Lakers Gameday | 05/27/09 | Lakers 103, Nuggets 94

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103
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Denver Nuggets 25 31 20 18 94
Los Angeles Lakers 25 31 20 27 103
94

Lakers Game Leaders
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Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant
22 Points
Field Goals: 6 of 13
FG: 46%
Lamar Odom Lamar Odom
14 Rebounds
Defensive: 10
Offensive: 4
Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant
8 Assists
5 Rebounds
1 Steal
Lamar Odom Lamar Odom
+18
19 Points
4 Blocks

BasketBlog
  • Lakers 103, Nuggets 94: Postgame 5
  • Lakers - Nuggets Running Diary - Game 5
  • Playoff Podcast #18: Mike Breen
  • Late-Series Success at STAPLES…?
  • Bynum Flagrant Rescinded, Jones Awarded

  • Video
    Pictures
    Post-Game Numbers
  • 54 - Points in the paint for the Lakers, to just 36 from Denver as L.A. dominated the lane.
  • 31 - Points from Carmelo Anthony to lead the Nuggets, 12 of which came from the free throw line. No other Nugget had more than 12 points (Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups).
  • 13 - Field goal attempts from Kobe Bryant, his fewest in the series, towards 22 points, including 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
  • 9 - Combined blocks from Pau Gasol (5) and Lamar Odom (4).
  • 4 - Fastbreak points for the Nuggets, as the Lakers’ focus on sprinting back in transition paid off.
  • 3 - Three pointers hit by the Lakers on 16 attempts, only 18.8 percent. L.A. was very good from everywhere else, however, hitting 56.7 percent from two.
  • 1 - More rebound for Denver than the Lakers (43-42), who’d prefer to win that battle, but would take it after losing it by 18 in Game 4.
    --Mike Trudell, Lakers.com

  • STARTERS
    Los Angeles Lakers Denver Nuggets
    Guard
    Derek Fisher
    D. Fisher
    Guard
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    Forward
    Trevor Ariza
    T. Ariza
    Forward
    Pau Gasol
    P. Gasol
    Center
    Andrew Bynum
    A. Bynum
    Guard
    Chauncey Billups
    C. Billups
    Guard
    Dahntay Jones
    D. Jones
    Forward
    Carmelo Anthony
    C.Anthony
    Forward
    Kenyon Martin
    K. Martin
    Center
    Nene
    Nene

    Lakers Gameday Articles and Updates
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    • POST-GAME
    • FRANK HAMBLEN PREVIEW
    • GAME PREVIEW
    • SCOUTING REPORT
    • LAKERS UPDATES
    Lakers beat Nuggets 103-94 in Game 5

    LOS ANGELES(AP) The Lakers owned the fourth quarter against Denver. Now they have a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.

    Kobe Bryant scored 22 points, Lamar Odom had 19 points and 14 rebounds and Pau Gasol added 14 points and 10 rebounds in Los Angeles' 103-94 victory Wednesday night.

    Game 6 is Friday in Denver, where the Lakers lost Game 4 by 19 points.

    "Got to come ready to play,'' Bryant said. "We made a lot of mistakes the last time, the mistakes that took place were execution, and we didn't do things at the defensive end.

    "We'll come ready to play.''

    Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points, hitting 12 of 13 free throws, and Kenyon Martin and Chauncey Billups added 12 points each for the Nuggets.

    The teams were tied after the first, second and third quarters for just the fourth time in NBA playoff history.

    So it all came down to the final 12 minutes.

    Bryant, Odom and Gasol teamed for all but seven of the Lakers' points in the fourth. They opened on an 11-0 run for their first lead of the second half and it was capped by Shannon Brown's jumper that beat the shot clock.

    The Nuggets used a 13-6 run to close to 93-89. Linas Kleiza scored seven straight and Anthony had six in the spurt.

    But then the Lakers regained control and finished off the victory. They improved to 20-0 in Game 5s at home when a series is tied 2-2.

    Bryant said he changed his role from the what it had been in the series.

    "It was a big gamble for me coming in, but I wanted to change my approach this game and be more of a decoy,'' he said after adding eight assists, several out of double-teams in the fourth quarter. "The past couple games they really were loading to my side and I figured I could be a decoy and try to give chances to my teammates.''

    Anthony hit a jumper to get Denver to 96-91 with 1:24 remaining. But the Nuggets went cold from the field over the final 3:38, while the Lakers capitalized at the line. Los Angeles outscored Denver 10-5 in that span, including going 6 of 8 from the line.

