Lakers lead the season series 2-1
Is tonight a must win for the Nuggets? I think so. I don’t see them coming back from a 3-1 deficit.
- Nuggets run upcourt off of Ariza’s two missed FTs, Melo jumps to the low post, inside to him on the right block, double comes, Kenyon trailing the play, nice pass to the cutter, two handed dunk. Great pass.
- Bynum scores inside after a nice lob pass to take advantage of the smaller Anthony who had switched onto Bynum
- Anthony dribble penetration, misses the runner, Nene takes the rebound and stuffs it home!
We’re not even four minutes into this game and the Nuggets are already a +5 on the backboards (7-2). If Denver can win the battle of the backboards, that’ll go a long way towards winning the game because they’ve been better than LA elsewhere for most of this series.
- Nice pass to Bynum inside, easy dunk. Lakers down three after five minutes.
- Billups left open from 17 feet as he curls around a screen, hesitates to take the shot, he’s not used to being that open, now he takes it and makes it.
- Mike Breen — “Lakers a little stagnant offensively on these first few possessions” — true statement.
- Denver got to Anthony on the high post on the right wing, isolation, now it’s not, pick and pop with Kenyon, Anthony takes the 21 footer after going behind the screen, misses it.
- Nene with a monster defensive rebound — 6 rebounds in 6 minutes for Nene — man if Nene could ever become a good rebounder …. wow …. he’d be phenomenal.
- Dahntay Jones with an athletic dunk on the fastbreak
Denver leads 12-7 with five minutes to play
- The two teams are a combined 8-25 from the field.
- Lakers defend brilliant for the first 20 seconds of the shot clock, then turned off mentally and allowed Kenyon Martin to drive off the dribble from 17 feet all the way to the rim for an uncontested layu
- Gasol scores easily out of the mid-post. Makes the catch on the right elbow, turns and faces, sweeps the ball left, drives left and hits a runner in the paint. He’s a matchup nightmare for Denver.
- Martin takes Bynum off the bounce again, Ariza tries to help and goes for the steal, and in the process he picks up his second foul of the game. That’s not good for LA. Bynum is struggling with Martin’s agility and quickness, his ability to change directions and spin off the dribble is far superior to Bynum’s.
- Pau Gasol on the back down, jump hook middle, easy basket for Gasol out of the low post. LA need to force-feed Gasol more often — he has an incredible matchup advantage against all of Denver’s bigs.
Final three minutes of the quarter, Denver lead 17-11
- Shannon Brown is the first guard off the bench. Odom and Walton have checked in at the forward spots. For Denver, Smith has checked in and the Birdman is about to check in.
- Gasol posts up Andersen, double comes, passes out to Brown, wide open look from 23 feet, miss
- Gasol blocks the shot inside, very good transition defense there from LA, ball spills loose, Brown chases it down, pushes it upcourt, Lakers have numbers, Kobe trailing, to Kobe, he takes the ball to the rim, fouled.
- Bryant now has 3 points on 0-2 shooting from the field in the first 10 minutes of this game.
- Kenyon Martin trying to create off the dribble against Odom, Odom backing off and giving him the shot. Martin falls over as he crosses over the ball, has to call the timeout to avoid a jump ball. Three seconds on the shot clock. Sideline inbounds rejects Martin’s inbounds passes. Martin tries again, into Anthony, contested fadeaway from 19 feet, miss, offensive rebound Denver. Ball back over to Martin, he takes it strong to Walton’s chest, draws a foul on the short runner. Martin makes two.
- Melo is 0-8 from the field in the first quarter tonight
Denver lead 20-13 with 90 seconds left in the quarter
- Lakers pass deflected, falls right to Bryant, he hits the 17 footer.
- Billups slices and dices his way into the paint, goes strong to the rim, hits the running layup and takes a hard fall. Nice use of the screen and roll there from Billups
- Turnover Odom, moving screen on the hand off pass/screen.
- Gasol rebounds, his sixth, off of Billups’ miss.
- Kobe Bryant nestles in a 23 footer off the screen and roll — two for one there
- JR Smith pick and roll, Smith backs out, the big stays with him, Martin stunts to the baseline, Smith blows by the defense, into the paint, draws the help, hook pass to Martin, short shot, miss.
- Kobe Bryant at the top of the key, dribbling the clock, Martin defending him, goes left, crosses over, back right, down the right hand side of the lane, runner off glass, hits it!
Denver lead 22-19
- Excellent dribble penetration and lob pass from JR Smith, he created a wide open dunk for Andersen.
- Gasol on the right block, faces up Andersen, goes right, bumps Andersen out of the way, goes up softly, Andersen recovers and rejects it.
- JR Smith knocks down a 18 foot jumper
- Andersen rejects Shannon Brown’s layup from behind! The crowd go crazy! Billups runs full court, to the rim, fouled. Andersen is going mental, and the crowd is following his lead!
