NBA Roundtable

2012 Playoffs Game Time: Day Four

In Game Log / Recap on May 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Atlanta vs Boston

No Rajon Rondo today. He has been suspended by the league for one game for bumping a referee late (Mark Davis?) on in the previous game.

Avery Bradley will take over the PG duties with Mickeal Pietrus sliding into the starting lineup as a two guard.Expect to see Pierce have a big game tonight as he controls the offense in Rondo’s absence. Bradley’s job will basically be to get the ball to Paul and let him do his thing.

I would still consider Boston the favourites to win this game despite Rondo’s absence. I still think they have more talent than Atlanta, even without Rondo, and that they’ll come out with great intensity and focus knowing that their margin for error tonight is much smaller without Rajon Rondo. I expect Pierce to take the lead and show Boston the way.

This is an important game in this series. I don’t rate this Atlanta Hawks team highly without Al Horford (and without Zaza for the time-being) but if they win tonight, I certainly think they have enough talent to win 2 out of the remaining 5 games. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still favour Boston to win four out of five but the odds of Atlanta causing an upset would change dramatically. They’d have a real shot (which I don’t think they have now) at winning this series.

  • Pierce scores seven quick points in the first 90 seconds to put Boston up 7-4. First bucket, Pierce stole the tip in and raced to the hoop (spinning layup) before Atlanta had an opportunity to setup their defense. Next possession, Pierce posted up right baseline, then faced up and knocked down a jumper over Joe Johnson. Next possession, curls around a screen, gets fouled, muscles up the runner, knocks it down from below the foul line off glass and the foul Makes his FT. Make that 9 points as Pierce hits a step in jumper from 18 feet right elbow extended off the PnR high left wing, dribbled right and took the jumper.
  • Commentator – “you can already see that the body language has changed for Atlanta. Walking the ball up the floor and playing Boston’s game. Crowd not in the game”. As Josh Smith and Jeff Teague miss a pair of long jumpers. Josh Smith misses another low percentage contested long two point jumper off the dribble (KG defended first one, Bass second one).
  • Joe Johnson, top of the key, fakes left, goes right, takes the leaner from 16 feet, hits it.
  • Josh Smith just missed a fastbreak dunk. Not his night so far. He tried a fancy two handed reverse dunk. Not a good sign for Atlanta. It’ll be tough for them to win tonight if Josh Smith isn’t on song offensively.
  • Hinrich beats Pierce off the dribble left wing, Pierce shades him towards the baseline help but Pietrus is late, foul and Hinrich makes the runner. He ties the game at 9-9 at the 8 minute mark.
  • Pietrus just picked up his third foul. Bad call on an illegal screen offensively. Big loss for Boston though. Doc decided to stay with him but Pietrus gave up another foul quickly. Sasha Pavlovic will see a lot of minutes the rest of this half.
  • Garnett goes to work on Jason Collins, fakes middle, shakes Collins, goes back to the baseline and knocks down the fallaway jumper going glass. Beautiful move. Always a joy to see KG in the low post. Great footwork and agility in his moves.
  • Pierce misses a jumper from the foul line, follows his own miss, offensive rebound, back out to Bass, knocks it down from 19 feet. Nice plays by Pierce to stick with it and then find his teammate for a wide open jumper. Meanwhile, Atlanta just hit back to back three pointers (JJ and Hinrich) to move ahead 17-15 on the scoreboard.
  • Johnson gets terrific position under the rim on Pavlovic, three feet out in the middle of the paint, gets the catch, can’t finish, Stiemsma swats it away. Great shot-block.
  • Bass takes a clearout and tries to create his own shot, drives and tries to muscle up a shot, misses badly. Those are not Bass’ type of shots. He is a catch and shoot (midrange and long range two point jumpers) and a finisher around the rim player.
  • Jeff Teague with an incredible closeout block on Dooling’s corner three. Swatted out of the air out of bounds. Unfortunately, Boston scores a midrange J off the inbounds. Still, it was a spectacular block.
