-more points. They have now won 75 of their last 76 home games when scoring 120+ at home.

• The Nuggets scored 42 points in the first quarter, their most points in the opening quarter since they had 48 vs. SEA on 3/16/08. Additionally, it is the third straight game the Nuggets have recorded a 40-point quarter, their longest streak since they did so in four straight games in Nov. 1990.

• Denver’s 134 points and .545 field goal percentage are both their second best totals of the year. The Nuggets are now 12-1 this season when shooting 50%-or-better from the field.

• Denver had six players score in double-figures for the second consecutive game. The Nuggets are now 18-7 on the year when six-or-more players score 10+ points.

• The Nuggets went 14-of-24 (.583) from three-point range tonight. Denver is 14-3 all-time when connecting on 14-or-more threes. Additionally, they are 50-5 dating back to 1985-86 when shooting 58.3%-or-better from long range.

• Prior to Kenneth Faried (32) and Ty Lawson (30) both scoring 30+ tonight, the Nuggets had just two 30-point performances on the year (Lawson with 31 vs. MIN on 3/3 and Randy Foye with 33 vs. CHA on 1/29).

• Tonight was the first time Denver has had two 30-point scorers in the same game since 2/10/11 vs. DAL (Carmelo Anthony had 42 and Chauncey Billups had 30).

• Denver’s starters registered a season-high 106 points while the Lakers reserves scored a Nuggets’ opponent season-high 68 points.

• The Nuggets scored a season-high tying 64 points in the paint tonight and scored 20+ points off turnovers for the 14th time this season.