DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 03: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers bites his jersey as he controls the ball against Andre Miller #24 of the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on February 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Lakers defeated the Nuggets 93-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Lakers won 93-89 over the Denver Nuggets after Al Harrington's potential game winning three pointer missed, giving the Lakers a big boost of confidence to start their yearly Grammys road trip. The Lakers played a tough brand of basketball, limiting the offensive powerhouse Nuggets to only 21% shooting from beyond the arc. Andrew Bynum led the way for the Lakers with 22 points and 10 rebounds, a day after being named the starting center for the West's al stars, while Kobe Bryant struggled in the first half to finish with 20 points on just 7-23 shooting.
The game was a big test for the Lakers, given their struggles against teams on the road. It wasn't easy, as the Lakers often times looked exhausted late in the game. The Denver Nuggets, coming off a back to back game themselves, struggled mightily scoring the ball, missing numerous layups and close shots. Lakers coach Mike Brown said, "We just had to control the tempo offensively and go at our pace." The game was close the entire second half, with the Lakers leading most of the way. After a dramatic final minute, which saw Derek Fisher sink a clutch jumper, two controversial calls, video replays, and a missed contested three by Al Harrington, the Lakers came away with a huge victory over the Nuggets.