  • At the end of the first quarter, it’s a tie game at 24-24 … as Pierce scores 13 first quarter points and adds 4 rebounds for good measure.
  • Pargo, Green, McGrady, Marvin and Collins in for Atlanta. Boston is going with Bradley, Dooling, Sasha, KG and Hollins.
  • Brilliant defensive rotations from Boston. Nice drive and kick by McGrady from left wing towards the baseline and paint area, kicks it to opposite (right corner), swung to right wing, swung back to left wing, Willie Green still has a hand in his face. Brilliant rotations and closeout. Missed three pointer.
  • Avery Bradley just made 4 FTs to give him 7 points for the night. Maybe that will get him going offensively.
  • Terrific block by Tracy McGrady. Shot clocking ticking down, three seconds on it as it’s kicked out to a wide open KG at the top of the key, strong closeout by McGrady, Garnett head fake, gets by McGrady, one dribble pull up J from 21 feet top of the key, McGrady behind the play but reaches from behind, Garnett with his high release, blocks the shot and. McGrady draws another foul (second in a minute) on the other end and knocks down some FTs. McGrady giving Atlanta some good play here.
  • Marquis Daniels is in the game. They have tried posting him up twice on Willie Green so far. Atlanta looking to send help aggressively. Doc Rivers going deep into his bench tonight with Daniels, Hollins, Pavlovic and Dooling. Normally only see one or two of those guys, not all four.
  • Avery Bradley with the 1-3 PnP with Paul Pierce, drive and kick down the right side of the paint to Bass on the left baseline, hits the jumper. Nice pass by Bradley. Continually improving as a playmaker throughout the season. Boston lead 30-27 with 8 minutes to play in the first half.
  • Bass knocks down another 18 footer from the left wing this time as his defender loses track of him. Bass is one of the finest midrange and long two point range jump-shooting big men in the league.
  • Bradley pull-up jumper on the fastbreak from the right elbow. Hits it. Avery Bradley starting to look really good here in the second quarter. Looks to have found his flow and confidence out there. Bradley didn’t have much of an impact in game one but is certainly trying to rectify that tonight.
  • Atlanta lead 36-34 after the thunderous Josh Smith dunk in transition. Nice pass by JJ to find the trailing Smith. This came shortly after a drive and kick from JJ to Teague for a three pointer in transition. Atlanta getting out on the break on the last few possessions and they have gotten the crowd into it. Doc Rivers shouting loudly at his players to get back in transition. Atlanta on a 9-0 run as Josh Smith knocks down one of those bad contested jumpers of his.
  • Boston still hasn’t made a three pointer in this series. They are 0-16 now.
  • Paul Pierce ends the drought, high pick and roll, dribbles right, turns back left towards the middle, drives hard on Marvin, gets the step, gets into the paint, ball fake towards the rim, spins back and hits the fadeaway. Lovely play. Commentators rightly praise the footwork.
  • Boston playing Bass at center now with Pierce at PF alongside Sasha, Bradley and Dooling. I hate these type of lineups for Boston. Regularly cause more harm than good. No help defense on the interior and a major lack of rebounding. Lots of holes. Atlanta is trotting out Josh Smith at center with Marvin and Joe at forward and Teague plus Hinrich at guard.
  • Josh Smith high right wing, posts up JJ right post, spins baseline, Bass helps off a cutting Smith, JJ wraparound pass baseline, finds Smith for the layup. Atlanta should keep attacking the paint. They’ll get a lot of joy against this lineup. Pierce responds by drawing a foul and knocking down two FTs.
  • Okay, this is better. Garnett has checked in for Boston (for Dooling). Gives them that interior defense, rim protection and defensive rebounding. Atlanta bring Jason Collins back (for Marvin) to matchup with KG so both teams have gone big.
  • Pavlovic passes up the three, sloppy closeout by Josh Smith, lousy head-fake, blows by Smith for the dunk. Teague replies with an incredible finish and dunk of his own on the other end.
  • Garnett with the 17 foot J from above the foul line on the kickout. Both teams making shots now.
  • Atlanta leads 44-41 at the half.

