Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/7/13
LOS ANGELES -- They were brought in to lift the Lakers to yet another title, to add even more glitz and glamour to a star-studded town that is used to championships and winning streaks and Showtime. Dwight Howard and Steve Nash are finding out that all those Los Angeles lights can cause quite the glare. The Lakers' loaded starting lineup fell to 0-4 after the visiting Denver Nuggets dealt Los Angeles a 112-105 loss Sunday night at Staples Center. Though Lakers starters Howard, Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace all scored in double figures, the group remains winless. While Nash missed most of the early part of the season with a leg fracture and only recently came back, things have not looked much better for the team since his return. "It's a combo of everything," Nash said. "There are moments we can play smarter, where we can play better defensively ... when you add it all up, we're struggling. At different times, we're finding different ways to lose the game. At times I think we are getting better, but we have nothing to show for it." Certainly not Sunday night, when the Nuggets used a big third quarter to regain control. After Los Angeles outscored Denver 34-26 in the second quarter to tie the game at the half, 60-60, the Nuggets fell behind by four midway through the third quarter. Denver then held Los Angeles to just five points in the final six minutes of the third, seizing a six-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Though the Lakers (15-18) cut the deficit to as few as three points, the Nuggets took advantage of late turnovers to send Los Angeles to its third straight loss. After Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left, Denver forward Danilo Gallinari scooped up a rebound after a Howard blocked shot and hit a back-breaking 3-pointer. Bryant responded with an off-balance 3-pointer, but the Lakers were forced to foul Denver twice, and the Nuggets (20-16) hit all four free throws. "Our defense wasn't good for much of the game, but as the game went on, it got a little better," Denver coach George Karl said. "They were making a lot of shots, but I thought we got better contesting, and that has not been the case most of the year. We've been kind of an average fourth-quarter defensive team, but tonight, as the game went on, we got a little more confident and a little better defending their 'A' stuff." Ty Lawson had 21 points and 10 assists to lead Denver, which had six players score in double figures. Gallinari finished with 20 points, and JaVale McGee added 17 off the Denver bench. The Nuggets outscored the Lakers 60-38 in the paint and 25-14 in fast-break points. "We're a team that attacks," Denver forward Kenneth Faried said. "We attack the rim, each and every game. No matter who is in the paint, trying to protect it, we're going to keep attacking it." Bryant had 29 points on 11-of-26 shooting and added seven assists. World Peace had 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Howard tied a career-high with 26 rebounds and added 14 points, but he had just four points in the second half. Gasol scored 11 points, and Nash contributed 10 points and 13 assists, though he turned the ball over five times. Now the Lakers are challenged with keeping an already fractured locker room together. "We've been chippy a lot this year," Howard said. "We don't want to lose. Our intent is not to go out there and lose every game. We're in a tough stretch. We have to stay together. We can't point fingers at anybody." NOTES: Steve Blake (abdominal surgery) missed the game for the Lakers. Gasol (plantar fasciitis), Howard (shoulder), Chris Duhon (back spasms) and Jordan Hill (ankle/herniated disc) played despite their ailments. Hill scored 13 points in 15 minutes. ... Wilson Chandler (hip) was sidelined for the Nuggets. ... Los Angeles won the season series with the Nuggets last season, 3-1, before beating Denver 4-3 in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. ... Nash is five assists shy of 10,000 for his career. He currently ranks fifth on the all-time assist list, behind No. 4 Magic Johnson (10,141). ... Nuggets guard Corey Brewer had a career-high 27 points in the Denver's 126-114 in over the Lakers on Dec. 26. He scored 14 points Sunday.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker