LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Interim coach Michael Cooper brings the
Denver Nuggets to the Staples Center to face his former team,
the Los Angeles Lakers, on Sunday.
Cooper, who won five NBA titles with the Lakers during the
1980s, will be coaching the Nuggets for the second time after
Jeff Bzdelik was fired Tuesday.
Denver jumped out to an early 16-2 lead against the Philadelphia
76ers on Friday and broke a six-game losing streak with a 97-92
victory. Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points in his return after
missing five games with a sprained ankle.
The Nuggets played better defensively in the fourth quarter
against Philadelphia. Allen Iverson was held to four points
over the final 12 minutes and the 76ers committed 10 of their 23
The Lakers have not played since Tuesday, when they established
a season high in scoring with a 117-99 victory over the Toronto
Kobe Bryant suffered a sprained left shoulder in the first
quarter but scored 48 points against Toronto, following his
42-point performance against the Miami Heat on Christmas Day.
Caron Butler returned from a one-game suspension to score 18
points and grab nine rebounds for the Lakers, who outscored the
Raptors, 36-19, in the fourth period and finished December with
a 6-6 record.
The Lakers defeated the Nuggets in the season opener November 2,
89-78. Bryant scored 25 points and Chris Mihm had a
career-high 23 and 12 rebounds.