Not 100% sure but I don’t think we saw Stiemsma play in the second quarter. I hope he’s not hurt. That would be a big blow to Boston’s big man depth. He has quickly become a very effective backup center for them.

  • Joe Johnson drains a triple to open the second half. Dribbled into it after bringing the ball up-court. Then blows a fastbreak layup against Mickael Pietrus on the next possession and misses a forced (frustration) driving attempt on the possession after that. Boston had turned the ball over on their previous two possessions. Game a little sloppy here. A lot of nervous energy out there. Rushing things.
  • Pietrus gets his hand in there and slaps away the hand off from Smith to JJ on the left wing, loose ball, open court, Pietrus chases it down, breakaway layup, Hinrich hustling back and picks off Pietrus’ pass to reward his big man Brandon Bass for running the floor. Up ahead to Teague, finds Smith, layup. Four point swing. Doc Rivers is livid at the sloppy play from Pietrus. Calls a timeout.
  • Josh Smith drains an open look from 17 feet righy wing to put Atlanta up 53-46 four minutes into the third. Nice move by Smith, left baseline, drives middle to the paint, reverse pivot, jump hook, hits it.
  • Pierce driving to the rim, draws the help, nice dump bounce pass to Bass for the 10 footer on the baseline, miss. Pierce has been doing a nice job finding his teammates.
  • Dooling drains a triple from the left corner in transition. First three pointer by Boston in the playoffs. They are 1-9 tonight after going 0-11 in game one.
  • Bass working on Ivan Johnson, makes a decent move but misses the flip shot. Again, creating one-on-one is not the type of shot you want to see from Brandon Bass. These low percentage shots happen more regularly without Rondo on the court to create good-to-high percentage shots for his teammates.
  • Stiemsma is back in. I wonder why he has played so little tonight. Good to see him back anyway.
  • Josh Smith blocked Pierce’s three against the shot clock to force the turnover. Blame Dooling and credit Hinrich for putting Pierce in that position. Didn’t give him enough time to get up a quality look. Dooling dribbled down the clock and didn’t create anything. He needed to take that shot instead of passing it out. Great job by Hinrich and Smith.
  • Pierce high pick and roll, dribbles toward middle spin move back left to split the PnR defense, rolls into the middle of the floor, attacks the paint where shot-blocker Josh Smith is and draws the foul. He has 18 points after getting 13 in the first.
  • Jeff Teague works the PnP with Josh Smith, drives hard on Dooling, spin move, teardrop, good! Beautiful shot-make by Teague. Next possession, Teague pushing it hard in transition, a one-man fastbreak as he attacks the rim hard and draws the foul. Makes two FTs to put Atlanta up 62-51. Jeff Teague has had a really good game tonight. 16 points now for Teague.
  • Pierce, same play, high PnR with Stiemsma, Atlanta help hard on the ball-handler Pierce, Stiemsma rolls, defender from corner drops deep to defend Stiemsma and leaves Dooling open in that left corner, Pierce finds him and Dooling knocks it down.
  • Josh Smith tries to pass the ball inside from the high post, Stiemsma deflects it but if falls right to an open JJ (who’s man had jumped down to try and steal the pass into the paint) in the right hand corner and he drains a triple. Unlucky play for Boston.
  • Great defense by Boston to force a 25 heave at the shot-clock buzzer which leads to a leakout and fouled layup attempt for Marquis Daniels who makes two FTs. Boston down 7 with 2:25 to play in third. Next possession, Atlanta make a mess of their spacing offensively and miss a tough forced shot, Boston gets to take it in transition again and Pierce knocks down the midrange J. Five point game. Josh Smith, post up, right box, makes a quick move but misses the shot. On the other end, Garnett post up against I.Johnson, misses the turnaround J.
  • Atlanta leads 65-60 with a minute to play in third quarter. Make that 66-61 to end the period.
  • Larry Drew just criticized the number of isolation plays and lack of ball movement in that fourth quarter interview. First possession out, Josh Smith iso who forces up a brick against KG. Atlanta are out of sorts offensively. Next possession ends up a 23 footer from Ivan Johnson against the buzzer. Not getting good shots. 24 second shot clock violation on the next possession. Atlanta’s offense is falling apart.
