Lakers Defeat Nuggets in Game 2: Two Down, Two To Go

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the opening round of the playoffs, 104-100.

The Lakers jumped out to a 32-25 lead in the first quarter behind the Lakers’ big men, and 14 points by Kobe Bryant (on 6-8 shooting).

The second quarter was a wash, as both teams scored 23 points. However Bryant, along with Andrew Bynum, asserted themselves and put their fingerprints on the game early by scoring 21 points (on 9-12 shooting) and 16 points, respectively. The Lakers led the Nuggets 55-48 by halftime.

In the third quarter, Bryant and Pau Gasol launched a perimeter-based assault to start the period and jumped out to a 61-52 lead with just under 10 minutes to play. However, the Nuggets launched an attack of their own, and managed to even up the quarter, 26-26, to head into the fourth quarter with the same seven-point deficit, 81-74.

In the fourth Gasol was the focal point on offense and defense. However, Jordan Hill and Ramon Sessions took it upon themselves to extend the lead; opening up the game to a 87-76 point game at one point. Sessions continued his aggressiveness, and the Lakers held a twelve point lead with 7:27 to go. The Nuggets, however, made the game close, 92-87. In the waning minutes of the game, Sessions, Bryant, and Bynum were able to hold off the Nuggets and win the game by a 104-100 margin.

The Numbers

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 38 points, four rebounds, two steals, and two assists. Andrew Bynum came up huge as well with 27 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. Ramon Sessions was solid with 14 points, four assists, and two steals, while Pau Gasol added 13 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and two steals. Jordan Hill tallied six points and 10 rebounds while Devin Ebanks notched four points, eight rebounds, and two assists. Matt Barnes had two points, four assists, and two rebounds while Steve Blake was scoreless but had four rebounds.

For the Nuggets, Ty Lawson led the way with 25 points and seven assists. Kenneth Faried tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds (six offensive) while Danilo Gallinari (eight rebounds) and Corey Brewer (three steals) had 13 points apiece. Aaron Afflalo and Al Harrington each had eleven points and six rebounds. Javale McGee grabbed nine rebounds and had five points.

Now, let’s break down the victory.

Next Page: The Breakdown

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