May 1, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) controls the ball against the Denver Nuggets during the first half of game two of the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
It wasn't the crushing performance we saw in Game One but the Lakers did what they had to do tonight, dropping the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center, 104 to 100, to take a two-zilch lead in their first-round playoff series. Kobe Bryant was magnificent, scoring 38 points and making crucial plays down the stretch in every phase. Although Andrew Bynum didn't have nearly the defensive impact he had on Sunday, he was still too much for Denver to handle down low, pouring in 27 points to go with nine rebounds and two blocks. Pau Gasol was quietly solid orchestrating the attack from the high post and pulling down double-digit boards.
The Nuggets had more success scoring on the fast break than they did in Game One and kept themselves in it all night, but they never led and haven't yet led in this series. They need to sweep Games Three and Four back in Denver.
More to come later tonight. In the meantime give us your thoughts in this, your postgame thread!