  • Avery Bradley just swatted Hinrich’s midrange pull up jumper from 15 feet … fastbreak the other way, Bradley get to the rim and draws the foul, hits one of his FTs, two point game. 66-64 Atlanta two and a half minutes into the fourth.
  • Garnett just drew J.Collins’ fifth foul. That could be big. Atlanta has very little size right now. A few moments later, Collins checks out for Smith who’ll play center against Garnett.
  • Bradley knocks down a baseline one dribble pull up jumper to tie the game. Boston has been on a 15-4 run over the last 7 minutes. Wow, the last 4-5 minutes have been awful for Atlanta but still shocked the Hawks have only four points in seven minutes.
  • Atlanta – Teague, Hirncih, JJ, Marvin, J.Smith
  • Boston – Bradley, Dooling, Marquis, Pierce, Garnett
  • Garnett just took and hit a turnaround jumper over Josh Smith. He has always scored well in the post against the much smaller Josh Smith. Very comfortable and confident against Smith. Next possession down, same play, post up Garnett on the left side of the paint, Garnett muscles in and Smith fouls him. Garnett makes two FTs to tie the game at 70-70 with seven minutes to play.
  • Paul Pierce with a tough physical finish at the rim in transition to put Boston ahead.
  • JJ isolation, left wing, goes baseline, spins back, drives middle, fallaway jumper at the foul line over Marquis, misses, tapped up and in by Marvin Williams.
  • Garnett posts up again, same post on left block, Marquis makes the entry pass into the post and then cuts down the middle, JJ (his defender) doubles the post and loses his cutter, pass, layup. On the other end, terrific help defense by Garnett at the rim to alter the shot and force the miss. Great job by Hinrich in transition D to knock away Pierce’s dribble and stop the fastbreak.
  • Pierce has 27 points and 13 rebounds on 9-23 FGAs while JJ has 19 points and 3 rebounds on 7-16 FGAs.
  • 5 minutes to play – Boston lead 74-72
  • JJ gets called for a charge on his dribble drive out of a clearout. Turnover.
  • Pierce passes it out on the dribble drive to Pietrus for a contested right wing three, misses it. Good closeout by Hinrich. Pietrus looked open.
  • A timeout a few moments later as Josh Smith looks to have injured himself. He checks out and heads right for the locker room. Only 4 minutes left. This is a huge loss for Atlanta.
  • Turnover Atlanta, fastbreak the other way, Pierec ahead to the right wing, touch pass back, Pierce dunk! Boston on a 25-10 run
  • Teague just dribbled the ball for 16 seconds before taking a long two off the bounce which he missed … “Pierce comes down and hits a cold-blooded three right down the middle” as Boston comes back down after the miss. Timeout.
  • Boston lead 79-72. 3:30 to play.
  • Ivan Johnson (fumbled dribble) and Pierce (travel – right after the fumble) exchange turnovers. Teague and Hirncih pass to another another a few times, then find Green, who drives and kicks for Ivan Johnson for the 18 foot baseline J, hits it! and draws the foul! Three point play. Nice pump fake and lean in for the foul jumper by Ivan Johnson. That cuts the lead to four points (79-75).
  • Boston come back down, Pierce, high PnR with Garnett, Pierce drives right and takes the 19 footer right wing and drains it. Clutch play from Pierce.
  • Garnett gets whistled for a reach in foul on JJ’s dribble. In the penalty, JJ makes the two FTs.
  • 2:20 to play – 81-77 Boston, timeout Boston – sideline out, 2:05, in to Pierce, Pierce dribbles right, gets trapped on the PnR, caught on baseline, finds KG popping out to three point line top of the key, air ball.
  • JJ tries to break down the PnR defense, fails, decides to go one-on-one, forces the shot and gets a foul as Pietrus goes for the block. Pietrus played him so well until he reached in for that block. JJ splits the FTs. Three point game, 1:35 to play.
  • Pierce upcourt, trapped, passes to KG open top of the key, Green comes over to help but is late and KG is already attacking the rim, fouled on the dunk attempt, makes his FTs.
  • 83-78 Boston with 1:27 to play — JJ is getting nothing attacking that PnR defense with Garnett. He is simply too strong a PnR defender. JJ heaves up an ugly three pointer, misses, Atlanta foul on the rebound and Pierce makes two more at the line. Timeout.
  • 85-78 Boston with 1:15 to play — inbounds to Ivan Johnson above the elbow, sticks his head down and attacks the rim, blows the play and wastes the possession. Pietrus misses a three off the drive and kick from Pierce out of the left corner on the other end … but so too does Atlanta (missed corner three) and they give up another foul on the rebound and Boston makes two more FTs.
  • 87-78 — this is over.

