Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant Lead As Lakers Blow Past Nuggets in Round 1

Alex TangCorrespondent IApril 20, 2008

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol lead the Lakers as they blew past the Denver Nuggets Sunday. 

Kobe Bryant, who had a horrendous first half with just 4 points on 2-10 shooting , came back in the 3rd quarter with 10 points, later being fouled out in the 4th quarter, ending the game with 32 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 blocks on 9-26 shooting, 13 of his points coming from the stripe(free-throw line), out of 14 attempts.  Gasol, who neared a triple-double, had 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 8 assists on 14-20 shooting.  Lamar Odom and Luke Walton also posted up respectable numbers.  Odom had 17 points on 8-14 shooting, along with 14 rebounds and 6 assists.  Luke Walton had 16 points on 6-8 shooting, alongside 4 rebounds and 5 assists.  Overall, the Lakers shot 84.4% from the freethrow line, 50 % field goals, and shooting 45% from beyond the arch. 

On the Denver side,  Allen Iverson tried to rally his Nuggets back into the game, but failed to do so, as he was ejected with minutes to play due to a technical foul, then continuing to talk, in which the referee gave him a 2nd technical foul.  During Inbounds, Iverson ran up the court and put the shot up in seconds as he tried to get back in the game.   He ended his game with 30 points on 11-24 shooting, along with 5 rebounds and 7 assists.  Carmelo Anthony lended a stable hand with 30 points on 11-26 shooting, alongside 12 rebounds and 3 assists.  J.R. Smith and Linas Kleiza removed some of the stress from their star players' shoulders.  Kleiza had 23 points on an excellent 9-13 shooting, along with 4 rebounds and 1 assist.  Smith fouled out in the fourth quarter, but had an excellent game with 15 points on 6-8 shooting, along with 3 rebounds and no assists.  Overall, the Denver Nuggets were 23-37 from the stripe (free-throw line), shot a 44% field goal percentage, along with a 41% from beyond the arch.  

Total Rebounds for Lakers: 45

Total Rebounds for Nuggets: 47 

The final score was  128-114, Lakers. 

Overall, the defensive end for the Nuggets was excellent as they pressured the Lakers. 

Game 2 of the Nuggets-Lakers matchup will again be decided in  L.A., on Wednesday, April 23rd at 10:30 ET.

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