Lakers vs. Denver: Lakers lose first game of season to Nuggets
Nuggets 118, Lakers 112 (final)
Finally, the Lakers have lost a game, their eight-game winning streak falling in Denver.
Now the Lakers have lost four consecutive regular-season games to the Nuggets. The Lakers have lost eight of 11 games in the Pepsi Center.
The Lakers had a 14-point lead in the third quarter, and led by 10 in fourth before the Nuggets scored 16 in a row.
Kobe Bryant had 34 points, but he was just 11-for-32 from the field.
Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 32 points and 13 rebounds.
Lakers 93, Nuggets 85 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers opened a 14-point lead in the third quarter before they settled into an eight-point lead.
Kobe Bryant got warmed up, scoring 26 points through three quarters.
Pau Gasol had a double-double through three quarters with 15 points and 16 rebounds.
Shannon Brown came off the bench to give the Lakers 10 points through three quarters.
Lakers 64, Nuggets 59 (end of first half)
The Lakers dropped 38 points on the Nuggets in the second quarter.
By the half, three Lakers had scored in double figures.
Ron Artest, assigned to defend Carmelo Anthony, had 14 points on five-for-six shooting.
Kobe Bryant had 12 points and Pau Gasol had 11 points and eight rebounds.
Nene scored all 12 of his points in the second quarter for Denver.
Anthony had 15 points in the first half.
Lakers 26, Nuggets 24 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers took at two-point lead over the Nuggets because of the play of Ron Artest.
Artest had nine points on three-for-three shooting.
Carmelo Anthony had 11 points on five-for-11 shooting.
The Portland Trail Blazers were supposed to be the Lakers' biggest test of the season.
The Lakers beat the Trail Blazers by 25 points.
Now the Denver Nuggets, whom the Lakers face Thursday night at Pepsi Center, are supposed to be the biggest test of the young season.
"It's one of those road games that's always interesting," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said.
The Lakers entered the game with an 8-0 record.
The Nuggets entered the game 4-4, having lost two straight games.
"For them, I think it's even more [of a big game] because they came off a road trip, they had lost [two games in a row] and now they are back on it," Jackson said. "I think they have to establish something. So I think they are going to play very hard and we have to meet that intensity."
It's a game in which Kobe Bryant could reach another milestone.
Bryant is 17 points short of reaching 26,000 points for his career.
If he reaches it against the Nuggets, Bryant would become the youngest player to do so in NBA history, at 32 years, 80 days.
He would surpass Wilt Chamberlain (32 years, 114 days) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 years, 331 days).
Bryant also would be the 12th player in league history to score 26,000 points and the eighth fastest to do so in terms of games played (1,030), following behind Shaquille O'Neal (1,022).
-- Broderick Turner, reporting from Denver