Excellent win for Boston.

This is a big loss for Atlanta. They needed this game. I really do not like their chances of winning this series. Too short-handed without Horford to beat this Boston team. They got some good fortune with Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen out here and they really needed to take advantage to give themselves a shot at winning this series. They didn’t and they may have just sealed their fate.

LA Lakers vs Denver

Tuning in midway through the first quarter of game two

  • Lakers lead 16-13 as Lawson side-rims a three ball from the right wing
  • Kobe left wing, post entry pass to Bynum left post, Barnes cuts from left corner (Triangle?) across the baseline, his defender (Gallinari) doubles, Barnes hugs the baseline well and gives Bynum a passing angle, nice pass by the big fella and layup for Barnes. Smart play by Barnes and good pass by Bynum. Nuggets turn the ball over in the backcourt and concede another basket. Suddenly, LA is up 7.
  • Afflalo has made a couple of post ups against Matt Barnes. I don’t think that is how Afflalo should be attacking Barnes. Use your quickness and your ball-handling. That’s where your strengths lie in that matchup.
  • Lakers lead 32-25 at the end of one. Kobe Bryant led the way with 14 first quarter points. Bynum had 10. Rest of the team only 8.
  • Al Harrington posts up Matt Barnes, right box, turns middle, jump hook about 5 feet from the rim, misses it. Great look at the basket though. Al Harrington is simply too big and too strong for Matt Barnes to defend in the post. Denver need to continue attacking that. Oh hang on, that might have been a switch that I missed. Jordan Hill is out there; I presume he’ll be defending Harrington.
  • Denver – McGee, Harrington, Gallo, Brewer and Miller. Good lineup.
  • Lakers – Pau, Hill, Barnes, Blake and Sessions.
  • Gallo, top of the key, goes away from the screen, stops and pulls up from the left elbow, Blake helped out for Barnes but had nowhere near enough size to bother Gallo’s shot. Lakers forced to go back to these small backcourts with Ron Artest. They had been going away from them late in the season and trying to play with two bigger wings more often in their second units.
  • Mozgov in for McGee. Oddly, he’ll defend Hill and Harrington will take Pau Gasol. Harrington cannot defend Pau Gasol.  Strange matchup choice by George Karl.
  • Jordan Hill with a post up against Mozgov, wheels in to the middle and flips up a shot that rolls around and off the rim. That is not a shot the Lakers will want to see. A garbage man not a shot creator.
  • Harrington has missed a pair of threes here. Bad sign for Denver. They need him to have a big night offensively to pull the Lakers bigs out of the paint and open up the floor for his teammates.
  • Lakers lead 36-34 as Kobe comes back in.
  • Corey Brewer’s speed in the open floor is causing the Lakers transition defense major problems. Denver on a 10-2 run.
  • Lakers respond with a 7-0 run. Kobe Bryant has taken advantage of Corey Brewer in his matchup. Used his body well to create space for the face up jumper from 18 feet right wing. Then top of the key, working one-on-one, drives right, step back J, drains it. Plus, they got a tech from Gallo complaining about the no-call. Afflalo has come in to defend Kobe out of the timeout. Doesn’t matter, Kobe bags another one, 22 feet out near the top of the arc.
  • Denver doing a great job of attacking the offensive glass. 11 offensive rebounds already in this one. Unfortunately, that means they are also missing a lot of shots. Some good looks from the perimeter just are not falling for them.
  • Oh ohh, JaVale McGee with the fastbreak alley-oop in semi-transition (transition but defense was back and setup for the most part) as Ty Lawson throws a 30 foot lob pass from the right sideline.
  • Lakers lead 49-44 with two minutes to play in first half after Jordan Hill’s tip in. Nuggets continue to do a great job pushing the ball in transition.
  • Faried scores in the paint again with another offensive rebound for Denver. Oh boy, third straight possession with an offensive rebound, this time Bynum, beats McGee for inside position, boxes him out well, gets the rebound, muscles up the put-back and draws the foul. He has 17 and 6 in the first half.
  • Afflalo misses from the right corner for the third time in about 5 minutes. Haha, oh boy, Faried with another offensive rebound and gets up and on the glass in time, that should count.
  • 55-48 Lakers

