Straight close out games lost by the Lakers, who were 12-1 in such chances to eliminate an opponent since acquiring Pau Gasol before back-to-back losses to the Nuggets. As such, L.A. is now in an elimination Game 7, on Saturday evening at STAPLES Center.
Points for Pau Gasol, on only 1 of 10 field goals, which is surprising even to type. Andrew Bynum wasn’t much better offensively, making 4 of 11 shots with constant Denver double teams in his face, the two 7-footers – presumably LAL’s big advantage heading into the series – combining for 14 points. Mike Brown explicitly questioned the overall effort of both bigs after the game, stating his disappointment especially when Kobe Bryant was going hard on both ends despite being sick.
Three pointers hit by the Nuggets, which is exactly half of the amount they made in the entire first five games (20). Ty Lawson got Denver off to a swift start on that front, nailing four triples in the first few minutes of the game. Lawson led all scores with 32 points on an impressive 13 of 18 field goals, including 5 of 6 from three.
Plus/minus rating for deep sub Christian Eyenga with the game well secured Denver’s way in the final six minutes, which made the final score close than the game was throughout.
Denver’s run to start the game, putting L.A. into a deep, immediate hole. The Lakers would manage to get within four late in the second quarter, thanks mostly to Bryant’s scoring, but allowed a 7-2 run to close the half down nine.
Fast break points for Denver, actually below their league-high season average, which the Lakers will take. However, with L.A. cutting off the paint well enough throughout, the Nuggets just kicked the ball out for trailing threes that killed the Lakers.
Denver’s biggest lead, attained early in the fourth quarter.
Thirty-plus point games for Kobe in his playoff career, second only to Michael Jordan’s 109, as he managed 31 on 13 of 23 field goals despite battling gastroenteritis that had him throwing up in the morning and fatigued throughout the day and the game. He needed IV fluid injections before the game and at halftime, but still managed to be the most assertive Laker.