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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.