Second half

  • Afflalo with a tough finish over the out-stretched arm of Andrew Bynum. Five point game.
  • Four Nuggets converge on Bryant as he gets caught under the rim, can’t get the shot off, has to pull it back out and drains the one footed 22 foot contested jumper.
  • Offensive rebound, putback, Denver. Of course. Gallo missed his runner out of the post but followed his rebound and put it back. Melo-esque. 14th offensive rebound for Denver and we are only 60 seconds in the second half.
  • Bryant does a great job sealing Afflalo on the post as Afflalo tries to deny the passing angle, fails, easy finish for Bryant. Bynum with the shot-block on the other end to spark the break but LA fail to take advantage of it.
  • Gallinari is only 3-12 from the field tonight. He just made a nice double team and trap on Bynum. Forced Bynum into a turnover again. Same as game one. Still learning how to handle them. Bynum has gotten much better with double teams in general as this year has gone on but he has looked very anxious when Gallinari has doubled him. Vulnerable to double teams with size?
  • Lakers are up 65-52 after an 8-0 run.
  • Denver turn it over again, Afflalo and Kobe gets the and-on on the fallaway jumper out of the high post on left baseline against Afflalo after the offensive rebound (Sessions missed J). Missed FT, offensive rebound again, tapped out, Sessions chases it down, resets offense, dribble penetration to Pau Gasol, high low pass to Bynum, misses the bunny, second try, misses again, third try, gets it to go. 17 point game.  Too big, too strong. 19 point game, Ebanks jumper.
  • Harrington misses again from behind the arc. He is so important to Denver’s attack.
  • 71-52 Lakers is the score as we arrive at the midway point in the quarter
  • Lawson makes a nice dribble drive and layup to halt the Lakers run. Miller coming in for Afflalo. High PnR for Lawson, flies by the PnR defense, into the paint, draws the foul, makes both. Good job, that’s taking some of the air out of LA’s momentum. 14 point game. Denver will want to try and get this into single digits for the fourth quarter. Ty Lawson bullies his way to the rim again and finishes again. Right wing, drives hard right towards the middle, flies by Sessions, invites the contact with Pau Gasol and smacks him out of the way and finishes on the other side of the rim. 12 point game. Timeout.
  • Just when it looked like the Lakers were about to pull away … Denver comes roaring back led by their PG Ty Lawson
  • Al Harrington finally gets a triple to go down. He has 8 points on 3-10 shooting.
  • Kobe Bryant with the chase down block on Al Harrington’s breakaway dunk attempt. LeBron-esque. Offensive possession, Kobe Bryant bullies his way against Brewer again, takes a 11 footer in the paint, misses, fastbreak the other way, layup for Denver. Brewer is really struggling defensively with Kobe.
  • Steve Kerr – “it’s just a track meet” “between Brewer and Lawson” – as Brewer gets another fastbreak dunk (21-8 advantage for Denver in transition points) off the Lakers turnover.
  • Lakers lead down to five, 75-70 as the third quarter nears a close.
  • Bynum posts up Mozgov, Mozgov does a nice job pushing him away from the paint but Bynum just backs him down and backs him down, then spins baseline and finishes glass. Second straight hoop for Bynum. Another nice post up for Bynum, left post, turns middle, jump hook, spins out. Nice move though.
  • Kobe Bryant with 33 points on 14-21 FGAs.
  • Brewer with a backdoor cut and layup to end the third quarter. Lakers lead 81-74.
  • Great block by McGee, got the tips of his fingers on that one, Jordan Hill there to clean it up and score though. Very active on the offensive end of the floor in the paint. Next possession, Sessions to the hoop again and has his shot altered again. Denver get it back but turn it right over to LA on the other end.
