There was no scoring duel between Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony last night, it was all Kobe. Bryant scored 41 points, bringing the Lakers back from a eight point deficit at the end of the third to an impressive fourth quarter, in which the Lakers outscored the Denver Nuggets 32-18. The Los Angeles Lakers now lead the Nuggets 2-1 after the 103-97 win.
Like in the first two games, this game was close and tight all the way, but while the Denver Nuggets had a lot of guys playing OK, the Lakers had one guy playing amazing, and that was enough. Bryant shot 12 of 24 from the field including two tre’s and didn’t miss from the line (15-17). Gasol was the usual assistant, scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 boards. Trevor Ariza reached double figures as well with 16 points. He came up with a great inbound pass steal, this time off Kenyon Martin, in the fourth.
Denver? They had six guys in double figures, with Carmelo Anthony (21 points) and Chauncey Billups (18 points) leading the way. But the shooting wasn’t there when they needed it. Carmelo fouled out and so did Kenyon Martin who had a bad outing (6 points). Denver shot 39.3% from the field while the Lakers shot over 45%. Denver didn’t hit their threes, only 5 while they went wild with 27 attempts.
The Nuggets now must come up with a way to either disturb Kobe a bit, cause he’s been damaging them hard all series or try to outscore the Lakers. George Karl said before the series that he doesn’t think his team can do that, but I think that at home he has to try. Playing it close every time gives the Lakers the edge I believe.