In a game that featured a cuckoo lady walking onto the court while the ball was in play, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets 92-88 to take a 3-1 lead. Apparently this woman has a history of stalking players, and oddly enough, that wasn't even the craziest part of the game. Once again, Denver came out with tons of energy and played at a pace that kept the Lakers on their heels for the better part of the 1st Half, as they opened up a 6-point halftime lead. Ty Lawson pushed the pace, Kenneth Faried, Timofy Mozgov, and JaVale McGee were active and annoying, Danilo Gallinari provided some scoring, and Andre Miller abused our point guards, and the refs left a lot of calls out on the floor as the game shaped up to look like a repeat of Game 3.
Except this time, after the Lakers were able to ride Kobe Bryant in the 3rd Quarter to cut the Nugget lead to one point, they were able to overtake the Nuggets in the 4th with huge contributions from the bench. Just as every Nugget made some kind of contribution, every single Laker, outside of Devin Ebanks possibly, all came up huge. Especially Jordan Hill, who chipped in with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while helping Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol keep the Nuggets off the boards, in contrast to Game 3. The Lakers enjoyed a a 48-38 rebounding edge tonight, including 19 offensive rebounds. McGee, who had 15 rebounds in Game 3, was limited to only 4 tonight, while Faried had 7, down from his 15 the game before. Due to their decrease in rebounds, the Lakers were finally able to slow the pace and keep Ty Lawson from controlling the tempo of the game.
It was the 4th where the real craziness started, when Kobe, returning from his rest seemed to do his best to give back the small lead the bench was able to gain. He played like shit to start his 4th, took some bad shots, turned the ball over, then did it some more. But the Nuggets failed to capitalize, yet kept it close until the final minutes, when Danilo Gallinari nailed a three that was actually a two, then did a euro flop trying to buy a call on the next possession. Then as we're cursing out Mike Brown for insisting on playing Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake at the same time, since they spent most of the game being made fools of by Lawson and Miller, each nail huge three-pointers to seal the game and possibly the series. The unlikeliest hero being Blake, who pretty much refuses to shoot the ball most of the time. Props to him for hitting some pretty clutch shots tonight.
The series shifts back to Los Angeles on Tuesday night as the Lakers will look to close out the Nuggets at home. Nighty-night y'all.