Lakers 94 Nuggets 82
Down 3-1, it doesn't look good for Denver as they head to Los Angeles to play the Lakers in an elimination game. The Lakers and Celtics are a combined 58-1 in series when they lead 3-1 in a best of 7 series. With those odds and the fact you never want to play the Lakers in LA, the Nuggets season might come to an end tonight.
Denver came out strong in the first to take a 23-18 lead but the Lakers played excellent defense in the second quarter only allowing the Nuggets to score 11 points as the Lakers jump out to a 47-34 halftime lead. After the third the Nuggets cut the deficit to 67-60 but the Lakers would pull away in the 4th after Kobe hit back to back 3 pointers late in the fourth as the Lakers win 94-82 and advance to play the Oklahoma City Thunder in round 2.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 29 points (10-23, 3-4 4pt, 6-7 ft), 3 rebounds, 1 assist and played great defense as he had 6 steals. Pau Gasol had a double double as he scored 21 points (8-18, 5-5 ft) and 10 rebounds. Andrew Bynum nearly had a double double as he scored 15 points (6-12, 3-4 ft) and 9 boards. Ramon Sessions had 13 points (3-10, 7-8 ft), 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Jordan Hill off the bench had 6 rebounds and a block. The Lakers shot 43% from the field (33-77, 5-10 3pt) and were 23-27 from the foul line.
The Bench led the way for the Nuggets as Andre Miller had 17 points (7-16, 3-4 ft) and Al Harrington had 16 points (6-14, 4-9 3pt) and 9 boards. Aaron Afflalo was the only starter in double figures with 13 (5-6, 2-3 3pt, 1-2 ft). Kenneth Faried had 8 points (3-8, 2-2 ft) and a game high 12 rebounds. Ty Lawson had 8 points (2-8, 0-3 3pt, 4-4 ft) and 10 assists. Danilo Gallinari had 7 points (2-6, 0-3 3pt, 3-3 ft), 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks. As a team the Nuggets shot 43% from the field (27-63, 6-18 3pt) and were 22-29 from the foul line. The whole Denver team was sloppy with the ball as they committed 22 turnovers.
Kobe averaged 26.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 3 steals a game. Pau Gasol averaged 18.2 points, 11.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. Andrew Bynum averaged 19.8 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks a game.
Andre Miller averaged 17.8 points and 4.8 assists. Gallinari averaged 12.2 points, and 6.2 rebounds. Ty Lawson averaged 12.6 points, and 7.2 assists a game.
The Lakers defeat the Nuggets 4-1 in the series.
Lakers @ Nuggets Game 4
Lakers 108 Nuggets 103
Down 2-1 the Nuggets knew they would need to win game 4 to avoid elimination back in LA for game 5. However they were not able to get it done despite owning a double digit lead in the first half. They lose a close one 108-103 and head back to LA facing elimination.
Denver led 30-17 after the first and really had the fans acting as a 6th man early on, but the Lakers wasted no time getting right back into this one, as they outscore the Nuggets 33-20 in the 2nd quarter to tie the game up at 50 heading into halftime. The Lakers were more aggressive in the third and jumped out to a 77-70 lead after the third before holding on for a 108-103 victory, taking a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Kobe Bryant led the scoring with 32 points (12-28, 1-6 3pt, 7-8 ft), and also had 3 boards and a steal. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum both had monster games as they posted double doubles. Pau Gasol had 21 points (8-15, 6-8 ft), 12 boards, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Andrew Bynum had 21 points (8-12, 5-7 ft), 15 boards and 3 blocks. Ramon Sessions was the only other Laker in double figures with 16 points (5-13, 6-7 ft), 3 boards, 5 assists and 3 steals. Jordan Hill brought a lot of energy off the bench scoring 7 points and grabbing 7 boards, including 4 of the teams 17 offensive boards. As a team the Lakers shot 46% from the field (38-82, 1-7 3pt) and were 31-39 from the foul line.
It was the point guards leading the way for the Nuggets as Ty Lawson led Denver with 19 points (6-14, 0-4 3pt, 7-8 ft), 2 boards, 6 assists, and 3 steals. Andre Miller had 16 points (7-15, 0-1 3pt, 2-2 ft), 4 boards and 7 assists. Danilo Gallinari had it going on from downtown as he finished with 16 points (5-13, 4-8 3pt, 2-2 ft) and 6 boards. Kenneth Faried scored 15 points (6-11, 3-5 ft) and pulled down 8 boards. Corey Brewer off the bench scored 11 points and had 6 boards. As a team the Nuggets shot 46% from the field (37-80, 7-19 3pt) and were 22-29 from the foul line.
Game 5 is Tuesday in LA
Lakers @ Nuggets Game 3
Lakers 109 Nuggets 91
Lakers 109 Nuggets 91
With the series tied up 1-1, the winner of game 3 really takes a big advantage and puts some serious pressure on their opponent moving forward.
Both the Lakers and Nuggets were red hot in the 1st quarter as the Lakers led 34-26 and they didn’t let up too much in the 2nd as the Lakers took a 61-49 lead at half. The Nuggets could not find a way to slow down Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum or Ramon Sessions as the Lakers went on to a 109-91 lead taking a 2-1 advantage in the series.
