Apr. 28: Lakers 107, Nuggets 101Posted by Inside Hoops
The AP reports: The Denver Nuggets finally gave the Los Angeles Lakers a good fight. No surrender on this night. No frustration fouls filling up the fourth quarter of another blowout. No matter. The Lakers dispatched the tempestuous Nuggets anyway. Kobe Bryant scored 14 of his 31 points over the final 5 1/2 minutes Monday night, leading the Lakers to a 107-101 victory and a sweep of their first-round series… Pau Gasol led the way early, scoring 18 first-half points, and Bryant took over in the waning minutes, scoring nine straight points in every way—a turnaround jumper, a 3-pointer, a driving layup and a 15-foot floater—to give the Lakers a 97-96 lead… Marcus Camby’s first points since the series shifted to Denver came on a 3-pointer from the left corner with 33 seconds left, cutting the Lakers’ lead to 103-101, but Gasol maneuvered underneath for a dunk, and Bryant added two free throws with 18 seconds left… The Nuggets couldn’t keep Los Angeles out of the lane for easy layups and dunks and they made the silly mistakes that the Lakers avoided, like the missed dunks by Nene and Anthony, who blew an alley-oop rim-rattler that bounced out of bounds at halfcourt in the third quarter.
InsideHoops.com Stat Notes: The Lakers shot slightly better than the Nuggets from two-point range, and hit 8-of-22 threes while the Nuggets only made 4-of-21. The Lakers only hit 19-of-30 free throws; the Nuggets 19-of-24. The Nuggets had a slight rebounding edge. Assists were tied. For the Lakers, Bryant (12-of-24, 3-of-8 threes) had 31 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists (6 turnovers), 3 steals and 2 blocks. Gasol (7-of-15) had 21 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks. Lamar Odom (5-of-11) had 14 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Vladimir Radmanovic took 13 shots for 12 points. For the Nuggets, J.R. Smith (7-of-12, 3-of-7 threes, 9-of-9 free throws) had 26 points, 3 assists and 2 steals off the bench. Allen Iverson took 22 shots for 22 points and little else. Carmelo Anthony (just 8-of-20) had 21 points and 11 rebounds. Marcus Camby only scored 3 but grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked 4 shots. Anthony Carter shot 1-of-6 for 2 points and 6 assists.