LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony had 26 points, eight rebounds
and six assists, and Kenyon Martin added 16 points to lead the
Denver Nuggets to a 105-94 exhibition victory over the Los Angeles
Lakers on Thursday night.
Kwame Brown led Los Angeles with 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting.
Kobe Bryant had 15 points and three assists in 30 minutes and was
6-for-16 from the field for the Lakers, who shot 42.5 percent,
including 3-for-17 from 3-point range.
Denver opened the game with a 16-3 run that included six of
Anthony's 20 first-half points. His 3-pointer gave the Nuggets a
63-53 halftime lead.
DerMarr Johnson's three-point play capped an 11-2 spurt that
gave Denver an 81-61 lead with 5:08 left in the third quarter. Less
than 1½ minutes later, Martin slammed home a perfect alley-oop feed
from Anthony, and the Lakers got no closer than 11 points after
that as Greg Buckner and Anthony Miller contributed the bulk of
Denver's offense in the fourth quarter.
Phil Jackson, coaching the Lakers at Staples Center for the
first time since the 2004 playoffs, got a standing ovation when he
took his place on the sidelines toward the end of the pregame
shootaround. He acknowledged the crowd with a nod of his head and a
wide grin that he usually reserves for championship clinchers.
Nuggets coach George Karl, who has been suspended for the first
three games of the regular season, allowed assistant Scott Brooks
to coach this game and get a taste of what will be required of him
when the Nuggets open the season at San Antonio and then take on
the Lakers and Portland at home. Karl was not on the bench, but he
was in the arena.
Karl violated NBA policy last May when he attended a workout at
Milwaukee that was run by Rick Majerus, the former coach at the
University of Utah. He went there to watch his son Cody play, but
two players who were not yet draft eligible also were working out --
including Illinois point guard Deron Williams, who eventually was
drafted third overall by the Utah Jazz. Karl was also fined