LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kobe Bryant scored 33 points, Pau Gasol added 27 points and 19 rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers welcomed back center Andrew Bynum in a 116-102 win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
The win was the 63rd for the Lakers, matching the idle Cleveland Cavaliers for the league lead.
Bynum, playing in his first game since tearing the medial collateral ligament in his right knee on Jan. 31, had 16 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes.
Wearing a black brace on his right knee, Bynum was greeted with cheers when his name was announced in the starting lineup. Another loud eruption came when the Lakers' announcer asked fans to welcome back the center.
Carmelo Anthony had 23 points to lead the Nuggets, who failed to secure the number two seed in the Western Conference.