Playing together and having fun, the Denver Nuggets have a chance to party like it’s 1994.
Once down 3-1 in the first-round of the Western Conference playoffs, they are taking the Los Angeles Lakers to the limit.
Denver got a career playoff-high 32 points from point guard Ty Lawson and rode a 13-0 start to a wire-to-wire 113-96 victory over the Lakers in Game 6 Thursday night at Pepsi Center.
The sixth-seeded Nuggets and No. 3 Lakers will play Game 7 on Saturday at Staples Center.
LOS ANGELES – The matchup between the Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers has typically been billed as a conflict of speed versus size.
As their intriguing Western Conference playoff series stretches to a sixth game, you can now add an element of endurance.
With a roster loaded with young legs, Denver has employed a nine-man rotation against Los Angeles, while the more experienced Lakers have primarily relied on seven players.
LOS ANGELES – As the Nuggets prepared for a post-breakfast film session Wednesday, coach George Karl walked to front of the room and handled the opening credits.
There was plenty of praise to go around 12 hours after Denver kept its season alive with an inspired victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in their Western Conference playoff series.
There was some question about whether the Nuggets would go quietly into the offseason as they faced an elimination game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Their response was unequivocal: Absolutely not.
Showing no fear of the big stage, the Nuggets stood up to the Lakers at Staples Center on Tuesday night, building a double-digit lead and holding on for a 102-99 victory to stay alive in their Western Conference playoff series.
“It was all about energy and guts,” Nuggets point guard Andre Miller said. “We showed some heart.”
Around Pepsi Center, the Los Angeles Lakers are Playoff Enemy No. 1.
Their coach Mike Brown, however, makes them slightly less reviled than when Phil Jackson was perched on the L.A. bench.
Brown’s road to becoming an NBA coach began with the Nuggets when he was hired as the team’s video coordinator in 1992. His wife is from Evergreen and their two children were born at the Children’s Hospital in Denver.
LOS ANGELES – On the eve of playing the first elimination game of his NBA career, Nuggets rookie Kenneth Faried could draw inspiration from the first elimination game of his college career.
Those who know anything about Faried know how he led Morehead State to an upset of heavily favored Louisville in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. He and the Nuggets now face a win-or-go-home scenario against the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers.
From the coach’s office to the locker room, the conclusion was unanimous.