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Credits 5/22/2009

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The morning after.

Denver's motto should be "mission accomplished". They came to get a game, and they did.

Now, Denver must "hold serve" (as Timbo likes to say) against the best service returners in the game, Los Lakers del Sur.

Even though they brandish the top away record for the 2008-2009 regular season at 29-12, the Purple and Gold have plenty to worry about. People are questioning Fisher's playing time, and Bynum's lack of it. Carmelo Anthony looks unflappable on offense. Chauncey Billups has stabilized the Nuggets' once tippy ship, and Kenyon Martin gets dunks fed to him like baby food.

Notwithstanding these specific worries, The Laker should be worried every game. Even if they were up 3-0, they should still have a healthy amount of respect and fear for their opponents. These teams made the playoffs for a reason.

And the Lakers won 65 regular season games for a reason, too. To quote Kobe ,"We're not the best road team in the NBA for no reason." Read it again slowly just to make sure that's right. Yep, it's right.

Just get one in Denver, two would be magnifico. The Lakers definitely have their work cut out for them.

No one ever said winning a championship was easy.

Here are your game recaps, along with my one sentence capsules:

Lakersmedia -  Lakers highlights of the game.

LA Times - Denver stole a game back from the Lakers.

OC Register - Kobe didn't come up big late this time.

Fox Sports - The Lakers' historical dominance of Nuggets in playoffs has ended.

ESPN/AP - The Nuggets are a smarter, tougher team than last year's Nuggets.

More Links after ze jump

 

LA Times (Mike Bresnahan) - Derek Fisher is gelid.

Hoopsworld - The Nuggets are chalcenterous.

ESPN (OTL) - Chauncey Billups looked like Humpty Dumpty in high school. UPDATE: I just finished this piece. It is long, but it is a MUST READ. You HAVE to read this, if you like reading. You will see Billups in a new light. And if you are Lakers fan, you should be afraid of Chauncey Billups. Very afraid.

Denver Post (Woody Paige) - Nuggets 209, Lakers 208.

20 Second Timeout - Phil figured the Nuggets would just foul Kobe, so that's why he was a decoy for Fish's three.

OC Register (Kevin Ding) - Trevor Ariza thinks he was fouled, but he won't say it publicly.

Ball Don't Lie - Dahntay Jones in photo shoot with Trevor Ariza for Ariza's promotional material.

Colorado Springs Gazzette - Special sauce to go with your Nuggets.

LA Times (Mark Heisler) - We get it, Denver is tough and won't quit.

USA Today - Denver happy to win, and Kobe wants others to step up when he's denied the ball.

Pickaxe and Roll - Nuggets fan underestimated Linas Kleiza.

LA Times (Bill Plaschke) - Bill Plaschke just now realizes that this series will be a fight.

Yahoo! (Ludden) - You will only see Kobe v Lebron in a video game, according to Kenyon Martin.

InsidetheLakers.com - Kobe has scored a lot of points for the Lakers in the playoffs.

ESPN (Daily Dime) - The Nuggets backed up their talk after Game 1.

Mercury News - Carmelo twisted his ankle, but he has ankle insurance, so he will be OK for Game 3.

Mavs Blog - Who wants Jason Kidd?

Slam Online - Someone needs to tell Mo Williams: The Magic are tougher than you think.

NYTimes - Conan O'Brien goes big time (this has nothing to do with basketball).