The Lakers lead the series 3-2 heading into tonight’s game. The Nuggets are just trying to stay alive.
I like the Lakers to finish off the Nuggets tonight. This series has already gone on too long.
- The Lakers win the tip. They got Kobe on the midpost on the right wing 16 feet from the rim, double teamed, he passes out, nothing on for LA. Their spacing there wasn’t up too much.
- Kobe Bryant tries to steal the outlet, Billups loose ball foul as he tried to keep the ball from Bryant.
- Gasol posts up on the left post, turnaround, hits it. Lakers lead 2-0 after a minute.
- Inside to Andrew Bynum, he turns middle, turnaround J over Martin, good contest from Martin, miss. Even with the good defense played by Martin, Bynum got a great look simply because of his size + length.
- Ariza knocks down the open three pointer after being left open by a roaming defender.
- Fisher throws a terrible pass out to the perimeter, after driving from the left wing down the baseline underneath the hoop and kicked it out, the ball ended up going out near midcourt. Terrible pass.
- Ariza takes another three pointer, misses. LA’s offense doesn’t look good.
- Carmelo Anthony gets the ball in the open court, blows by Ariza on the right wing, to the rim, into the body of Bynum, draws the foul and splits a pair at the line.
Three minutes in — Lakers lead 5-1
- Gasol flashes across the paint, catches it deep on the post, immediately turns middle, jump hook in the lane from four feet, misses it …. superb shot to take. Great shot.
- Ariza hits a floater in the lane, gets the friendly roll.
- Nene faces up Gasol and knocks down a 18 footer out on the left wing
- Bryant high screen and roll at the top of the key, Lakers got nothing on earlier in that possession, Bryant dribbles left, pull up J after three dribbles out on the left wing, misses it.
- Jones taps in a missed Nuggets shot
- Bryant into the open court, to the rim, fouled, Bryant makes a pair at the line
- Dahntay Jones on the kickout to Carmelo, he puts his head down and charges to the hoop, gets to the rim but misses the layup
- Nene draws a charge, turnover LA.
- Martin out on the left wing, drives baseline, Bynum cuts it off, Martin spins the other way and hits a floating hook shot. Quick move, great agility.
- Bynum travels, turnover. Second straight turnover for LA.
- Dribble penetration from JR Smith, he knifes into the lane and finds a cutting Martin for a layup, rejected by Gasol!
Midway point in the first quarter — Lakers lead 9-7
- Lakers clear one side of the court out for Bryant on the midpost on the right wing, he patiently waits for the defense to leave a teammate open, he finds Fisher, 18 footer left wing, hits it
- Bynum picks up his second foul — Odom checks in — two good fouls from Bynum to deny easy hoops in the lane
- Martin splits a pair of FTs
- Turnover LA, again, Billups on the fastbreak, pulls up from three, misses
- Gasol looks for the repost, gets it, double team, bad offensive spacing and slow decision making from LA, they fail to get an easy jumper, but Kobe creates off the bounce out of the left corner, wiggles his way closer to the bucket and hits a short jumper
- JR Smith knocks down a long jumper on the left wing.
- Gasol posts up again, double team, Odom cuts inside, lovely pass over the top, layup
- Carmelo Anthony muscles his way into the paint out of the pick and roll, layup
- Bryant isolation on the high post on the right wing, double team, nice movement by Ariza, Bryant dribbles out and finds him below the elbow, easy finish for Ariza
Lakers lead 17-16 with less than three minutes to play
- Bryant beats JR Smith off the bounce easily, cocks his arm back to throw down a thunderous dunk but he changes his mind at the final moment any lays it in.
- Melo left wide open for a three pointer on the right wing, he misses.
- JR Smith has Odom stuck on him on the mismatch, lovely crossover dribble to beat Odom, left side lane drive, finishes
- Trevor Ariza knocks down his second triple of the night. He has 10 points.
- Carmelo Anthony gets another bucket in the paint.
- Bryant misses a bad shot as he milked down the clock … fastbreak Denver, they get off a long shot in time, miss.
Lakers lead 25-20
- Gasol nestles in a 15 footer
- JR Smith slices and dices his way into the paint and hits the running 8 footer
- Vujacic knocks down the three pointer
- Denver makes three FTs
- JR Smith shaking and baking, takes it to the goal, hits the bank shot.
- Steal Anthony Carter, turnover LA, sixth turnover. JR Smith knocks down another jumper, nice step back J off the pick and roll.
Timeout LA. Nuggets lead 31-30 after this quick spurt to start the second quarter (three and a half minutes in).
- Walton gets an easy bucket inside off the Kobe feed. Good baseline cut by Walton.
