The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets last night, 92-88, in a crucial Game 4 that would have changed the landscape of the series had Denver won. Thankfully, that didn't happen and instead we were treated to a classic Lakers road victory. I mean, seriously, how much more Laker-ish can you get? Win the first two at home (check), throw up a stinker the third game (check), then crush the hearts of opposing fans when you grind out a win and head back home for the clincher (discount double-check!). I'm pretty sure this has been a staple of Los Angeles basketball, much like our win-less Sunday Whites record, that has led to 16 Banners. Numbers don't lie*, folks.
*Need to double check my numbers.
So when the Lakers found themselves in need of a big shot late in the fourth quarter, you know folks were gonna step up. Via Lakers.com:
Reserve Jordan Hill was big for L.A., posting a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Steve Blake scored 10 points, including a key 3-pointer in the final minute as the Lakers overcame a six-point halftime hole and a 71-70 deficit heading into the fourth quarter.
"This was fun," Blake said. "It doesn't get any better than this. Playoff basketball, this is what it's all about."
Ramon Sessions scored 12 points and also had a big 3 in the final minute for L.A.
With the game tied at 86, Danilo Gallinari was covering Bryant when a hard screen from Pau Gasol sent him to the floor grabbing his face. Bryant worked the ball to Sessions, whose 3-pointer from just in front of the Nuggets bench put the Lakers ahead 89-86 with 48 seconds remaining.
I'm sorry Gallinari, I know you're Forza Milan like me and we're probably sad that they lost to Inter today and thus Juventus won the Scudetto, but last night was not the time to feel down about it! Others saw it differently, via Kevin Ding:
While Sessions was answering question about Pau's pick/Gallinari's flop, Bynum chimed in from next locker: "Soccer swag!"
So it's all up in the air at this point, unlike this series. Next game Tuesday night.