Denver trails 2-1 in the opening-round matchup and will try to even things when it hosts Game 4 Sunday.
The Nuggets outscored the Lakers 30-14 in the opening period and still had a 16-point lead at halftime. Los Angeles closed within six late in the third period, but Denver consistently answered the Lakers down the stretch.
Lawson scored 25 points and JaVale McGee came off the bench to contribute 16. McGee made 8-of-12 shots from the field.
Los Angeles shot just 37 percent from the field and turned the ball over 15 times to only six for the Nuggets.