Bryant scores 40, Lakers beat Nuggets 105-103Posted by Inside Hoops
The AP reports: Kobe Bryant proved a steadying presence for his wildly inconsistent teammates, taking over in the fourth quarter and delivering a come-from-behind victory. Bryant scored 40 points, including six free throws in the final 30 seconds, to lift Los Angeles to a 105-103 win over the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference finals opener on Tuesday night after the Lakers trailed most of the game… Pau Gasol added 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, who faced a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Gasol’s two free throws tied the game for the last time at 99 before Bryant started his closing streak at the line, offsetting a 3-pointer by Chauncey Billups and a free throw by J.R. Smith. Carmelo Anthony scored 39 points and Billups added 18 for the Nuggets, who hadn’t played since taking care of Dallas in five games last Wednesday… J.R. Smith sprained his right knee and will be re-evaluated Wednesday.