    Denver returns home needing a victory to send the series back to Los Angeles for a Game 7 on Sunday. The Nuggets have never won a best-of-7 series after losing Game 1.

    The good kind of history is seemingly on the Lakers' side. They haven't lost a best-of-7 series that was tied 2-2 after winning Game 5 since the 1969 NBA finals against Boston.

    Denver twice led by seven points in the third quarter only to see the Lakers tie it at 76 on a 3-pointer by Bryant to end the period. Los Angeles never led, but managed the two ties.

    In a first half featuring 13 ties, the teams ended up even after both the first and second quarters. On the Lakers' final play, Bryant held the ball at midcourt as the clock ticked down before driving and kicking to Sasha Vujacic, who hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to make it 56-all going into halftime. The Lakers were 0 for 7 from long range until then.

    Notes: The Lakers were involved the other three playoff games were tied through the first three quarters, the last was in 1964 against St. Louis. ... Denver's Nene fouled out with 4:02 remaining, with four points and eight rebounds. He has fouled out of three game, ... Famous faces in the crowd: Hugh Hefner and his three girlfriends, Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, Ron Artest of the Houston Rockets, Zac Efron and NBA centers past and present Bill Russell and Kevin Love.


    Copyright 2009 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited

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    FRANK HAMBLEN PREVIEW

    If you want to focus on one thing in particular that could determine who wins Wednesday’s Game 5 between L.A. and Denver, check the boards.

    Assistant coach Frank Hamblen joined us to talk about the importance of cleaning the glass (Denver won that battle 58-40 in Game 2), getting the ball into the post, containing the Nuggets’ bench and more.

    LAKERS - NUGGETS PREVIEW

    LOS ANGELES (AP) Pau Gasol wants the ball inside against the Denver Nuggets. Only he's not about to pull a Keyshawn Johnson and order his Los Angeles Lakers teammates to "just give me the damn ball.''

    That's not the Spaniard's way.

    Gasol is all about finesse on and off the court, so he'll leave the angry big man approach alone.

    "I just want to go with what's effective and what works out there and what's been working for us and what's a strength of ours,'' he said after Tuesday's practice. "I think we should explore that a little more.''

    The mild-mannered Gasol complained about only taking four shots in the second half of a 120-101 loss at Denver on Monday night that left the Western Conference finals tied at two.

    Gasol went 8 of 11 for 21 points in Game 4. He's shooting 62 percent in the series, but he had only four free throws in the fourth quarter Monday.

    "I don't think there's many people who would say there's something right about it,'' he said afterward. "I wish we would take more advantage of our inside game, because it's pretty effective. It's unfortunate we don't recognize it enough.''

    Kobe Bryant knows what's keeping the Lakers from delivering the ball to Gasol in the post.

    "They're double-teaming him on the catch. He's got to go a little quicker when he catches it,'' Bryant said. "That's something I've always told him, `When you got a shot you got to take it.' At this late in the postseason, teams aren't going to let you back out there and spin and do some of the things he likes to do in the post. He's got to go and go quickly.''

    Pushed on whether he would demand the ball in Game 5 on Wednesday night, Gasol didn't sound too convincing.

    "I'll try, but there's only so much I can do as far as demanding,'' he said. "I'd rather talk to our coaches and our guys and hopefully we see what's effective and what works and we go to it.''

    The Lakers' frontcourt of Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum were no match for Denver's trio of Nene, Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen, who dominated the boards 42-25 in Game 4.

    "One of our main focuses was trying to get the rebound so that way we can do our running game,'' Andersen said. "Our best offense is our defense and rebounding is a big part of that.''

    The Nuggets practiced in Denver on Tuesday before flying to Los Angeles.

    Coach George Karl believes winning Game 5 on the road would be easier than doing so in a Game 7 on the Lakers' home court.

    "We right now have made somewhat of a move to challenge them to try and figure us out a little bit more,'' he said. "Can we win the energy game down there? It would be a big step towards getting a win. My big guys were terrific last night. I don't know if I've had three big guys be so dominant on the boards.''

    The Nuggets rested for a week after putting Dallas away in five games in the conference semifinals. The Lakers, meanwhile, were pushed to seven games before escaping against Houston, and the fatigue appears to be showing.

    "They've been playing every other day since May and we've had our breaks and the advantage to heal our bodies is better than the Lakers,'' Andersen said. "Now we're starting to get back in our rhythm that we were at when the playoffs started.''

    Odom said the Lakers need a dose of energy and effort Wednesday night at Staples Center, where the Nuggets won Game 2.

