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NBA Playoffs: Nuggets play their game in their building, take Game 3 from Lakers

May 5, 2012, 1:50 AM EDT


George Karl had a quiet confidence about his team heading home to Denver, even after dropping the first two games of the series to the Lakers in Los Angeles. He saw a lot of good things in his club, especially in a close Game 2 contest, and couldn’t wait to get back to the Pepsi Center for Friday night’s Game 3.

Karl is one of the sharpest and most tenured coaches in the league, and it turned out that what he saw in his Nuggets was legit. Denver pounced on the Lakers early, and led by as many as 24 points before holding on for a 99-84 win that cut L.A.’s lead in the series to 2-1.

The Lakers couldn’t match Denver’s energy from the opening tip. Ty Lawson set the pace with 13 first-quarter points, Denver killed L.A. on the boards in the opening period 17-6, and led by 16 after one. The Nuggets held Andrew Bynum scoreless in the first half with just three rebounds, largely due to the fact that with Denver getting out in transition, there were less half-court opportunities for the Lakers’ All-Star center.

With the lack of an inside game, the Lakers resorted to jumpshots and three-pointers, with limited success. L.A. went just 6-for-25 from three-point distance, and those attempts accounted for nearly a third of the team’s total. That’s not the Lakers’ game, and that’s not the way they’re going to win games in the postseason.

Kobe Bryant accounted for 10 of those shots on his own, and finished with 22 points on just 7-for-23 shooting.

Energy was the key to this one for Denver, as was evidenced by the monster games from Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee. The Nuggets’ bigs were nothing more than role players who had a minimal impact on Games 1 and 2, but Faried finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds, and McGee was an even bigger factor with his 16 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocked shots off the bench.

The Lakers are still the more talented team in this series, and this game, especially when viewed alongside the second half of Game 2, should serve as a bit of a wake-up call for them in terms of what this Denver team is capable of if you let them get going, and try to play their game, at their tempo, in their building.

It’s no secret what the Lakers need to do to take Game 4: they have to bring energy from the start, focus on containing Lawson, and not get sucked into playing uptempo and shooting threes when they have two dominant offensive seven-footers in Bynum and Pau Gasol who can score inside.

That’s easier said than done, of course, especially playing in Denver. Which might have been exactly why George Karl was so excited about his team’s chances in this series once they left Los Angeles.

  1. vikingsteve84 - May 5, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    Kobe will have his revenge

  2. mahhelo - May 5, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Basketball is overanalyzed. The outcome of this game had little to do with tempo or anything else discussed here. It’s very simple really. Barnes and Blake missed 13 wide open shots (7 of which were 3’s). Considering it was a 6 pt game with under five minutes to go, leaving 33 points on the floor is very significant. I never understood why more needs to be said.

  3. hjworton46 - May 5, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    They managed to ‘hang on’ by 15 points. Close game.

    • dal24la - May 5, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      It was a close game at the end last 2.5 minutes……

  4. slumdog66 - May 5, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    Lakers can suck a fatty. That means you too cakemixa

  5. bearsstillsuck - May 5, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    Anybody else think the playoffs are scripted?

    • moseskkim - May 5, 2012 at 6:04 AM

      Yeah amares ripped up hand is probably scripted.. Along with DRose’ messed up knee.. Butlers broken hand.. Noah rolling his ankle and tryin to play on it was a great acting job as well. C’mon bro

  6. lakerade - May 5, 2012 at 5:53 AM

    Just biding ronron some time.

    • progress2011 - May 5, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      Ahahahaha….like in his video, he said, his primary job is to pass kobe the ball. I guess he is gonna take over that task from Eubanks !

  7. marlin1894 - May 5, 2012 at 7:27 AM


    Thank you for saying that, I honestly don’t know why so many people are saying its fixed. Am I missing somthing?

    • jimeejohnson - May 5, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      Nope. You are just not a whiny little putz who blames the refs for their teams’ losses.

  8. blakspartan - May 5, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    Yea I think they are pushing more games to allow arrest to come back in time for the next series you nuggets fans dont get your hopes up

    • progress2011 - May 5, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      That logic doesn’t make since, since the lakers have a pretty old team. You guys pretend ” Ron Artest” is a prolific scorer or shut down defender !

      REALLY !!! If all of your hopes hang on ” Artest ” Ya’ll are in bigger trouble than all of us already know.

      Eubanks is the reason you guys won game one !

      • jimeejohnson - May 5, 2012 at 12:11 PM

        I’m no Laker fan, but if World War declares a cease-fire he can come up big and make a huge difference for his team. It all depends on the Secretary of War inside his twisted brainstem!

