The Los Angeles Lakers dismantled the Denver Nuggets once again. Kobe Bryant 49 points and 10 assists, and big man Pau Gasol 18 points and 10 rebounds despite only scoring 4 points at halftime, as the Los Angeles Lakers bashed the Denver Nuggets 122-107.
Allen Iverson had a team high 31 points and 6 assists and Carmelo Anthony had 23 points and 5 rebounds.
In the first quarter, Denver dominated on the glass, creating 12 second shot chances and Marcus Camby had 2 blocks in the first. Kobe Bryant got hot scoring 20 points in the first quarter, and helped Los Angeles dictate the tempo for Los Angeles.
Lakers took a one point lead going into the second; LAL 33-32 DEN.
The 2nd period began with Denver taking shots far too early in the shot clock and not allowing plays to be run or matchups to be developed. There were several key moments in the second that played a big part in the outcome of the contest.
The first moment seemed to come as J.R. Smith was preparing to take the ball up the floor. He selfishly and carelessly bumped into teammate Eduardo Najera. Smith lost the ball, but it found its way into the hands of Anthony Carter. Smith was furious at Najera and began a temper tantrum by repeatedly firing his arm into the air shouting that Eduardo should watch what he was doing.
The second moment occurred when Linas Kleiza drove to the rim and Pau Gasol slapped at his left shoulder. Kleiza crumpled in a heap to the floor. He cringed from the pain and stayed down for over a minute. Linas attempted to shake it off, but it showed he was damaged when he missed both free throws.
The Nuggets were 0-9 from behind the arc in the first half. The Lakers went on a 12-1 run late and ended the half on top by ten, 59-49.
The third quarter opened with L.A. once again dictating the tempo and having their way. However, the Nuggets showed a streak of life going on a 11-0 run capped off by Carmelo Anthony's three pointer ( Denver's first made three of the game; 1/12) which gave the lead, 70-69, to Denver. Los Angeles battled back. In the next few possesions Denver coughed up the lead and Game 2.
The fourth quarter was the Kobe Bryant Late Night Show. Bryant scored 19 points in the final 12 minutes while J.R. Smith, Allen Iverson, and Carmelo Anthony all picked up technical fouls. Maybe its because they realized the game was out of reach.
The game ended with the score 122-107
Game Three is back at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Saturday.
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