The Denver Nuggets outplayed the Los Angeles Lakers most of the way, and held off a late fourth quarter comeback to win, 102-99.
We usually recap each quarter during this portion of the article and highlight certain players who stood out. Today, we won’t.
The Lakers were outplayed during each of the first three quarters, and faced a 76-65 deficit heading into the fourth quarter. Andre Miller, Javale McGee, and various other Nuggets were extremely active and assertive, and provided their team with momentum and a scoring advantage.
In the fourth, Steve Blake tried to help the Lakers with his three-point shooting, but Denver continued to have an answer for everything the Lakers did. Then, Kobe Bryant took over and hit three-pointer after three-pointer after three-pointer after three-pointer (yes, that’s four three-pointers in a row). It was nothing short of amazing, and nearly sent the game into overtime.
Ramon Sessions hit a huge three-pointer as well during the comeback, but Bryant missed a potential game tying three with seconds left. The Lakers managed to get the offensive rebound and kick it to Sessions, but Sessions was unable to knock it down as time expired.
The Denver Nuggets won, 102-99, and will force a Game 6 in Denver on Thursday.
Kobe Bryant led the way with 43 points (on a rough 14-32 shooting, but 5-11 from three), six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Andrew Bynum added 16 points (on 5-8 shooting) and 11 rebounds while Matt Barnes tallied 11 points, (on 5-14 shooting) and four rebounds. Pau Gasol (10 rebounds, three blocks) and Ramon Sessions (six assists, six rebounds), added nine points apiece. Steve Blake had eight points (on 3-6 shooting, 2-4 from three), six rebounds, and four assists. Devin Ebanks scored just three points, and Jordan Hill grabbed five rebounds but was scoreless in 20 minutes of play.
For the Nuggets, Andre Miller had 25 points and eight assists while Javale McGee punked the Lakers for 21 points and 14 rebounds. Aaron Afflalo notched 19 points, five rebounds, and three steals while Danilo Gallinari had 14 points and five rebounds. Kenneth Faried added 10 points and nine rebounds and Ty Lawson scored nine points and dished out eight assists. Al Harrington had three points and five rebounds while Corey Brewer scored just two points. Timofey Mosgov was scoreless, rebound-less, and assist-less, but had one block and four personal fouls in 13 minutes of play.
Now, let’s break down the loss.
Next Page: The Breakdown