For the third consecutive game, the Lakers manhandled the Nuggets, defeating them 102-84 an opening up a 3-0 series lead against Denver. L.A. outscored the Nuggets by 11 points in the second half, led by Kobe Bryant’s 22.
“We definitely got dominated in the second half–no question about it,” said Eduardo Najera after the game. “The frustration came in and we were not ourselves. We did not make enough shots. I thought we played better defensively in this game, but our offense was not there tonight.”
In all, five Lakers reached double figures, with Gasol, Fisher, Odom and Walton joining Bryant. Once again, the Lakers’ bench was also a factor with Luke tallying another 15 and Farmar and Vujacic adding nine a piece.
As a team, L.A. shot 46% from the floor compared to only 37% for Denver–an obvious source of frustration after the game for George Karl.
“I tip my hat to the Lakers in regards to their defense–they are better than I thought they were,” said Karl after the Lakers held his team to under 100 points for the first time this series. “Only a handful of teams did to us during the season what LA did to us tonight.”
For the first time all series, the Lakers held Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony in check as the pair only combined for 31 points. L.A. also did a solid job against Marcus Camby, holding the center scoreless in 28 minutes of action.
“I’m frustrated–I’ve been in a lot of playoff series but I don’t think I’ve ever been this frustrated,” said Iverson. “In the third quarter, they were doing the same thing they’d been doing the whole game. They were getting things they wanted offensively, and stopping us on defense. We did nothing to change. We kept doing the same thing.”