J.R. Smith's Twitter challenge to Kobe Bryant: His trash talk was contagious -- and it didn't work

Last week, we told you about Nuggets Twitter fan J.R. Smith, who challenged L.A. Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant via a cocky tweet -- "Dont get me wrong kobe is great but not when he play me" -- before telling the media to keep its collective nose off his page.

Turns out this wasn't the only example of boasting from the Nuggets prior to yesterday's matchup with the Lake Show at the Staples Center. As ESPN's Dave McMenamin notes, Laker Pao Gasal accused Kenyon Martin, Chris Andersen and Nenê of using pretty much the same tone, except live and in person. And what did that get the Nuggets? A loss in a game they had every chance to win.

Granted, the Nuggets came close to crippling Bryant, who wound up with just fourteen points to go along with a slew of assists -- and while Arron Afflalo did most of the defensive heavy lifting, Smith had at least one excellent moment of D against Kobe, denying him the ball down low for what would have been a sure two.

But the Lakers managed to do likewise to Carmelo Anthony, who was constantly bothered and harassed by Ron Artest and his pals -- and even though the Nugs built a nice cushion in the first half, they gave the lead up numerous times after halftime en route to a six point defeat.

Despite coming up short, the Nuggets never backed down, making L.A. sweat in its own building -- and as the playoffs near, that's great. But the Denver crew would be better off letting their play do their talking -- or, in the case of J.R., the typing. The Lakers are arguably the most talented team in the league. Why make taking them down any harder than it's already going to be?