  • Miller gets the step as he creeps around the pick, Gasol recovers and rejects it, fastbreak LA, Sessions into the open court, he’s all alone, no Nuggets back, layup. Lakers back up 11 (87-76).
  • Corey Brewer with the steal, fastbreak, Sessions fouls him in the tomahawk dunk attempt. Great job in the passing lane there by Brewer. So dangerous in the open court.
  • Sessions with the teardrop in the lane. He has struggled tonight with his shot only 4-12 from the field for 8 points. Scores again next time down, left wing, explodes down the sideline and beats the sleeping defense to the rim for a layup.
  • Ty Lawson nets a stop and pop fallaway from the right elbow off his dribble penetration. 11 point game.
  • Gallinari catches it the elbow, attacks hard down the sideline, stripped, recovered, muscles it up in a crowd and scores it.
  • 92-85, Lakers. 5:30 to play.
  • Ohh oh, McGee with his fifth rejection, just swatted clean out of the air on Ebanks running layup attempt. McGee makes some incredible plays … if only he’d learn to make fundamental plays too!
  • Nuggets score again in transition. Five point game. Lawson has made hist last seven shots. Kobe Bryant answers with an iso and long three point jumper from the top of the key to put LA back up 8.
  • 3:20 – Lakers lead 95-91 after two Faried FTs (transition alley-oop, fouled)
  • The Lakers have done a really bad job of keeping their leads tonight. Every time they pull away, Denver comes roaring back through transition hoops and (earlier) offensive rebounds.
  • Miller draws a charge on Ebanks, turnover. Lawson has a three go in and out on the other end.
  • Kobe, working on Gallo, right wing, doubled by Miller, swings it to Sessions at the top of the key who drives and passes to Blake left wing, misses. Denver run the other way, pass ahead to Faried who is open under the rim, bobbles it, Kobe gets the loose ball, races down court, into the lane, draws the defense, wrap around pass to Bynum for the dunk and the foul. A four-five point swing. Makes the FT.
  • Lakers lead 98-91 with 2:15 to play. Huge five point swing there.
  • Bynum has 26 points and 9 rebounds
  • Gallinari receives the short pass from Lawson or Miller on the right wing, dribbles towards middle, steps back, nails a three pointer. Four point game.
  • Kobe left wing, iso, shoots over the top of Gallinari, misses. He had Bynum in the post but decided he wanted instead and waved Bynum away. Offensive rebound LA, reset the offense, PnR between Sessions and Kobe, goes away from the screen, drives left, finishes with the teardrop over McGee. He has 8 of his 12 points here in the fourth quarter.
  • Denver turn it over, Kobe in the frontcourt, Faried with the chase down block and knocks it out of bounds. Lakers inbound, final minute, Sessions tries to get into the post, cannot, over to Bryant, who wheels and deals with Gallo, crossing him, step back, miss. Fastbreak, Gallo ahead of the pack, misses the layup, tapped up and in by McGee.
  • 100-96 LA with 30 seconds to play – Denver go for the steal, fail, foul Sessions with 21 seconds on the clock. Sessions makes two. Six point lead. Timeout Denver. They go for the quick two as Lawson gets to the rim and hits the layup. 14 seconds. Lakers cannot inbound it. Timeout LA to save the possession. Inbound to Kobe, one two between Pau and Kobe, fouled, five seconds. Timeout. Gallo misses the J, Faried tips it in, too little, too late. Lakers inbound the ball and run out the clock. Win 104-100.

Good win for LA but they looked a bit like a child playing with it’s food at times. Toying with Nuggets instead of finishing them off.

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