Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points and had a game-saving block at the buzzer, helping the Denver Nuggets hold on for a 98-96 win over a Los Angeles Lakers team playing without Kobe Bryant on Thursday night.
The Lakers were led by Paul Gasol, who finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds.
The Nuggets took advantage of the Bryant-less Lakers, racing out to a 15-point lead in the third quarter.
Bryant has quite a bit of company when it comes to bumps and bruises. Ron Artest has been playing with a bruised left heel and a sprained left thumb, while Brown has a sprained right thumb and Sasha Vujacic a sprained right shoulder.
Artest had 22 points against Denver, while Brown contributed 12 off the bench.
Andrew Bynum remains sidelined with a strained left Achilles’. Bynum said before the game that he’s steadily progressing, bu doesn’t know when he will be back. He injured the tendon on March 19 against Minnesota.
Jackson said he doesn’t want to rush Bynum back too soon, even if it means resting him into the playoffs.