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Los Angeles Lakers vs. DenverNuggets Final Three Minutes

Randy LutzCorrespondent IMay 20, 2009

Just thoughts as I watched the final three minutes of the playoff game tonight.  The Denver Nuggets really disappointed me, and I still don't see a team from the West really competing with the Cavs for the title, however they have yet to play their first game, we'll have to make sure they haven't gotten rusty.

Inactivity hasn't bothered them in the past and I'm not worried this time either.

How are you the Nuggets letting Kobe get open looks when you’re only up by four and there’s three mins left in the game? 

Then you let Fisher have the open three, I mean the guy’s a known threat and he’s 2-4 already on you tonight, get a body on him!  Championship and playoff games are won in the final few minutes, whatever team can hold it together wins the game, those final two or three minutes are truly the difference between a good and a great team.

Chauncey is once again carrying this team, despite Anthony’s 39 points thus far, jacking up an incredible three pointer to stop the Lakers’ momentum.  Nene’ fouls out fouling Gasol under the basket. 

Denver is up two when nene fouls gasol, and nene fouls out.  Gasol missed two the last time he was at the line, but hits the first one now.  One thing the announcers keep going back to is Carmelo’s outstanding job of defending Kobe.  Gasol hits the second, the game is tied.

Chauncey brings it up, to Anderson coming down the lane, he misses!  Loose ball, it’ll be a jump ball between Anderson and…not sure yet, maybe Odom.  Teams were really fighting fotr the ball. 

Yea, it’s Odom, Denver has seven on the clock if they retain possession.  Lakers win the tip, 53 seconds left in the game, game is tied.  Kobe brings it down, sets up the offense. 

Pull up jumpshot from 20 feet, Billups tips rebound out of bounds, Laker ball!  Lakers score, Denver inbounds, Ariza steals the ball on the inbound pass, Laker ball!  Bryant goes to hoop, is fouled and makes both free throws.  Denver calls timeout.

Billups makes a tough three with a hand in his face!  Denver down one, Lakers inbound to Bryant he is fouled with six seconds on the clock.  Bryant hits the first free throw.  He hits the second, Denver inbounds, Lakers foul JR Smith when he hits half court. 

Denver is down three, Smith hits the first, Denver down two, Smith misses the second rebound Kobe Bryant, Lakers win game one JR Smith is still down on the ground underneath the basket. 

It looks like he grabbed his right knee when he went down, him still being down could be scary to Nuggets fans.  He’s limping off the court and into the locker room under his own power though, so that’s a good sign. 

You see here’s the difference between the two stars from either team, Carmelo and Kobe.  Carmelo dropped 39 points in the first 45 minutes and 0 in the final three minutes.  Kobe had 40 points and 6 rebounds including the two free throws that sealed the game and the rebound that was the final nail in the coffin. 

This is what great players do, they close games.

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