Although it's still just the first week of the season, the 92-89 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers is one that will haunt the Denver Nuggets for some time. The inability to execute down the stretch cost the Nuggets a victory that was there for the taking.
It was the Nuggets bench that gave them opportunity to pull out the victory at Staples Center, as they outscored the bench of the Lakers by 28 points. Al Harrington was fantastic throughout the game, scoring a team-high 21 points on 8/16 shooting. Andre Miller added 13 points and four assists off the bench.
Nene scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but was outplayed down the stretch by Andrew Bynum. Ty Lawson finished with nine points and eight assists, but missed two key free-throws in the final minutes. Danilo Gallinari had a game to forget, shooting just 3/12 from the field and missing an open layup that would have tied the game with just seconds remaining.
The combination of Bynum and Pau Gasol proved to be too much for the Nuggets to handle. The duo combined to score 46 points on 20/28 shooting from the field. While he struggled with his shot, Kobe Bryant still finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.