Offensively it was all Bryant, Sessions and Bynum. Kobe led the way with 33 points (10-20, 3-5 3pt, 10-12 ft), 7 boards, 7 assists and 3 steals. Sessions was right behind him with 27 points (9-15, 9-10 ft), 3 boards, 5 assists and a steal. Bynum had 24 points (9-14, 6-9 ft), 13 boards and 3 blocks. Pau Gasol was 2-8 from the field finishing with 6 points, 12 boards and 2 blocks. Jordan Hill led the scoring off the bench with 10 points. Los Angeles shot 49% (35-72, 3-9 3pt) and were 36-47 from the foul line.
The bench led the way for the Nuggets as Andre Miller had a team high 17 points (7-14, 3-3 ft), 4 assists and 3 steals. Al Harrington had 16 points (6-12, 2-4 3pt, 2-2 ft) and 8 boards. Kenneth Faried had the best game of any Nugget starter scoring 14 points (5-7, 4-6 ft), 6 boards, 1 assist and 2 steals. Danilo Gallinari scored 11 points but was just 1-7 from downtown, and he also had 6 boards and 2 blocks. Ty Lawson had 10 points and 8 assists. Denver shot 44% (35-80, 3-17 3pt) and were 18-28 from the foul line.
Game 4 is Sunday in Denver
Lakers 96 Nuggets 85
The Lakers really struggled on the defense end with the suspsension to Metta World Peace and it'll be interesting to see how they respond in game two and see what kind of adjustments they make.
Kobe Bryant once again was brilliant, scoring 29 (9-15, 2-3 3pt, 9-12 ft) with 4 boards, 3 assists and 4 steals. Andrew Bynum scored 19 points (7-10, 5-7 ft), had 8 boards and 3 blocks. Pau Gasol recorded a double double with 15 points (6-14, 3-4 ft) and 12 boards, adding 2 blocks. Devin Ebanks filled in nicely for World Peace scoring 10 points on 5-10 shooting and had 7 boards. Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake each had 6 assists. The Lakers shot 50% from the field going 35-70, 3-7 from downtown and were 23-34 from the foul line.
The Denver Nuggets had 5 guys in double figures but it wasn't enough to steal games in LA before heading home. Corey Brewer led the Nuggets with 17 points (8-10, 1-2 ft) and had 5 boards. Andre Miller scored 14 points with 4 assists. Al Harrington scored 12 points but scored 9 of those from the foul line as he shot 1-11 from the field and 1-7 from downtown. Kenneth Faried had 11 points and 6 boards and Danilo Gallinari also had 11 points. Ty Lawson had 5 steals to go with his 9 points and 5 assists. Javale McGee and Kosta Koufos each had 3 blocks. The Nuggets were 30-71 but rushed too many 3's going 2-15 from downtown. Their 17 turnovers hurt them in this one.
Game 3 is Friday in Denver
Nuggets @ Lakers game 1
Nuggets 109 Lakers 98
Lakers will lose a huge piece of their defense with the suspension to Metta World Peace and by the looks of this one, they really could have used him. This was a close one all through the first half as the lead changed pretty often. The Nuggets took a 25-24 lead after the first, but it was all tied up at 56 heading into halftime. I don't know what Coach Karl told his team in the locker rooms but they came out ready to play defense in the third. The Lakers were held to only 17 points and the Nuggets took a 79-73 lead going to the fourth. In the fourth the Lakers kept it close but the Nuggets hit their free throws down the stretch and pulled away at the end as they take game one in LA 109-98
The big story here was the Nuggets bench. Andre Miller scored 25 points (9-15, 7-8 ft) and had 8 assists in just 22 minutes, proving why veteran leadership is key in the NBA playoffs. Also in 22 minutes Corey Brewer scored 18 points (6-8, 2-2 3pt, 4-4 ft). Ty Lawson added 17 points (7-16, 2-6 3pt, 1-2 ft) and 7 assists as the Nuggets used great ball movement in this one and had 20 assists as a team on 36 baskets. Gallinari had a nice game as well going for 16 points (6-13, 2-6 3pt, 2-2 ft) and 6 boards. Rookie Kenneth Faried had a team high 11 boards and Javale McGee added 8 boards and a block. The three ball was working for the Nuggets in this one as they were 10-21 and you have to imagine they're going to live and die by the three in this series being that the Lakers have two 7 footers down low and no World Peace to cover the perimeter.
Kobe Bryant shined to no ones surprise as he had a game high 30 points (8-17, 2-4 3pt, 12-13 ft) and Pau Gasol added a double double with 28 points only making 6 field goals, but worked his way to the line going 16-17. Andrew Bynum also had a double double going for 11 and 10 but only shot 4-10 from the field. Newly aquired point guard Ramon Sessions had a nice game with 15 points (5-11, 5-5 ft) and 7 assists. But with no one else helping out offensively the Lakers struggled to find easy baskets. Ebanks who saw 25 minutes on the court only had 6 points and turned the ball over 4 times. It will be interesting to see how the Lakers adjust moving forward without World Peace in this series.
Game two is Tuesday Night in LA