- Kleiza on the fastbreak, breakaway layup … great strip by Smith to ignite a fastbreak.
- Bryant posting up Carter, waiting for the double, hits Odom who moved into the middle of the paint, hits the 11 foot shot
- Farmar pulls up his pivot foot before passing … turnover, 9th turnover for LA.
Midway point in the second quarter — Lakers lead 34-33
- Billups left open at the three point line, defender hanging too far off of him, misses the three pointer. Nene wins the loose ball rebound, over to Melo, isolation on the left wing, drives left, pull up J, fadeaway, misses it.
- Fisher drills a three pointer out of the left sideline
- Great contest from Gasol, altered Melo’s shot, front iron’s it, Gasol rips down the rebound
- Melo makes up for it on the defensive end by picking off Gasol’s errant pass, steal, 10th turnover for LA.
- Denver has missed 7 straight shots after Nene misses a face up J
- Gasol called for a travel, moved his pivot foot (pivoted on heel, then switched to his toes on the spin move, dragged his foot in the process)
- Sideline inbounds, to Billups along the sideline, takes the catch and shoot three, misses
- Lakers run a pick and roll with Kobe and Gasol, nice threaded pass, Denver deflect the pass away from Gasol, Kobe beats everyone to the loose ball, into the paint, draws the foul on Nene on his driving layup.
- The refs put that one on Martin despite Nene being the one that fouled. Odd, looks like a mistake. Kobe makes both.
Three minutes to play — Lakers lead 39-33
- Denver haven’t scored in 4 minutes and 11 seconds and counting … Billups draws a foul, will head to the line, so that will end now.
- Billups makes both FTs. He has five points on 1-5 shooting.
- Bryant drops in a jumper. He has 11 points now — he has been in pass first mode for most of the first half
- Nice cut and finish by Martin inside
- Bryant on the midpost on the right wing, soft double, Bryant finds Ariza, no defensive rotation, Ariza knocks it down. Three pointer for Ariza.
- Ariza picks up his third foul on the other end. He has 13 points. Melo hits a pair of FTs.
Final minute and a half — Lakers lead 44-39
- Bryant knocks down a quick jumper over on the right wing, 22 feet from the rim.
- Nene called for an illegal screen. There’s his second foul.
- Bryant raining jumpers — another 22 footer, this time from the left corner
- Nene backs in, draws the double, throws it out, Billups drives into the paint, throws a bad pass, turnover.
- Odom finds Fisher as he ran along the baseline and spotted out to the corner, dribble penetration along the baseline, Andersen helps, nice bounce pass to Gasol, slam dunk
- Billups gets another couple of FTs
- Final 29 seconds — Bryant runs down the clock, looking to limit Denver’s final possession, Bryant blows by Melo, down the right hand side of the lane, runner, miss, rebound Gasol, passes out to Bryant, Kobe drills a three pointer.
A 9-1 run by LA to end the first half.
Lakers lead 53-40 at the half
Lakers lead 56-43 after 90 seconds. Some unnecessary fuss on a technical, otherwise nothing of note.
- Bryant pulls up from the right elbow, hits the jumper. Lakers up 15.
Trevor Ariza just picked up his fourth foul — Luke Walton is going to have to play a lot of minutes the rest of the way. Green light for Carmelo Anthony, he has to take over now.
- Melo top of the key, goes one-on-one with Walton, dribble penetration, misses the runner but draws enough help to give Martin a free path to the rim for the putback. Bucket.
- Pau Gasol left post against Martin, turns baseline, lefty jump hook, hits it easily. Martin can’t contest that shot. Martin can only push him off the post prior to the shot, and he didn’t do that there.
- Billups makes a pair of FTs
- Billups wheeling and dealing on the fastbreak, drives on Fisher, spins, short shot from 11 feet, drops it! 11 point game.
- Gasol on the right block, backs down Martin, spins baseline, short shot off glass, hits it! Martin cannot contest his shot attempts, only his initial post up (on the catch, and on the backdown)
Lakers lead 62-51 after four minutes
- Kobe Bryant misses the turnaround over Jones out of the midpost from 16-17 feet.
- Chauncey Billups into the paint, dribble penetration, drive and kick to Martin for a baseline J, hits it. Martin has 11 points on 5-10 shooting.
- Nice pass from Bryant to Walton who was cutting down the baseline, Walton hits the floater.
- Melo the basket? Hits it! 17 points for Anthony.
- Gasol 17 footer over Nene, drains it. He’s having an excellent third quarter
- Superb contest by Bynum to force Jones to miss his four foot one handed shot.
