OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) For the second time in less than a week, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers must figure out how to fight back after a humbling loss.
Pau Gasol was consumed by determination, holding off Kenneth Faried with one arm and relentlessly tipping the ball at the hoop with the other in the fourth quarter of Game 7. One, two, three, four -- five! -- offensive rebounds later, the ball finally surrendered and dropped through the hoop.
Laker fans were a little uneasy on Thursday afternoon when reports came out that Kobe Bryant missed shoot around prior to Game 6. The official diagnosis was Gastroenteritis and Bryant was a game-time decision leading up to the game.
Kobe Bryant followed his 43-point outburst in Game 5 with 31 points in 3 1/2 quarters despite a sour stomach that he said left his hotel room "looking like a scene from 'The Exorcist,'" and that prevented him from attending the Lakers' morning shootaround and forced him to take intravenous fluids all day.
Game 5 was yet another classic game for Kobe Bryant. He scored in double digits for the 164th consecutive playoff game, He finished the night with 43 points, which is the 12th time he has scored at least 40 points in a postseason game.
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. By Tesh Patel / kobebryant.com