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Nuggets 111, Lakers 99

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Center Timofey Mozgov tied a career high with 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets pulled away to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 111-99 Wednesday night.

Forward Kenneth Faried had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and guard Ty Lawson scored 19 for the Nuggets, who won two straight for the first time this season.

Center Pau Gasol had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers (4-6), and Jordan Hill also had a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds.

The Nuggets (3-4) lost center JaVale McGee to a stress fracture Friday but welcomed back forward Wilson Chandler, who missed the first six games with a hamstring injury. Chandler scored 12 points in 21 minutes.

Mozgov, getting more playing time with the loss of McGee, sparked the Nuggets after Los Angeles got within four entering the fourth. He hit a jumper in the lane, drew an offensive foul on center Chris Kaman and hit another jumper that beat the shot clock and gave Denver an 89-79 lead.

The Lakers, playing without guard Steve Nash for the second straight game, got within six again, but Chandler hit two 3-pointers around a Faried tip-in to make it 101-87 with 5:30 left.

Mozgov's defense in the last two minutes helped seal it. Twice he blocked Gasol's layup attempts to bring the crowd to its feet. He finished with four blocks.

The Lakers looked like the fresher team at the start, jumping out to an 8-0 lead before Denver finally got rolling. Once the Nuggets did, they raced past Los Angeles. The home team went on a 23-6 run to grab a nine-point lead late in the first quarter.

The advantage grew to 13 on Faried's hook shot and a free throw early in the second. The Lakers got within four late in the half before trailing 60-54 at intermission.

NOTES: Lakers G Steve Nash missed his second consecutive game with a nerve root injury. He will be sidelined at least one more week. ... Nuggets C JaVale McGee is expected to miss several weeks with a stress fracture in his left tibia. McGee was injured in Friday's loss to the Suns in Phoenix. ... Denver has 12 players averaging at least 15 minutes a game, but with F Wilson Chandler returning, some players' minutes will start to diminish. "I'd like to get the rotation down to nine or 10 guys," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. "I've been trying to seek out and search for combinations that work. We still have injuries. Definitely something I've wanted to do but something I've needed to do." ... The Lakers' bench entered Wednesday leading the NBA in scoring at 52 points per game. Los Angeles' subs scored just 28 points against the Nuggets.
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