- Luke Walton hits a long two pointer off the Bryant feed. Kobe now has 8 assists, to go with his 21 points.
- Bryant off balance on his spinning turnaround, misses. Bad shot.
- JR Smith dribble penetration, drive and kick to Martin for a 16 footer, misses.
- Kobe Bryant dancing on Billups, flies by, muscles up on Billups through Nene and hits the bank shot from straight on with the runner. Three point play.
Lakers lead 71-55 with five minutes to play
- Billups throws the alley oop to Martin, slam dunk!
- Bryant takes the 17 footer after turning the corner on a pick and roll, has a hand in his face, misses.
- Nene fouled inside on the finish, beautiful bounce pass by JR Smith to create that basket. Nice movement by Nene to cut under the basket too. Nene makes both FTs. He has only 4 points and adds 6 rebounds.
- Luke Walton left wide open in the left corner, 21 footer, hits it
- JR Smith called for an offensive foul … Walton drew the charge
- Bryant on the right wing, ball stopper, killed the offensive flow, he tries to make up for it by hitting a tough contested fallaway J off the dribble. Bad job by Bryant, they had numbers and could have gotten a much easier shot than that.
- JR Smith knocks down back to back buckets to cut the deficit back to 15
Carmelo Anthony has been pulled by Karl. He has played lousy defense off the ball all game long. He’s put a serious hurting on the Nuggets. To double up on his trouble, he hasn’t been aggressive enough offensively over the last few minutes.
Lakers lead 79-64 with 1:30 to play in the third quarter — Lakers should win this game
- Denver gets another bucket, an 8-0 run over the past 100 seconds. Kleiza dropped a three pointer on that basket from the left wing.
- Turnover Nuggets, moving screen on Andersen. Birdman, Martin, Kleiza, Smith, Billups are out there for Denver.
- Fisher, Vujacic, WAlton, Odom and Gasol out there for LA.
- Odom misses a contested layup, loose ball, there’s a scrap for it, Martin called for a loose ball foul away from the basketball as Martin held onto Vujacic to stop him running after the ball.
- Martin’s fourth foul
- Billups has it, final 30 seconds, he runs down the clock, Odom moves up to the FT line to help on the possible drive, Billups throws the lob to Odom’s man (Andersen), Gasol moves across the paint and breaks up the lob. Turnover.
- Vujacic gets fouled and makes two at the line, stupid foul by Smith in the backcourt.
- 6 seconds — in to Smith, he dribbles up, launches a three, misses
Lakers lead 83-67 — 16 point lead
- Beautiful pass by Gasol out of the post to Odom for a layup.
- Brown and Kobe in for Fisher and Vujacic. Otherwise, all the same players are on the court that were there at the end of the third.
- Odom nails a three pointer from the top of the key
- Carmelo Anthony checks into the game
- Nene gets a layup — 19 point game
- Pau Gasol hands off his sixth assist to Walton on a baseline cut for a layup. Pau’s passing has been superb tonight.
Lakers lead 90-69 after 90 seconds
- Billups sets up back to back baskets, an easy one for Nene and a triple for Kleiza
- Kobe draws a foul on a turnaround J, hits two at the line.
- Pau Gasol with a huge block/steal/strip at the rim to stop Denver’s momentum … inside to Gasol on the block, turns middle, hits the shot
- Nene squirms free inside again but misses the short shot
- JR Smith picks up his fifth foul — that’s trouble for Denver because he’s their leading scorer
- JR Smith picks up his sixth, no sorry, Nene got that foul. Both were there, JR Smith thought it was on him.
- Turnover LA, Melo dribbles up and drops a three pointer.
8 minutes to play — LA lead 94-77
- Beautiful pump fake from Kobe to get Nene out of the way, down the wing, slam dunk.
- JR Smith scores a three pointer on the right wing. 16 point lead.
- Shannon Brown tries a fadeaway over Nene on the left baseline, misses
- Melo tries another three pointer, sorry foot on the line, and hits it! 14 point game with 7 minutes to play
- Bryant slicing his way through three Nuggets defenders, into the paint, layup.
- Melo on a clearout, he takes the three pointer, misses. He should have drove, he had the whole right wing wide open for the first few moments after he received the ball, bad decision.
- Kobe Bryant on the left wing, drops a three pointer over JR Smith.
Timeout Denver — midway point in the fourth quarter — Lakers lead 101-82.
This game is pretty much over. I’m going to stop the game log here. I’ll resume it if Denver manages to make a run, but I’m thinking they’ll fail to do so.
Final Score — Lakers win 119-92
Congratulations to the Lakers for reaching their second consecutive Finals. They look like the favourites for the title.