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Lakers vs. Nuggets: Ramon Sessions Pulls a Derek Fisher in Clutch Game 2

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 01:  Ramon Sessions #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes in for a layup in front of Timofey Mozgov #25 and Al Harrington #7 of the Denver Nuggets during Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 1, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
William Van NollFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2012

After passing up shots and deferring to teammates all game long, Los Angeles Lakers guard Ramon Sessions came up huge with a clutch 10 points in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's Game 2 win over the Denver Nuggets.

You wouldn't think 10 huge points in the fourth to seal the victory would come from a 26-year-old playing in the first playoff series of his career.

But in crunch time, when the game was on the line, Sessions delivered.

His tear drop with 1:14 left in the game over the outstretched JaVale McGee was a thing of beauty, putting the Lakers up 100-94 and taking his team to the all-important century mark with the game in the final minutes.

Moments later, absorbing the pressure of a close game and stepping to the line, Sessions nailed two free throws like a true veteran.

Derek Fisher, legendary clutch performer for the Lakers, might have been taking these shots had it not been for the shocking March 15 trade deadline moves orchestrated by Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak.

Instead, it was Sessions—showing that he's been there before without ever winning a playoff series in his four-year career—knocking down two critical free throws with a minute left and leading the Lakers to a 104-100 victory in a tight, closely-fought battle.

No, these weren't the left-handed rainbow swishes Lakers fans are used to seeing from their Captain of Clutch, Derek Fisher.

These were two points the Lakers needed to fend off the never-surrender Denver Nuggets team—and, boy, were they just as pretty.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 30:  Derek Fisher #37 of the Oklahoma City Thunder sets to shoot against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on April 30, 2012 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklaho
Brett Deering/Getty Images

Playing the facilitator the entire game, Sessions left behind the distributing role he played for the first three quarters and turned the aggressor in the final frame.

His timing could not have been better.

The feisty Nuggets came within two points after trailing 17 in the second half. But it was Ramon Sessions, not Kobe Bryant (five fourth quarter points), who generated points for the Lakers late in the game to send the Nuggets on a long flight back to Denver down 0-2 for the series.

Meanwhile, across the conference, Oklahoma City's newest resident, Derek Fisher, hit a clutch three-pointer for his Thunder battalion in Monday's win over the Dallas Mavericks.

But that's where Fisher's Monday fourth quarter production ended. Meanwhile, Sessions—dressed in Lakers gold—closed out the game in the waning moments with double-digit point production.

The Mamba's defense and Sessions' offense were the deciding factors Tuesday night. Size and strength from Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol carried the Lakers for most of the game, but the Lakers' backcourt clinched it.

Twelve minutes is the new 0.4 seconds.

Lakers fans should be thrilled they've found their new, quiet closer to fill the point guard position. Sessions' performance in Game 2 is just the beginning to a potential championship playoff story for the Lakers' latest young gun.

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