Ty Lawson

Ty Lawson had 21 points and 10 assists, Danilo Gallinari scored 20 points and hit a big 3-pointer with 13.8 seconds left, and the Nuggets beat the struggling Lakers 112-105 Sunday night for their fifth win in seven games.

JaVale McGee scored 17 points for the Nuggets, who showed no signs of weariness after a home win over Utah one night earlier. Despite two last-minute 3-pointers by Kobe Bryant, Denver calmly maintained a lead throughout the fourth quarter of its second win in 12 days over the star-studded Lakers, who aren’t exactly putting fear or fury into their opponents.

”They’re struggling,” Denver coach George Karl said. ”It’s a great win for us, but I’m not going to get overinflated.”

Staples Center was mostly silent while Los Angeles dropped to 15-18 with another mediocre performance featuring 18 turnovers, intermittent defense and little structured offense down the stretch. Bryant scored 29 points and Dwight Howard had 14 points and a career high-tying 26 rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost three straight and four of five…

After the game, the Lakers said Howard aggravated his shoulder injury. He will have an MRI exam on Monday before the Lakers leave for a quick two-game trip to Texas, and Howard didn’t know whether he’ll play Tuesday at Houston…

Steve Nash had 10 points and 13 assists for the Lakers, while Pau Gasol had 11 points and five rebounds before leaving with a bloody nose with 1:05 to play in a collision with McGee.

Andre Iguodala had 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Nuggets, and Miller finished with 12 points and 10 assists…

Lakers G Chris Duhon returned after missing the past two games with back spasms. F Jordan Hill also played with a sprained right ankle.

– Reported by Greg Beacham of the Associated Press