Andrew Bynum triple-double leads Lakers past Nuggets in Game 1Posted by Inside Hoops
Kobe Bryant scored 31 points, Andrew Bynum posted the Lakers’ first playoff triple-double in 21 years with an NBA postseason record-tying 10 blocked shots, and Los Angeles thoroughly controlled the tempo in a playoff-opening 103-88 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
Bynum, the Lakers’ All-Star center coming off his best regular season, also had 10 points and 13 rebounds while incredibly blocking 11 percent of the Nuggets’ 90 shots.
While Bynum had the Lakers’ first playoff triple-double since Magic Johnson in the 1991 NBA finals, fellow 7-footer Pau Gasol added 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the playoff-tested Lakers, who never trailed while forcing the NBA’s highest-scoring team to play Los Angeles’ preferred half-court style.
Game 2 is Tuesday night.
Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points for the sixth-seeded Nuggets, but the NBA’s second-youngest playoff roster struggled to run. Andre Miller had 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while helping out Ty Lawson, Denver’s leading scorer, who managed just seven points while failing to make a shot in the first three quarters.
Bynum blocked eight shots in the first three quarters before surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise-record nine blocks in the fourth. He swatted Timofey Mozgov’s shot for No. 10 in the closing minutes to equal the NBA record set by Utah’s Mark Eaton on April 26, 1985, and matched by Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon on April 29, 1990.
– Reported by Greg Beacham of the Associated Press