Escape from LA! Nuggets survive a late rally from Kobe and the Lakers, win 102-99. - KB24

By Tesh Patel / kobebryant.com

Led by Andre Miller (24 points, 8 assists) and JaVale McGee (21 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks), the Denver Nuggets survived a late scoring spree by Kobe Bryant (43 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) to win, 102-99.

With the win, the Nuggets pull closer to evening the series, down 3-2.  Game 6 is scheduled for Thursday in Denver.

Quarter 1:

·      Kobe only 1-4 to start, Denver looking to run out on the long misses.
·      Gallo coming out firing, 2-4 from the field.
·      Lakers start 3-12 from the field, shaky at the FT line as well.
·      Faried beats the Lakers down court, has 8 points on 4-4 shooting.
·      Denver up 18-15 with 3:30 remaining.
·      Not much ball movement from the Lakers, only 2 team assists.
·      Kobe struggling from the perimeter finishes 3-10 for the quarter.
·      After 1 Qtr: Nuggets 26 Lakers 23.

Observations:

·      Lakers only shooting 9/26 from the field and have only 4 team assists.  Too many isolation plays is killing the offense.
·      Sessions playing passive: 2 pts, 1 reb, 0 assists.
·      Faried is an animal out there, 8 points and 5 rebounds.

Quarter 2:
·      The Lakers offense continues to stall, no ball movement, constant over-dribbling.
·      Barnes has struggled with his shooting, but continues to hustle on the boards.
·      Nuggets without a FG for the last 4 minutes, 1 for their last 11 is Denver.
·      Blake sparking LA with a quick bucket and assist to Barnes.
·      Back to back threes by Denver gives them a 6 pt lead, 35-29.
·      Lakers are having success when they attack the basket, Barnes scores again off of a cut, 8 pts now for Barnes.
·      Kobe ditching the jumpshot, attacking the basket now, up to 9 FT attempts.
·      At Halftime: Nuggets 49 Lakers 43.

Observations:
·      Lakers continue to struggle from 3, 0-6 on the night.
·      Blake, Barnes, and Hill added hustle to a stagnant Laker squad, each pulled down 4 rebounds in the quarter.
·      Lakers big 3 have been sub-par from the field: Kobe is 5-13, Bynum and Gasol a combined 3-12.
·      Bryant was able to manufacture points from the line (8-9), up to 18 points.
·      McGee is once again playing Bynum tough.  ‘Vale has 7 points and 8 rebounds while Bynum has 7 points and 7 rebounds.

Quarter 3:

·      After 2 early Laker buckets, the Nuggets go on 10-0 run.
·      Nuggets up 59-47, Lawson and Gallo leading the charge.
·      Lakers respond with 5 quick points, down 7. Nuggets 61 Lakers 54.
·      Nuggets guards daring the Lakers guards (specifically Sessions) to shoot.  They’re moving under all screens and collapsing on the bigs early to prevent entry passes.
·      Bynum picks up a T for the push on Fareid, maybe that will wake him up.
·      Kobe scores 9 of the last 11 Laker points to pull the Lakers within 3.
·      Nuggets close the quarter on a 10-2 run, thanks to McGee and Miller.
·      After 3: Nuggets 76 Lakers 65.

Observations:
·      Kobe is heating up, shot 4-7 in the quarter.
·      Matt Barnes is second to Kobe with 14 shot attempts.  Something is very wrong here.
·      Lakers are 2-12 from 3, pathetic.

Quarter 4:
·      No rest for Kobe, misses 3 of 4 to start the quarter.
·      Miller to McGee for a dunk, an unexpected but deadly combo.
·      JaVale Mcgee is destroying the Lakers front line, 19 points 12 rebounds on the night.
·      Denver 90 LA 75.
·      Kobe hits a 3, Lakers down 92-82.
·      Gasol and Bynum coming alive, 9 combined points helps pull the Lakers within 7.
·      Kobe again for 3!
·      Miller posts Blake, easy score, no help from the Laker bigs.
·      Kobe with another 3! En Fuego!
·      Kobe hits his 4th 3-pointer of the quarter, vintage Bryant.
·      Kobe misses a 3 to tie it, Nuggets 99 Lakers 96.
·      Lakers foul, FT parade time for the Nuggets.
·      Final: Nuggets 102 Lakers 99.

Observations:

·      Miller and McGee scored 10 of  the Nuggets 14 point to start the quarter, pushing their lead to 15 over LA.
·      Kobe went berserk, canning 4 consecutive 3-pointers to bring the Lakers within 3. KB finished with 43 points.
·      After shooting only 2-12 on 3-pointers through 3 quarters, Lakers score 18 of their 34 4th quarter points from distance in the final quarter.
·      To sum up tonight’s game, the Nuggets played with focus and intensity for 4 quarters, the Lakers for only 1.  If it wasn’t clear before, the Lakers realize now that the Nuggets aren’t going to fold and that team-wide contributions from the stars down to the role players (see game 4) are in order before they can begin to think about Round 2.

  • Kobegirl

    My hands are shaking in every game. When u guys falls at game 5 . I was angry in the world

  • ed24

    KOBE U SIMPLY THE BEST