Yahoo: Kobe Bryant scored 24 points and reserve guard Sasha Vujacic dominated the fourth quarter, scoring 19 of his career-high 22 points and powering the Los Angeles Lakers to a 127-99 rout of the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Vujacic shot 6-for-14 in 21 minutes of action. Andrew Bynum had 12 points and 13 rebounds and Luke Walton added a career-high 14 points in 27 minutes. The Lakers’ much-improved second unit played so spectacularly and efficiently down the stretch that Bryant didn’t play in the fourth quarter — despite the fact that the Lakers only had a six-point lead after three. The reserves outscored their Denver counterparts 63-29.
Carmelo Anthony led Denver with 23 points and Allen Iverson had 21. The loss was the Nuggets’ third straight, following a 7-1 stretch.
J.R. Smith opened the fourth with a layup that cut Los Angeles’ lead to 81-77. The Lakers then went on a 24-8 run that extended the margin to 105-85. Vujacic scored the Lakers’ last seven points of the rally — two free throws, followed by a 3-pointer and then a 20-footer with 6:41 to play.
Earlier in the run, Vujacic was fouled by Eduardo Najera behind the 3-point line and sank all three free throws.
Anthony was ejected with 6:18 remaining after committing a flagrant foul against Vujacic, hitting him in the throat away from the ball.