Denver (16-9) at Los Angeles (18-5)

Fair Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 62° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EST Fri Dec 19, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Many people expected the Los Angeles Lakers to be running through the NBA this season. The Denver Nuggets’ turnaround was much harder to predict.

The Nuggets can match their victory total from last season when they visit the Lakers for a matchup of division leaders.

Denver has won seven of its last 10 games and needs one victory to equal its total from last season’s 17-65 campaign.

“This team is totally different from last year,” said Marcus Camby, who blocked seven shots and scored 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting in Wednesday’s 99-98 victory over Seattle. “We have veteran leadership through free agency. It’s a better ballclub.”

The Nuggets are tied with Minnesota atop the division, percentage points ahead of reigning NBA champion San Antonio.

Carmelo Anthony scored 14 points and made a layup off an inbounds play with six seconds left in Wednesday’s game.

“I saw the opening,” Anthony recalled. “Everybody told me, `Don’t lay it up. Dunk.’ I always lay it up in practice, but it worked. I went to the hole real hard and it went in.”

Andre Miller barely missed a triple-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

The Nuggets will head into Staples Center to face a rested Lakers squad that has lost two straight games. Los Angeles had its streak of 27 consecutive regular-season home victories end last Friday night against Dallas, then went on to lose in Portland on Saturday, 112-108.

Kobe Bryant finished with 35 points and Shaquille O’Neal had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers.

Bryant may miss Friday’s game as he will be at a hearing in Colorado for his rape case that is expected to take all day.

Related Articles

Team Stat Leaders