Not Back to the Future, Back to the Past: Lakers Take 2-1 Lead

Bhavik DarjiCorrespondent IMay 24, 2009

DENVER - MAY 23:  Trevor Ariza #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers is fouled by Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets after Ariza stole the ball late in the fourth quarter in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 23, 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)

Marty McFly, take us back to the past. The game was decided by a poor inbound play once again. With 37.1 seconds left and a two point lead for the Lakers, Martin was set to inbound the ball and instead of giving a nice crisp hard pass, he gave a lob or a floater if you want to call it.

Ariza had the steal and the Nuggets lost game three eerily like game one fashion.

"Trevor, he's very crafty, he's long, he's fast, he's quick and he's a ball hog,'' said Bryant, who scored 41 points. "He does a good job of reading those things. It's a great defensive play.''

Kobe Bryant exploded for 41 points and could not be contained yet again. The most crucial point game when Kobe nailed a three over JR to give the Lakers the lead. The Nuggets never recovered.

Kenyon Martin put up a wild shot that should not even be considered a shot, but a Rim ball; a shot that does not touch the rim but the backboard with intentions of it going in.

The Nuggets started off great having a lead as big as eight in the first, but the Nuggets let them close in with a 9-2 run and bring the game within two.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The Nuggets playing with a sense of urgency started off on fire going on a 6-0 run and extending their lead. The Nuggets had a lead as big as five before they let the Lakers get close again and having a half time score of 52-48 for the Nuggets because of Kleizas technical.

The Lakers started off with tying the game and hoping to take the lead, which would be the first since the first quarter.

That didn't happen.

The Nuggets responded by going on a 4-0 of their own, and brought the lead to seven with 8:53 to go. Bryant went to work though scoring 13 of his 41 in the third and finishing with 28 at the end of three.

It was the dying seconds of the third though that changed the complexion of the game. JR smith hit a buzzer beater three pointer over Vujacic and leaving him in dismay (that made my day, Vujacic quiet). Jr followed up with an unnecessary taunting right in front the the refs which caused in a technical.

Leaving Vujacic without throwing his hands on his head and arguing should have been enough for him.

That basically set Kobe Bryant off.

He scored another 13 points in the fourth and the Lakers started off by trotting the Nuggets with a 10-1 run and taking their first lead since the first.

"I think emotionally it was a game that we weren't playing very well offensively," Karl said. "It seems like our offense frustrates us more than our defense."

Carmelo Anthony, after going five consecutive games with 30 points or more only  had 21 on 4-13 shooting, his worst performance in the playoffs so far. Billups was also playing horrible going 5-15 for 18 points.

Jr Smith didn't seem to be in the groove either. He put on another dismal performance going 4-15 and Kleiza did help much like he did in game one.

Gasol scored a series high for himself with 20 points. That is a big help as the Lakers missed 14 free throws.

"I think Gasol was the key to them winning tonight,'' Anthony said. "Getting him going and him making shots, it made it hard to double-team him and still try to guard Kobe out there.''

Five technical fouls were called all together with three of them being from the Denver side. Subtract those three technicals, which were all unnecessary and the Anthony Carter one was a bad call overall, the Nuggets could of had them self's a three point ball game.

Unfortunately that didn't happen and the Lakers now lead 2-1

Game four will be Monday on ESPN 6 PM PT/9 PM EDT at the Pepsi Centre.

Marty, take us back to the Future.