Skip to content

Dwight Howard dominates as Lakers cruise past Nuggets

Dec 1, 2012, 1:20 AM EDT

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

The Lakers were coming off of a miserable 77-point performance against a defensive-minded Pacers team on Tuesday, and the Nuggets were coming to town after playing a wild one the night before on the road against the Warriors.

The combination of those two factors, along with Denver’s fearlessness in playing uptempo basketball, spelled disaster for them Friday night in Los Angeles.

The Lakers put up a ridiculous 71 first-half points, and behind a dominant performance from Dwight Howard and balanced production from everyone else, had little trouble in cruising to a 122-103 victory at Staples.

This one was over in the first quarter, and maybe even before it started. Reporters saw a message from Lakers coaches on the team’s whiteboard in the locker room which challenged Howard to win this game on his own, and he delivered from the very start.

Howard was featured offensively, and responded with 16 first-quarter points on 7-of-9 shooting. The activity level kept him engaged defensively, where he grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots in the game’s first 12 minutes.

Kobe Bryant, meanwhile, was happy to facilitate on this night, and only bothered to take three shot attempts in the first, while dishing out five assists in his de facto point guard role. Bryant got going offensively in the second with 10 points in the period, but that was nothing compared to the shooting performance off the bench from reserve guard Jodie Meeks.

Meeks hit his first five three-point attempts of the night, all in the second quarter for 15 points in the period. He finished 7-of-8 from three, good for 21 points in just 17 minutes.

The other stellar performance of the night belonged to Antawn Jamison, who had a throwback game scoring at will as a reserve, and finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds in 32 minutes of action. He was active around the basket and seemed to always be in a position where his teammates could locate him with ease.

Bryant finished just 5-of-15 from the field, and he, Pau Gasol, and Chris Duhon tied for the team lead in assists with eight apiece. With so many other players being prolific offensively, and with the team still in desperate need of Bryant to facilitate rather than score, a line like that from him is not only more than acceptable, but it’s welcome, and to be expected.

The night belonged to Howard, who finished with 28 points and 20 rebounds, and even drilled an open three from the corner with nine seconds left to cap his stellar performance. Some of this was on the Nuggets’ style of play and the personnel mismatch, but the majority of L.A.’s success was simply forced by the outstanding team play of the Lakers.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Gary Payton assistant-coaching candidate with Lakers, Bucks

    Jul 29, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

    Gary Payton #20 Gary Payton #20

    Jason Kidd or Byron Scott could hire former Seattle SuperSonic

  2. Kyrie Irving’s contract actually falls short of max

    Jul 29, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT

    Kyrie Irving Kyrie Irving

    Irving wouldn’t get full 30 percent of adjusted salary cap by triggering Derrick Rose rule

  3. Report: Hawks draft pick ‘very likely’ to play in Spain next season

    Jul 29, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

    Walter Travares, Walter Travares,

    Atlanta selected 7-foot-3 center No. 43 in 2014 NBA draft

  4. Blake Griffin backflips into sea before withdrawing from Team USA with reported back injury (video)

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Six Getty Images

    Previous report said Griffin fractured back during Clippers’ playoff run, which ended before backflip video was posted

  5. Serge Ibaka still not 100 percent after unexpected playoff comeback

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Three Getty Images

    Thunder forward says he’s improving, but ‘it’s going to take time’

  6. Report: Grizzlies hire Ed Stefanski for front office

    Jul 29, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

    Evan Turner Press Conference Evan Turner Press Conference

    Former 76ers and Nets general manager now Memphis’ executive vice president of player personnel

  7. NBA Players union elects first female executive director in Michele Roberts

    Jul 29, 2014, 1:32 AM EDT

    Derek Fisher

    It wasn’t pretty getting there, but the union has a leader again.

  8. Kyrie Irving’s world looks pretty good right now

    Jul 29, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT

    2014 USA Basketball Men's National Team Practice Getty Images

    It’s been a good summer to be Kyrie Irving. Really good.

  9. Andre Drummond denies Draymond Green at Team USA practice (video)

    Jul 28, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT

    Andre Drummond, Jonas Jerebko, Draymond Green Andre Drummond, Jonas Jerebko, Draymond Green

    Pistons center denies Warriors forward at the rim with relatively late, but incredibly awesome, leap

  10. Report: P.J. Tucker arrested for DUI, registers .222 blood-alcohol content

    Jul 28, 2014, 9:14 PM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

    Tucker also re-signed with Suns for $16.5 million this offseason

  11. Report: As NBPA focuses on after-party, agents want union vote delayed

    Jul 28, 2014, 8:47 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Atlanta Hawks Los Angeles Clippers v Atlanta Hawks

    National Basketball Players Associate scheduled to vote on Billy Hunter’s replacement today

  12. Derrick Rose: “I’ve become a smarter player, but I’m mad it took me seven years to learn it.”

    Jul 28, 2014, 7:19 PM EDT

    2014 USA Basketball Men's National Team Practice Getty Images

    Mike Krzyzewski said Derrick Rose looked healthy at Tea USA training camp.

  13. Shelly Sterling beats Donald Sterling in court, clears sale of Clippers to Steve Ballmer

    Jul 28, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT

    Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano

    Donald Sterling’s right to appeal restricted, a pivotal and unexpected ruling

  14. Mo Williams agrees to one-year deal to join Timberwolves

    Jul 28, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT

    Mo Williams, Shane Battier Mo Williams, Shane Battier

    Williams didn’t get quite the payday he was expecting as an unrestricted free agent.

  15. Team USA’s system isn’t changing: They plan to use quickness, athleticism to pressure teams

    Jul 28, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT

    The U.S. head coach Krzyzewski watches his team against Spain during their men's gold medal  basketball match at the North Greenwich Arena in London during the London 2012 Olympic Games Reuters

    The USA has superior athletes and should use that to their advantage.

  16. Derrick Rose making vintage Derrick Rose plays at USA Basketball camp (VIDEOS)

    Jul 28, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

    Derrick Rose seems to be moving and playing like the Derrick Rose of old.

Featured video

Why can't Lakers have a player-coach?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. T. Warren (4685)
  2. L. James (4331)
  3. K. Love (4023)
  4. J. Nelson (3552)
  5. R. Allen (3402)
  1. D. Rose (3101)
  2. C. Anthony (2947)
  3. K. Bryant (2830)
  4. A. Wiggins (2286)
  5. A. Aminu (2135)