Sunday, May 24, 2009
Lakers-Nuggets: Nuggets behind Carmelo’s 34 points win 106-103 and tie series
Nuggets Forward Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds and led his team to a 106-103 road win to knot the series at a game a piece. The win also snapped the two decade plus long playoff dominance the Lakers have had over Denver.
The playoff win was the first for Denver over Los Angeles since 1985, the second-longest post season winning streak against one team in NBA History a span that lasted 11 games.
Chauncey Billups made his mark on the game by scoring 27 points, 17 of those points came in the second half and knocking down three of four free throws to seal the win.
This game was eerily similar to the first game. Give the Nuggets credit the team did what it had to do to avoid going home looking up at a two game deficit to overcome. This game it was the Lakers jumping out to an early 14 point lead, playing highly efficient basketball and solid defense.
All of the momentum that the Lakers built to start the game was erased by a 14-2 Denver scoring run along with excellent defense that allowed them to get back into the game. The score was 55-54 Lakers at halftime.
Linas Kleiza came off the bench for Denver and had an immediate impact scoring 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Unlike game one, the Lakers were the ones who missed free throws and the clutch shots made in game one didn’t fall the Lakers in game two.
The second half started with the Lakers increasing their lead but the Nuggets stayed close, the score at the end of the third quarter was 81-80 Lakers. The lead changed hands multiple times in the fourth quarter.
Identical to game one, this game came down to executing in the fourth quarter and in the first game the Lakers were the ones that executed down the stretch but in game two it was the Nuggets.
The game came down to a critical jump ball situation, Trevor Ariza got control of the tip and then lost it when he was bumped. Denver outscored the Lakers 26-22 in the fourth quarter.
A foul could’ve been called but it wasn’t, in addition to that a jump ball violation was made by J.R. Smith for entering the jump ball circle which wasn’t called as well.
It was water under the bridge so to speak and the bounce of the ball didn’t go the Lakers way and the reality is that the series is tied and the Lakers need to make adjustments and rebound in Denver where the series shifts to for games three and four.
The Lakers front line played much better in the game as oppose to game one. Kobe Bryant led the in scoring with 32 points.