    "When you get behind, you take quick shots and you tend to give those guys some good numbers when it comes to rebounding,'' he said. "We want to clean up the defensive boards and keep them off the offensive boards.''

    Odom is continuing treatment for a lower back injury, but he declined to specify just how hurt he is.

    "For this team to be good, I need to pick it up,'' he said.

    Bryant wouldn't concede fatigue is hurting the Lakers.

    "I don't think it had anything to do with how we played yesterday, they just played better,'' he said. "We do a pretty good job of responding to challenges and we certainly have one here tomorrow night. The challenge of the situation re-energizes me.''

    The NBA fined Lakers coach Phil Jackson and the team $25,000 on Tuesday for his post-game comments on the officiating in Game 4.

    The fines were announced after the Lakers addressed the media, but Jackson was asked whether the Nuggets have shifted their play from physical to dirty.

    "There's a sense of how much people want it, how you play when you have to play hard and how aggressive you become and that's a fine line,'' he said. "I want to keep the topic on a positive note. I don't want to talk about that aspect of it.''

    ---

    AP Sports Writer Arnie Stapleton in Denver contributed to this report.


    Copyright 2009 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
    LAKERS SCOUTING REPORT

    58-40.  Really that’s all that needs to be said as a review of game 4 and preview of game 5.  The Nuggets dominated us on the boards in game 4 by the 58-40 margin and if that doesn’t drastically change we will be in for another long night tonight.  20 of those rebounds were on the offensive end that led to 23 second chance points for the Nuggets.  We simply must do a better job in this area.  What makes the 20 offensive rebounds even more disappointing from our perspective is that the Nuggets shot 44% for the game.  When you are playing really good defense (or a team is simply having a very bad shooting night) and you hold them to a shooting percentage in the 30’s then there will obviously be more opportunities for offensive rebounds.  When a team shoots a serviceable 44% and you give up 20 offensive boards you clearly are not getting the job done.  So priority number one tonight is to regain control of the rebound department.

    Another area that hurt us was points in the paint.  We were outscored in the paint 52-34 and this number includes a number of separate breakdowns.  First, they scored some buckets in transition in the paint and we need to minimize those.  The second shot number also plays into this.  The real disappointing part that is shown in this number though is the points they got off penetration in the half court situations.  So much of success in basketball is predicated by penetration – can you stop the other team and get some yourself – and we were hurt by the penetration of Nuggets.  We need to do a better job of keeping them out of the paint and if they get in the paint and we help, we MUST help the helper.
    Click here to read the full scouting report...

    LAKERS UPDATES

    LAKERS IN THE CONFERENCE FINALS
    With their Game 7 victory over the Rockets on May 17, the Lakers advanced to their 39th Western Conference/Division Finals series in franchise history (29 Los Angeles, 10 Minneapolis). Currently in their 61st NBA season, the Lakers have participated in 64 percent of the NBA’s Western Conference/Division Finals since the 1948-49 season and have advanced to the NBA Finals on 29 occasions. Since moving to Los Angeles, the Lakers have gone 23-5 in Western Conference/Divison Finals while going 6-4 in Division Finals during their time in Minneapolis. The Lakers have won five consecutive Conference Finals series with their last loss in the Conference Finals coming to Utah in 1998 (0-4). Lakers head coach Phil Jackson is 11-1 all-time in Conference Finals series (5-0 Los Angeles, 6-1 Chicago).

    LAKERS vs. DENVER IN THE POSTSEASON
    The Lakers and Nuggets have met four times in the postseason (1979, 1985, 1987 and 2008) with Los Angeles advancing on each occasion, most recently defeating Denver 4-0 in the 2008 Western Conference First Round. The Lakers have won 15-of-18 postseason games against the Nuggets, losing twice at home (8-2) and once on the road (7-1). The Lakers won 11 straight playoff games against Denver from 5/17/85 – 5/19/09, marking the 2nd longest playoff streak against one team in NBA history behind the Lakers 12-game win streak versus Seattle from 1980-89. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, with the Lakers 103-97 victory May 23 in Denver, the Lakers have won each of their last seven road playoff games against the Nuggets (one game in 1979, two in 1985, one in 1987, two in 2008, and one in 2009), equaling the NBA record for consecutive road playoff wins against a particular opponent (The Lakers defeated the Spurs in seven straight road playoff games from 1982-88). The latest these two teams have met in the playoffs was in the 1985 Western Conference Finals (4-1). In 1979, the Lakers defeated Denver 2-1 in the Western Conference First Round while they swept the Nuggets 3-0 in the 1987 Western Conference First Round.

