The Los Angeles Lakers battled through an ugly game to win Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs against the Denver Nuggets, 92-88.
After 12 minutes of play, Denver led the Lakers 28-26. Andrew Bynum led the way with nine points, while Kobe Bryant had seven points, three rebounds, and three assists in the period. Andre Miller came off the bench and put up 10 quick points in just five minutes of play to give the Nuggets the advantage.
By halftime the Nuggets stretched their lead to six, outscoring the Lakers 51-45.
In the third, the Lakers got going a bit as Bryant and Bynum looked for their respective shots and cut the deficit to one, 71-70, after 36 minutes of play.
The fourth quarter was a battle as both teams stayed close throughout. That was until Andrew Bynum dropped in a hook shot and Kobe put in a bucket of his own to give the Lakers an 86-82 lead with just over three minutes to play.
Danilo Gallinari hit two free throws with three minutes left to cut the lead to two.
Then, Gallinari hit a long two-pointer to tie the game with just a minute left.
However, Ramon Sessions then dropped in a huge three-pointer with 48 seconds left to put the Lakers up, 89-86.
Finally, Steve Blake–who had eight big points in the fourth quarter–converted on a crucial three-pointer of his own with 19 seconds left to seal the victory as the Lakers went on to win, 92-88.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers in scoring with 22 points (on a tough 10-15 shooting), and also had eight rebounds, and six assists. Andrew Bynum added 19 points (on 8-12 shooting), seven rebounds, and three blocks. Pau Gasol had another solid all-around game with 13 points, nine rebounds (five offensive), and six assists. Ramon Sessions tallied 12 points, four rebounds, and two assists. Jordan Hill was active off the bench and contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds (seven offensive). Steve Blake finished with 10 points (eight in the fourth quarter), three assists, two rebounds, and one blocked shot (a rarity for Blake). Matt Barnes added just four points, four rebounds, and two assists in a limited 17 minutes of play. Devin Ebanks, who has been starting in place of the suspended Metta World Peace, was scoreless in 20 minutes of play.
For the Nuggets, Danilo Gallinari led the way with 20 points, six rebounds, and two assists while Andre Miller added 15 points, seven assists, three assists, and three steals of the bench. Ty Lawson added 11 points and six assists. Al Harrington had nine points and six rebounds as Javale McGee had eight points, four rebounds, and four blocks. Corey Brewer added seven points in 13 minutes of play. Aaron Afflalo (three rebounds, three assists), Kenneth Faried (seven rebounds, three blocks), and Timofey Mozgov each had six points.
Now, let’s break down the victory.
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