Nuggets beat Lakers 117-110

Posted at 10:46 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 00:46:16-05

DENVER -- D.J. Augustin scored 22 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead six Denver players in double figures, and the Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 117-107 on Wednesday night in Kobe Bryant's final game at the Pepsi Center.

Emmanuel Mudiay added 22 points and the Nuggets used a 10-0 run midway through the final quarter to gain some separation.

Bryant finished with five points and didn't play in the second half because of a sore right shoulder. Fans kept chanting "We want Kobe" as he sat on the bench with a wrap on his shoulder.

The Nuggets honored Bryant with a video tribute during a timeout in the first quarter. After showing a string of highlights, the big screen read, "Congratulations on an amazing career." Bryant was so engrossed in the team huddle he didn't glance up.

D'Angelo Russell scored 24 points for the Lakers, his second consecutive big night. He had for 39 points Tuesday night in a win over Brooklyn with Bryant sitting out.

The game matched two of the top point guards taken in the draft last summer. Russell was selected with the No. 2 pick, and Mudiay went seventh overall.

Augustin did a little bit of everything to help the Nuggets turn a three-point deficit into a 95-88 lead with 6:41 left. During the stretch, he had a steal, an assist and eight points, including two 3-pointers.

He also put the finishing touches on the game with a three-point play in the final 2 minutes. Augustin tossed up a circus shot that went in as he was fouled by Marcelo Huertas.

The Nuggets played without leading scorer Danilo Gallinari, sidelined with an ankle injury.

Bryant received a standing ovation when he was introduced before the game. He also was cheered each time he touched the ball in the first quarter by a capacity crowd filled with Bryant jerseys. Several fans were holding signs that said things such as "Hug Me, Kobe!" "Aloha, Kobe" and "Heroes and Legends are Forever," which was decorated in purple-and-yellow glitter.

Bryant signed his shoes at the end of the game and gave them to a couple of kids sitting behind the bench. He left the court to another round of applause.

All this adoration was quite a contrast from more than a decade ago, when Bryant was booed each time he visited the Pepsi Center. Back then, the jeers stemmed from a sexual assault case against Bryant in Eagle, Colorado. The charges were eventually dismissed.


Lakers: G Lou Williams (strained left hamstring) is expected to be sidelined at least a week. He was hurt in the second quarter on Tuesday. ... F Larry NanceJr. was held out with a sore right knee. ... Jordan Clarkson left in the third quarter with a strained left knee.

Nuggets: Coach Mike Malone said what he will remember most about Bryant is the guard's intense focus. "Talented player but his mental toughness is what really separates him from a lot of the other great players," Malone said.