  9. omniusprime - May 5, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Maybe the game went according to the Laker’s game plan, to lose two games in the first series to ensure that the player formerly known as Ron Artest’s overly long suspension is over by game 1 of the second series against OKC. Don’t get overly excited about Denver winning one or that Karl had some great game plan, let’s see how many rings does he have? Oh yeah None! Go Kobe!!!! Go Lakers!!!!

  10. addict2sport - May 5, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    If Kobe going 7 for 23 is scripted, he sure does practice his lines a lot.

  11. ocgunslinger - May 5, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Denver has a good young well coached team. If home court advantage means anything, could anybody really surprised that after losing two in LA that they would not come out aggressively at home with their fan support. The only surprise would be if LA won that game. Pressure will on on LA big time to win game 5 IF they lose game 4 which is going to be key for Denver.

    • dal24la - May 5, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      Not to mention LA’s road struggles, it was silly to think LA could come in and blow out the Nuggets in Game 3. Not the least bit surprised at how they lost…

  12. progress2011 - May 5, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Jack-Up- Artist …..7 for 23 !!!

    30% shooting from the field !!! Dude still didn’t pass the friggin ball.

    6 assists but 6 turnovers.

    Dude should have went to college and spent a few years, learning the fundamental principles of “Basketball” ………like passing the ball when your shot is off and taking well advised shots.

    He truly thinks, he is a good “Basketball” player by jacking up all types of ill-advised shots. What’s sad is, many of you uninformed fans think the same.

    He is nothing more than a Harlem Globetrotter type player/ trick shot artist/ volume shooter, that got a few breaks and made an NBA team.

  13. jimeejohnson - May 5, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Try living at sea level and then going to the mile high city and running a basketball court with thoroughbreds and see what happens. It takes a couple of days to acclimatize to the high altitude for low landers. The next game should be more competitive.

    • progress2011 - May 5, 2012 at 5:36 PM

      Any excuse is better than none at all, is your logic. laker faithfuls have countless excuses, for any occasion.

      • fouldwimmerlaik - May 5, 2012 at 9:30 PM

        And Laker haters have countless diatribes to put the franchise down and not give credit where credit is due. Tell me, what has YOUR team got?

      • progress2011 - May 5, 2012 at 11:53 PM

        fouldwimmerlaik…stating facts does not mean people ” hate ” the lakers.

        Using that logic, if you were standing in a crosswalk, and I stated, oncoming traffic has a green-light and you should not attempt to cross.

        If you still cross the street and get crushed by a bus…that doesn’t mean I hated you or the bus, I simply stated the facts that you and your lakers are gonna get crushed !!!


      • fouldwimmerlaik - May 6, 2012 at 1:27 AM

        I’ve read the context first before I made my comment.

        jimeejohnson has a point and it makes sense. He wasn’t making any excuses. He isn’t even a Laker fan.

        Then here you are implying that he is making excuses in behalf of the Lakers. What facts are you talking about anyway?

        Must be some weird stuff you’re smoking. You confuse facts and reality to your own version of your own sky-high world.

        So tell me again, what has YOUR TEAM GOT?

    • progress2011 - May 6, 2012 at 6:22 AM

      So, when the poster named Jimeejohnson ( closet laker fan ) referenced the high Denver altitude vs living at sea level, is a possible reason the game was not very competitive…

      You read that and did not see that as an excuse, why the lakers got spanked !

      If you are incapable of comprehending that, I can’t help you. No one can !

      As with most ” delirious laker fans ” ya’ll live in a little box, within your own brain….totally oblivious to the real world.

      Still not “hating” the lakers…simply stating facts… out for that bus, coming down the street.


      • fouldwimmerlaik - May 6, 2012 at 7:34 AM

        Obviously, you don’t travel a lot, hence your ignorance. Ergo, you don’t get it. But I’ll leave it at that since it’s useless talking to imbeciles.

        Then again, what do you expect from someone who hasn’t even finished high school?

        That being said, the Lakers should overcome that inconvenience of high altitude and find a way to get used to it. Yup, they should learn how to deal with it.

      • progress2011 - May 6, 2012 at 2:50 PM

        What does me traveling or not traveling, have to do with the fact that an excuse is an excuse.

        Typical of delirious laker fans, when you are slapped with the truth, like the fact that your team is Over-Rated, you result to making excuses.

        When the excuses don’t work, like complaining about the altitude and that is the reason you got ran outta the gym, you result to personal attacks.

        That’s not gonna work either ! I will be here with my jar of salt, to rub in your wounds, every time you get blown out !!!

