Andrew Bynum contributed 13 points and 13 rebounds as Los Angeles beat Denver for the fifth straight time. Lamar Odom also scored 13, while Pau Gasol had 12 and Trevor Ariza 11.
Bryant, who ended 12-of-18 from the field, had 11 points in the third quarter and didn't play in the fourth with the outcome in hand.
J.R. Smith and Nene led the way for the Nuggets with 18 points apiece. Chauncey Billups added 15 points for Denver, which had a four-game winning streak broken.
It was a poor offensive night for Carmelo Anthony, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, but shot 5-of-19 from the field.
The Lakers were ahead 67-47 at the half, but the Nuggets made their run in the third quarter. A Dahntay Jones layup had Denver within 71-60 at the midway point, but Bryant's jumper started 10 straight LA points. Ariza's jumper culminated the push, and Bryant had the final bucket of the period for an 88-67 difference.
Denver didn't threaten over the final 12 minutes, never getting the deficit under double digits.
The Lakers surged early, as Jordan Farmar's three-ball expanded the lead to 29-15. It was 35-20 going to the second, and LA continued to pull away. Gasol's jam off a feed from Farmar moved the cushion to 59-32 with 4:26 remaining in the half.