Nuggets Trying To Avoid 3-1 Hole, Lakers Trying To Put Pressure on

Bhavik DarjiCorrespondent IMay 26, 2009

DENVER - MAY 23:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi 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 Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

After literally "stealing" one in Game Three, the Lakers are looking to put pressure on the Nuggets and make their chance of advancing to the promised land, known as the NBA Finals, slim.

The Lakers are expected to come out and try to match the intensity level of the Denver Nuggets, as they are certainly not going to be playing light-heartily. The Nuggets should be treating this game as a must-win situation.

"We don't want to relax," Pau Gasol said. "We don't want to be too confident for [tonight's] game. We can't expect them to lower the bar. It's going to be even tougher than it was [Saturday]. It's a must-win for them, otherwise they have a very little chance to beat us in this series."

The Nuggets had Game Three wrapped up, but Kobe Bryant, the best closer in the game today, had thought otherwise. Kobe hit a clutch three-pointer over J.R. Smith and made it the beginning of the end.

The Lakers have to get Gasol going just like they did last game. Gasol averages 16.7 PPG and 14 RPG. He had 20 points and 10 rebounds in Game Three, which made up for the missed free throws the Lakers had as a team.

Kobe Bryant is going to have to go to work again in the fourth quarter and live up to the "best closer in the game today" title.

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The Denver Nuggets are going to need to keep their tempers under control and not get any unnecessary technical fouls, which leads to momentum killing.

Carmelo Anthony needs to shake off his horrible night of 4-for-13 and be that consistent go-to guy.  The Nuggets need to get get great behind the arc as they shot a horrible 5-for-27 last game.

"If you look at who shot the most of them, it's all our best shooters," Anthony said. "If your best shooters get good looks, then you've got to take them. I think the problem was that myself, J.R., Melo, all of us who are really good three-point shooters, shot some bad three-point shots at bad points of the game, taking chances trying to hit the dagger as opposed to playing smart."

"We talked about what we didn't do during the game," Chauncey Billups said. "That's what I talked about. The opportunities that we had that we settled on in a few situations. We actually talked about it and saw it on the film."

Billups needs to get his team under control and voice his leadership and not let the Nuggets shoot them self's in the foot this time.

The bigs of Denver also have to chip in, whether it be Nene or Kenyon Martin. Nene needs to be explosive like he has been at home so far.

Inbounding the ball is also key.

The Nuggets have lost two out of the four games due to bad inbound plays. Expect the Nuggets to come out with an intensity of that of a Game Seven. This game will test the heart of the Nuggets and if they really want that championship.

Game starts 6:00 PM PT/9:00 EST on ESPN.