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Lakers-Nuggets: Game Five Recap

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 27:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chris Andersen #11 of the Denver Nuggets hold onto the ball in the second half in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 27, 2009 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)
Bryan FlynnAnalyst IMay 28, 2009

With the series even at two games apiece, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets were looking to take the lead in their best-of-seven series.

The Lakers had suffered their worst playoff defeat in game four in Denver. The Nuggets hoped Carmelo Anthony feels better after his illness in the last game.

The bench for the Nuggets played great in Game Four as they dominated their counterparts on the Lakers.

In a game that was played evenly though the first three quarters, the fourth and final quarter being the deciding factor. One had to wonder if it was the bad Lakers would show up—or the bone-headed Nuggets.

It just so happens that the bone-headed Nuggets team showed up after the game was tied at 76-76. The Nuggets fell apart, missing shots, fouling unnecessarily, and getting technicals.

After being dominated on the glass in Game Four, the Lakers outrebounded the Nuggets in game five and for the second game of the series make it to the foul line more than the Nuggets as well. For the first five minutes of the fourth quarter the Nuggets give the game away.

It all started when Pau Gasol, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds, hit a hook shot to break the tie. Lamar Odom dunked the ball to keep the Lakers' run going. Odom had his best game in the series so far, scoring 19 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.

Denver called a time out hoping to stem the Lakers' momentum but after the time out Nene gets called for a foul then arguing with the official draws the technical. The Lakers outscored the Nuggets 10-5 in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter.

By the time the Nuggets tried to get back in to the game, they were not able to make more plays then the Lakers. Los Angeles got good games from Trevor Ariza with 12 points and Derek Fisher, with his best game of the series with 12 points, as well.

After the bad start to the quarter, the Nuggets were in check up the rest of the game. They got double -figure scoring from Kenyon Martin with 12 points, and Linas Kleiza with 10 points.  After having such a great series so far, Chauncey Billups had a poor game with only 12 points.

Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant did not have a duel in Game Five, as Melo bounced back from two bad games in Denver to score 31 points. But Bryant did not have to carry the offensive load for the first time in the playoffs, as he scored just 22 points in the 103-94 win for a 3-2 series lead.

Now the series shifts back to Denver for Game Six. Yhe Lakers have a chance to close out, while the Nuggets want to force a Game Seven.

The Nuggets' bench will have to play better, along with better rebounding if Denver hopes to have a chance a win. The Lakers have to show up on the road—something they have not done since they beat the Jazz in the first round.

Game Six will be in Denver on Friday.

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