        Just consider me your ” Truth Sayer ” ….I’m compelled to speak the truth about a severely Over-rated group of average players, average coach, over-rated, crime riddled and broke city. AND
        There demented fans

  14. zxrated - May 5, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Javale has dominated Bynum the last two games. We lost the battle of the boards both times. Anyone who watched game two closely could see this loss coming. All of you talking that, we slacking because we want Metta back for the next series are delusional. Keep in mind we messed around with CP3 and the Hornets last year (6 games that should have been a sweep) and then got swept by the Mavs in the next round.

    OKC and the Spurs are not playing! We need to handle biz quick because OKC will be rested and waiting for us! What good is MWP going to do if the big three is wore out from a long series against the McNuggets? We’re an older team and we can’t afford to face a rested younger Thunder team on older tired legs!

  15. lalakersalldammdayy24 - May 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    LMFAO ya rightttttt ebanks is good but hes not the reason we won ! We won as a team if anyone is to be blamed for the game 1 win would be bynum ,kobe & hill !!! An for the pol who thin we dont need mwp vs the spurs or okc is trippin we need his awesome defense!!!

    • progress2011 - May 5, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      IF you make it to the next round….Ya’ll gonna be ran outta the gym AGAIN, like last yr vs the Mavs.

      You basically got beat by one guy last night, Lawson !

      While Lawson is decent, he ain’t no Ginobli, Parker or Durant, Westbrook !!!

      Plus, those teams are stacked with talent and strong bench play.

      So, go ahead and get your laughs in now, while you still can. Cause you will be swept in the next round, IF you make it !

      Then I will be LMFAO when the janitors bring the brooms in to sweep your over-rated team outta the gym ! Ahahahahahah

      • broncobeta - May 5, 2012 at 7:58 PM

        By one guy…

        Did you even watch the game? McGee and Faried both had double-doubles and Gallinari had a great game as well.


      • fouldwimmerlaik - May 5, 2012 at 9:33 PM

        Considering the performance of the Lakers in the last decade or so and comparing them with ANY NBA team… if LA is over-rated, what does that make of your team?

        Right. I thought so.

      • progress2011 - May 6, 2012 at 12:35 AM


        We are not talking about over the last decade….I’m strictly talking about last year and this year !

        All we heard last year was laker length this, laker length that !

        A guy 5’6″ took your lunch !

        A guy slightly taller than that, took your lunch the other day.

      • fouldwimmerlaik - May 6, 2012 at 1:21 AM

        It’s the same Laker length that made them back-to-back champs… which by the way hasn’t been achieved by any franchise outside the Lakers of late. The last one being Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.

        I’ll reserve my guffaws later.

        Which team is yours anyway.

        Oh right, one of those pretenders. Another one of those wannabes…

      • progress2011 - May 6, 2012 at 6:37 AM

        So, did the laker length, win championships before or after, that length got blown out and swept last year !

        Your team is over-rated, because you got ” worse ” since getting swept last year !!!

        1. No Phil Jackson
        2. Depleted bench production
        3. No triangle

      • fouldwimmerlaik - May 6, 2012 at 7:44 AM

        You really argue like a whippersnapper, you know that don’t you?

        But of course, you don’t. Just because you know how to type and use the internet you think you know a lot about stuff. Typical whippersnapper thinking.

        Worse? You judge this team solely due to their season performance? Getting swept last year?

        Ooooh yeah. Really Einstein there.

        Whatever happened to the Mavericks now?

        Whatever happened to the Heat a season after they won their only championship?

        No Phil? No Triangle? Then other teams couldn’t make it as well because they got no Phil, they got no Triangle.

        What’s your team again? okc? LOL! You must be really ashamed cause you never mention them.

        The Lakers aren’t over-rated. They’re UNDER-ACHIEVING.

      • progress2011 - May 6, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        You went thru that long diatribe, exposing the rest of us to all that hot air.

        BUT you never mentioned, how your team has gotten better, since getting swept last year.

        1. No Phil Jackson
        2. Depleted bench production
        3. No triangle
        4. kobe jacking-up every ball he gets his hands on. Ended the season at 43% vs Durant 49%.

        Enlighten us, with more hot, steamy, stinky air from a delirious laker fan.

        C’mon…let us hear the gar-bage ….right before you go take your dementia meds.

  16. progress2011 - May 5, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    bronco….Did you watch the game !

    The only way McGee and Faried can get their own shot, is if they are in the gym by themselves! Otherwise they must have someone feed them, as Lawson did last night.

    As I said, you got beat by one guy !

    AND…even “IF” you are fortunate to make it outta the first round….you will be swept in the second round.

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