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    Nuggets win by 58 points, LA through

    Reuters
    29.04.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme: 28.04.2009 - 19:08

    LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Lakers cruised into the second round of the NBA playoffs on Monday while the Denver Nuggets moved a big step closer to joining them with a record-equalling thrashing of the New Orleans Hornets.

    The Western Conference champion Lakers utilized Kobe Bryant's 31-point effort to beat the Utah Jazz 107-96 and claim their Western Conference quarter-final series 4-1.

    However, it was the Nuggets who put on the most remarkable display of the day by earning a spot in the record books with a 121-63 rout of the Hornets in New Orleans.

    Not since the Minneapolis Lakers defeated the St Louis Hawks 133-75 in 1956 has an NBA team won a post-season game by a 58-point margin.

    "I must say I have never been a part of a game quiet like this in the playoffs," Chauncey Billups told reporters after scoring 17 points to help Western Conference second seeds take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

    "We played well offensively but we played spotty defense tonight," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We broke the game open but we didn't close the door."

    The Lakers had a 21-point lead cut to six points by Utah in the fourth quarter. The Utah Jazz big man Paul Millsap came off the bench to lead the rally with 16 points.

    Scoring spree
    In New Orleans, the Nuggets went on a scoring spree while holding Hornets top scorer Chris Paul to just four points.

    "I don't think I've ever had a team play defense like that," Nuggets coach George Karl said.

    Denver had a 36-15 lead after the first quarter and was in front 61-39 at the half. Seven Nuggets, including Carmelo Anthony with 26 points, wound up in double figures.

    "That's the worst game I've seen us play in the five years I've been here," Hornets coach Byron Scott said.

    Game Five is in Denver tonight.
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