Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lakers Beat Nuggets 96-87, Win Series 4-3

The Lakers had a lot to prove tonight. The future of the organization hung in the balance of this game and the Lakers as a team certainly responded.

The Lakers controlled the tempo. They made the Nuggets play their style for a majority of the game. Outside of a run by the Nuggets in the late third quarter, the Lakers led the whole game.

That run by the Nuggets was a big one though. They were able to come from back from 16 down to take a lead.

The Lakers proved to be too big and too strong in the fourth quarter. The Lakers dominated the offensive glass, getting 2nd shots on almost every possession. This helped them end the game on a 27 to 14 run. Closing out the Nuggets by a final score of 96 to 87.

Kobe Bryant appeared to be a little fatigued from his battle with the flu. He didn't look to force the issue. Kobe went 7-16 from the field for 17 points, but he did a great job getting the team involved. He lead the Lakers in assists with 8.

The biggest surprise of the night had to be Steve Blake. Blake hit 5 three-pointers in only 6 attempts. He ended with 19 points, a playoff career high. He provided a great spark on the offensive side of the ball.

Pau Gasol needed to have a big game tonight. His Lakers career pretty much depended on it. He came to preform and quiet his critics. He led the team in scoring with 23 points. Gasol grabbed 17 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive glass.

Metta World Peace made his triumphant return from his suspension. He was a little rusty shooting the ball but that didn't stop him from shooting. He did hit 4 three-pointers, but he shot 11 of them. He did his real work at the other end of the court. He brought the defensive pressure. Danilo Gallinari and Andre Miller (both guarded by World Peace)went 2 for 19 from the floor. He hustled for loose balls and had 4 steals.

Andrew Bynum had a very good game. He led the Lakers in rebounding with 18. He blocked 6 shots and put in 16 points.

Gasol and Bynum became the first teammates in history to combine for at least 30 points, 30 rebounds, 20 offensive rebounds, and 10 blocks in a playoff game.

The Lakers win the series and will now face the Oklahoma City Thunder in round 2. Game 1 of Lakers/Thunder series will be on Monday at 9:30est/6:30pst.

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