Halftime: Lakers 56, Nuggets 56

At some point, Andrew Bynum’s return to the Lakers’ starting lineup after a 32-game absence because of a knee injury will become nothing more than a footnote on tonight’s game against the Denver Nuggets. That’s because the game is shaping up as something more than just another regular-season contest. The teams were tied at the half and there was no reason to think things would swing one way or the other definitively in the third quarter. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 17 points, Pau Gasol had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Bynum had three points, four rebounds and one assist. Carmelo Anthony led Denver with 16 points, and JR Smith added 12, including a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.

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