    40-POINT GAMES IN THE POSTSEASON
    In the Lakers Game 3 victory over the Nuggets May 23 in Denver, Kobe Bryant scored 41 points on 12-of-24 shooting including 15-17 FT after scoring 40 points in the Lakers Game 1 victory over the Nuggets May 19, on 13-of-28 shooting including 2-3 3FG and 12-13 FT. The 41 points marked the 9th time in his career that Bryant has scored 40+ points in a playoff game, with the Lakers going 8-1 in those contests. Bryant’s NINE 40+ point games rank third among active players Shaquille O’Neal (12) and Allen Iverson (10) and now rank 4th in team history behind Jerry West (20), Elgin Baylor (14) and Shaquille O’Neal (11). Bryant’s 40+ point playoff games in chronological order are as follows: 48 points 5/13/01 @ SAC (W), 45 points 5/19/01 @ SA (W), 42 points 5/11/04 vs. SA (W), 50 points 5/4/06 vs. PHO (L), 45 points 4/26/07 vs. PHO (W), 49 points 4/23/08 vs. DEN (W), 40 points 5/6/09 vs. HOU (W), 40 points 5/19/09 vs. DEN and 41 points 5/23/09 @ DEN. Additionally, this is the fourth consecutive postseason in which Bryant has had at least one game with 40+ points. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only four other players in NBA history have had 40+ points games in each of four straight playoff years: Michael Jordan had an eight-year streak (1985-1992) and a four year streak (1994-1997) while George Mikan (1948-1951, Elgin Baylor (1959-1962) and Allen Iverson (1999-2002) also had four year streaks. During the regular season, Bryant has scored 40+ points 96 times in his career. Last season, Bryant’s 46 points February 1 at Toronto moved him past Elgin Baylor (88 40- plus games) for third all-time. In the history of the NBA, only two players have more career regular season 40-point games: Wilt Chamberlain (271) and Michael Jordan (173). The Lakers are 65-31 in games that Bryant has scored 40-plus points. This season, the Lakers were 2-2 when Bryant scored 40-plus.

    LAKERS IN BEST-OF-SEVEN SERIES

  • The Lakers are now 66-29 in best-of-seven series (any round) all-time. (60-28 Los Angeles, 6-1 Minneapolis)
  • The Lakers are now 61-34 in Game 1 of best-of-seven series (any round) all-time. (57-31 Los Angeles, 4-3 Minneapolis)
  • When winning Game 1 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 54-7. (50-7 Los Angeles, 4-0 Minneapolis)
  • When losing Game 1 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are now 12-22 all-time. (10-21 Los Angeles, 2-1 Minneapolis)
  • When losing Game 1 at home of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are now 8-3 all-time. (7-3 Los Angeles, 1-0 Minneapolis)
  • The Lakers are now 55-40 in Game 2 of best-of-seven series (any round) all-time. (52-36 Los Angles, 3-4 Minneapolis)
  • When winning both Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 38-1 all-time. (37-1 Los Angeles, 1-0 Minneapolis)
  • When splitting Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are now 26-12 all-time. (21-12 Los Angeles, 5-0 Minneapolis)
  • When losing Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 2-16 all-time. (2-15 Los Angeles, 0-1 Minneapolis)
  • BRYANT PASSES ABDUL-JABBAR FOR 2nd ON LAKERS ALL-TIME PLAYOFF SCORING LIST, RANKS 6th ON NBA’s ALL-TIME LIST
    With 32 points 5/21 vs. Denver, Kobe Bryant moved past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (4,070) for 2nd on the Lakers all-time playoff scoring list. Earlier this postseason, with 33 points 5/8 at Houston, Kobe Bryant moved past Larry Bird (3,897) for 6th on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list. In the Lakers First Round series, Kobe Bryant scored 38 points 4/25 at Utah to move past Hakeem Olajuwon (3,755) and John Havlicek (3,776) for 7th on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list. On April 19, Bryant passed Magic Johnson (3,701) for 9th on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list and 3rd on the Lakers franchise playoff scoring list. In moving past Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar, only Jerry West (4,457) has scored more points in a Lakers uniform during the playoffs than Bryant (4,087). Next up on the all-time NBA list is Jerry West (5th/4,457). Among all players with 2,500+ postseason points, only Michael Jordan (33.4), Jerry West (29.1), Elgin Baylor (27.0), Hakeem Olajuwon (25.9), Shaquille O’Neal (25.2) and Karl Malone (24.7) have a higher postseason scoring average than Bryant (24.6).

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