Blowout in Denver Nuggets thump L.A., Evens Series At 2-2

DENVER - MAY 25:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a shot in the lane over Nene #31 of the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter of Game Four of the Western Conference Finals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on May 25, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. 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 Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
RD LockhartContributor IMay 26, 2009

Denver rocked and rolled their way back into the Western Conference finals, dusting off the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers 120-101 in Pepsi Center on Monday night, to tie the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.

J.R. Smith (24 pts, 2 rebs, 4 asts) banged on his chest and rattled in jumpers like a wild man.

Chris "Birdman" Andersen (6pts, 14 rebs, 2 blocks) scooped up rebounds and swatted away L.A. drives in the paint. 

Nene (14 pts, 13 rebs) and Kenyon Martin (13 pts, 15 rebs, 2 blocks) helped secure the Nuggets dominance on the boards.

Visibly dejected, Bryant said after the game, "They whooped us period."

Playing with their backs against the wall, the Nuggets came out with high energy, positive emotions and fed off the roar of the home crowd. They were more aggressive than the Lakers from start to finish.

"If we were tired, you know, it was noticeable tonight," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson.  "Their energy was better that's perhaps the only thing I can say, but that is not a very good excuse."

Kobe Bryant (34 pts, 7 rebs, 5 asts) and Pau Gasol (21 pts, 10 rebs, 4 asts) carried the Lakers offensively.

Trevor Ariza lost his game contributing just three points in over 25 minutes of game action.

However, the rest of the team specifically bench players Brown, Vujacic, Farmar and Walton never found their rhythms.

"Basketball is a game where the aggressor gets the advantage," said a perturbed Jackson during his post-game press conference. "We didn't know what was a foul and what wasn't a foul out there tonight."

The Nuggets went to the foul line 49 times made 37 for a 76 percent average from the stripe.

After the game Jackson was quick to remind reporters that the Lakers had done what they wanted by winning a game on the road.

"I'm not gonna make a big deal out of it," Jackson said. "But, what we've done is we've won the road game and brought the home court back to L.A."

The series now becomes a best-of-three starting with Game Five in L.A. in Staples Center on Wednesday night.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices