The Denver Nuggets returned home in a dominant fashion. For what seemed to be endless stretches, they simply could not miss. Denver got momentum and refused to let it go. They rode the wave of momentum from tip off to the finish. They spread the ball, shot efficiently, and frustrated the Lakers with their defensive pressure. This was a solid home win for Denver to extend this series.
Stars of the Game:
LAL: Andrew Bynum, C, 18 points on 5/11 from the field (8/8 Free Throw), 4 offensive rebounds
DEN: Ty Lawson, PG, 25 points shooting 9/19 from the field, 7 Assists
LAL: Pau Gasol, PF, 4 Blocks, 7 Rebounds
DEN: JaVale McGee, C, 4 Blocks, 15 Rebounds
Ty Lawson led his Denver Nuggets team to victory with his stellar play, but this win can be attributed to the energized play of JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried. Along with Center Timofey Mozgov, they made Andrew Bynum work for everything he got this game. They were able to push him around enough to keep his presence limited.
Kobe Bryant was very cold from the field tonight and it can be attributed to solid defense, and just a bad night. Kobe does not always have bad games, so Denver had to attack, which they did.
Offensively, Denver was solid. They kept up the Denver Nugget uptempo pace and spread the ball around efficiently. There were 23 assists to 37 made field goals. Also, six Denver Nugget players reached double figures scoring.
Top 3 Concerns:
- Turnovers (Los Angeles: 15, Denver: 6)
- Bynum can be short fused and easy to mentally tamper
- Allowed six players to score in double figures
- Gallinari’s all around struggles
- Ty Lawson has been shown thus far to be one-dimensional
- Mistaking maintaining uptempo pace with rushing
The Nuggets needed to have won Game 3 if they wanted any chance of competing against the Lakers. No team has ever come back to win a playoff series after being down three games to none. Denver was playing tonight with a pretty large chip on their shoulder. They had to prove at home that they could still compete and should not be written out of the playoffs without a fight.
Realistically, Kobe Bryant’s struggles will not continue. The Nuggets need to play like sharks seeking blood and take advantage of every mistake Kobe and the Lakers make. Denver did an excellent job of that and it helped them push the break which creates their generally uptempo game pace.
3 Keys to Next Game:
- Andrew Bynum needs to own the paint, both sides of the ball
- Crash the boards (out-rebounded by 10 in Game 3)
- Play to Win. Don’t Play not to lose! This is the Lakers’ series to lose.
- Take advantage of mistakes and turnovers
- Get the Lakers’ big men in foul trouble
- Spread and share the ball
Sunday, May 6
9:30 PM ET
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