- Powell misses an 18 footer on the baseline, rebound Odom. Farmar follows that up with a missed three of his own.
Denver go on a 6-0 run to start the second quarter in first two minutes
- JR Smith misses a three pointer on the left wing, long rebound bounces right back to him, Smith immediately attacks the rim, layup. 8-0 run to start the third.
- Vujacic turns the ball over. His reaction is emotional, overly emotional if you ask me, not sure his head is fully in the game. The crowd might be getting to him.
- Nene misses an open 18 footer on the left baseline. Odom slow to close out there.
- Jordan Farmar nesltes home a three pointer after Kobe kicks it out, off the double team.
- Great lob pass to Kleiza from Carter, Carter on the left wing to the right hand side of the rim, layup. Kobe was overhelping there.
- Kleiza defensive rebound
- Carter dribble penetration on the slow break, Kleiza was on the left wing, but he ran up to the top of the key to get open for the pass, Carter passes it out, Kleiza drops a three pointer!
Denver leading 35-22 with 8 minutes to play in the first half
- JR Smith with the pass of the night, a look away pass in traffic between two defenders, Nene dunk. Great vision.
- Nene fumbles the ball … blew the dunk. Unlucky.
- JR Smith right wing, Ariza closes out, JR Smith drives hard to his right down the baseline, to the rim, lovely pass, layup.
- Melo is limping. He’s grimacing. He gives away a foul to get out of the game. It’s his ankle, the one he injured earlier in the playoffs. He may have turned his ankle.
- Bryant posts up Carter, fadeaway from 18 feet along the baseline, hits it plus the foul.
- Farmar pokes Carter’s dribble out of bounds at midcourt. Good pressure defense from Farmar.
- JR Smith showing a nice hesitation dribble, into the paint, hard to the rim, layup missed but he gets fouled. Smith makes both.
40-29 Nuggets at the midway point in the second quarter
- Melo checked back in a few moments ago. He’s defending Bryant, and looks to be moving well.
- Bryant faces up Melo, one dribble right, pull up J from 17 feet, miss.
- Lamar Odom made a nice move inside, but was called for a three second violation.
- Anthony Carter drains a 22 footer along the baseline
- Fisher responds with a triple from the top of the key
Chauncey Billups is getting a great rest here. We’re seven minutes into the second quarter and he’s still resting.
- JR Smith drops a 23 footer off the dribble. He’s starting to find his range now.
- Melo misses a three pointer on the break, loose ball foul on Smith.
- Kobe knocks down two FTs as Smith picks up his second foul in quick succession.
- JVG has nicknamed JR Smith “Smitty”. Good creativity there JVG.
- JR Smith at the top of the key, drives right, to the rim, takes it at the shot clock, great power to hit the shot through the chest of the shot blocker.
- Lakers almost get a 24 second violation, but Gasol bails Fisher out of a bad pass by flicking up a 11 footer while moving away from the rim and hitting it
- Carmelo turns the ball over … very slow to get up and get back defensively.
Three minutes to play — Nuggets lead 46-36
Denver’s bench has outscored LA 18-3
- Inbounds to Kobe, right corner, JR Smith keeps his hand down defensively, Kobe drops a triple in his face.
- Fisher picks off Smith’s pass, Martin ties him up though. Denver should win this tip. Five seconds on the shot clock. Martin holding his left finger, broken ring finger. Fisher wins the tip after hitting it twice.
- JR Smith side irons a three pointer.
- Nice pass by Fisher to create a two on one in the paint, bullet pass from Odom to Gasol, slam dunk. Four point game.
Lakers on an 8-0 run over the last 90 seconds
- Kenyon Martin pulls down the offensive rebound and hits the putback
- Great defense by Billups on Bryant, Kobe double clutches on his fadeaway and then air balls the shot.
- Melo dunks the ball. Nice pass to create an easy dunk for Melo on the fastbreak.
Final minute of the half — Denver lead 50-42
- Gasol on the right block, spins baseline, dunk attempt. Fouled. He splits a pair at the line.
- Kleiza drives out of the corner, down the baseline, blocking foul on Fisher. Kleiza makes two at the stripe.
- 37 seconds to play — Great defense from Carter, denied the dribble penetration, denied the screen and roll, denied a clean look from three, forced Bryant back to his left after he wanted to go right, and then contested the long two pointer, which Bryant nailed in his face. Cold blooded play from Bryant.
- Denver miss … LA pass ahead, take a long three, miss.
Denver lead 52-45
The Nuggets have out-performed LA thoroughly tonight. The Lakers should feel happy to be within single digits.
Denver’s bench has now outscored LA 20-3. Denver leading 30-19 on the backboards.
Now a bad stat for Denver — Melo and Billups are a combined 3-17.
Denver leading 52-45
- Bynum rejects Nene’s shot down in the paint. Nice block.
- Gasol on the left block against Jones, spins baseline, reverse layup, and the foul.
- Melo gets away with a travel and gets a basket. He’s 2-12 from the floor now.
- Jones on the steal, fouled before he break into the open court.
- Kobe Bryant has 19 points in 23 minutes. Didn’t he have only 3 points after the first two minutes? That would be 16 in 13 minutes.
- Nene showing off the skill with the dribble and pass, creates a layup for his teammate
- Ariza drops a long jumper
- Gasol on the right elbow, drives left, sweeping hook, hits it. Gasol has 15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks. He’s 6-9 from the field shooting wise.
- Carmelo Anthony goes to the basket, a lot of contact, dumps it off to Nene at the final moment, Nene fouled.
- Billups with the hesitation and the over and back dribble, blows by Odom, into the paint, to the rim, layup, and the foul. Billups is 3-8 from the field, for 9 points, including 3-3 from the line.
Denver leads 60-53 with 8 minutes to play
- Odom forces a drive and shot attempt, fastbreak Denver off of the miss, Billups pushes it hard, finds Jones filling the lane, to the rim, fouled. He makes both.
- Bryant knocks down the pull up jumper from 18 feet at the top of the key
- Billups turns on the jets, blows by Bryant, into the paint, draws another foul, this time on Odom.
- Gasol working on the box against Martin, doubled, kicks it out, Bryant takes the jumper, misses
- Billups drills a pull up J from 19 feet at the top of the key. In the first five plus minutes of the third quarter, Billups has already outscored his first half effort (7-6).
Denver leading 66-56 after a Odom split at the FT line, as we near the midway point in the third quarter.
- Odom was scoreless prior to those free throws. He was 0-4 from the field. Lamar has played 17 minutes tonight.
- Good full court pressure defense by LA, and then good ball denial from Fisher, stopped Billups from setting up the offense until the 13 second mark.
- Denver get another bucket inside, from Nene.
- Lamar Odom knocks down the triple on the right wing
LA is 5-16 from three point range. Denver is only 1-10 from downtown. Make that 1-11 as Anthony Carter misses a three.
- Great second effort on the Carter miss, Nene keeps it alive, Martin claims it, one power dribble and he rises up with and hits the floater. Denver leading 14-10 on second chance points.
- Odom misses the layup after getting a nice offensive rebound. Great defense by Denver to force a contested fadeaway three off the dribble from Fisher.
- Melo and Ariza diving on the loose ball, loose ball foul on Melo. He ran into him.
- Kenyon Martin claims a defensive rebound. Good strong rebound, his 11th tonight. Denver are a wonderful team when Martin and Nene rebound the ball.
- Billups has numbers on the break, finds Jones, fouled as he attacks the rim.
Denver leading 72-59 with four minutes left
- Nice interior pass from Odom to Gasol, jump hook, hits it!
- Chauncey Billups fires up a contested three off the dribble, right wing two steps behind the arc, quick three, miss. Very bad shot. Rebound Denver.
- Martin snares another contested rebound. 13 points, 13 rebounds.
- Lovely baseline pass to Martin, layup, missed, Andersen floats down from the FT line and taps it back in.
Denver lead the backboards battle 44-26, that’s an 18 rebound advantage.
Denver lead 74-63 with two minutes to play in the third quarter
- Chris Andersen tries a three pointer, misses. Wow, that was predictable.
- Nice ball movement from LA to get Vujacic a wide open three pointer, misses badly. Terrible shot.
Someone spills food and beverages in the front row onto the court. The game has to stop while they clean up the mess. A minute and twenty seconds to play. Kenny Mauer bumped into the fan, and knocked over his drinks while he was walking back to his seat.
- JR Smith steps behind an Andersen screen, and nestles home a three pointer. Huge shot. 14 point lead.
- Kobe misses a 20 footer at the top of the key, fastbreak Denver, Billups pull up J, miss, Smith knocks the rebound loose from Bryant but LA come away with it … fastbreak LA, to Vujacic spotting up from three, Sasha nails it.
- JR Smith does the same action, this time on the left wing, and this time he misses the three pointer.
- Brown misses a three from the right corner, Martin soars high to claim the rebound.
Denver lead 77-66
- Someone for LA hit a bank shot — Walton is at PF, Bryant at SF, Vujacic at SG, Brown at PG, Bynum at C
- Bryant gets the ball at the top of the key, sweeps the ball low to his left, drives left, drive and kick, missed three pointer, rebound Birdman!
- Smith goes off the dribble, attacks the rim, draws a foul on Bynum. He misses a pair at the line, offensive rebound, Smith pops out and takes a quick three, miss.
- LA post up Bynum, left block, turns middle, right hand jump hook, hits it
Please for the love of all that is holy … post up LA’s bigs. Nobody on Denver can guard either Bynum or Gasol. It’s so frustrating watching these poor decisions throughout the playoffs from LA.
- Billups rock and rolls to the hole, beats Bynum baseline, takes the contact, draws the foul, muscles up the layup, hits it, and will go the line. Billups makes the three point play, lead back up to 10 points.
- JR Smith overplaying the post entry pass, steals Brown’s poor bounce pass to Kobe. Fastbreak, Billups stops and pops, drains a triple. 13 point lead.
A huge 6-0 run from Billups to take back control of this game.
- Nene with a lovely pass to a cutting Smith for the slam dunk. Smith pounding his chest hard after that one.
- Excellent pass out of the low post from Nene, needless double team (I think it was Vujacic), great pass to Kleiza in the opposite (left post to right corner) side of the court and Kleiza drains the triple.
Denver lead 89-73 with 8 and a half minutes to play — this is pretty much over
- Odom posts up Kleiza, makes a meal of the post move, but Denver bail him out with a silly foul at the end of the move.
- Lakers knock down a three pointer.
- JR Smith called for a tech a few moments later, Vujacic takes and misses the tech. That could have cut the lead to 12 with 7 minutes remaining.
- Vujacic takes a long three pointer, and hits his second three in a matter of minutes. He’s found his range.
- Melo on the left wing, blows by Ariza going left, to the rim, fouled.
- Lakers miss consecutive shots … Andersen pulls down his 14th rebound.
- Bynum gives up a hard foul to deny Andersen’s dunk — they call a flagrant, nah, not a fan of that call.
6 minutes to play — Denver leading 93-79 — Nuggets possession
- Billups misfires on a three pointer, rebound Farmar. Kobe Bryant dribbles upcourt quickly, and immediately unloads a contested 22 footer over Melo, hits it!
- Anthony working on Walton at the top of the key, drives left, spins back right, muscles it up, hits the runner and draws the foul. Walton cannot defend Anthony.
- Bryant takes a fallaway contested J off the dribble from the perimeter, hits it. Bad shot.
13 point game with five minutes to play
- Melo winds down the clock, drives on Walton, beats him again, draws a foul again. walton cannot defend Anthony. That’s five fouls on Walton. Melo makes both FTs. 15 point game.
- Kobe Bryant knocks down a quick three pointer.
- Melo doubled in the midpost, passes out to a wide open JR Smith at the top of the key, he nails it! 17 points for Smith.
- Gasol fouled in the paint, makes two of two at the line
Four minutes to play — Denver leads 100-88
- Melo on an isolation above the key, drives on Walton, fouled again. That’s a foul out and two more FTs for Melo.
Previous four possessions, Carmelo Anthony has been matched up with Luke Walton and attacked him each time. In three of the possessions it was single coverage, with Anthony drawing three fouls and making one and one for 7 points. In the other possession, he was double teamed, and then set up a wide open three pointer for JR Smith.
- Phil Jackson takes a delay of game there to show his unhappiness at Walton fouling out. You have 30 seconds to sub in a player after a foul out, and Phil took longer than that. Eventually he chooses Brown. Look for the Lakers to run hard and often here.
- Some silly fouls and a tech from Denver. Bryant knocks them down.
The score is 102-92 with 3:50 left to play.
- Denver inbound the ball, full court pressure, Brown doing an excellent job, but Smith makes a good pass to get it past midcourt. Billups on the drive and kick to Smith for an open three, miss, rebound tipped out, Denver keep possession. Billups fouled by Odom on a high screen and roll after Chauncey milks the clock. Big rebound by Melo there. Billups makes two.
3:15 to play — 12 point game
- Bryant draws a quick foul, and makes two FTs. Only six seconds there.
- Lakers need a stop. They knock the ball loose from Billups on the dribble upcourt, but Billups dives on it, passes it out to Smith, Lakers foul. Smith splits a pair at the line, rebound Bryant.
Timeout — 2:50 to play — 11 point Nuggets lead
- Lakers turn it over on the inbounds pass, Billups on the breakaway, layup. 13 point lead.
- Bryant misses a three, Odom tips the long rebound to himself. Inside to Gasol, shuffle pass to a cutting Brown, layup.
- Nuggets running the clock down, Billups drive and kick to Smith, and JR knocks down the triple. 14 point lead.
Two minutes — 14 point game
- Bryant drives to the rim, misses the contested layup, rebound Martin … fastbreak, to Smith in the left corner, Smith knocks down another triple. He has 24 points.
- Farmar answers with a three pointer of his own. 14 point game with 1:30 to play.
- Billups gets a standing ovation has he takes his seat.
This game is over. Congratulations to the Denver Nuggets, huge win.