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2009 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Finals, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets, Game 5

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Los Angeles Lakers

2009 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets

Series Index:

Game 1: Lakers 105, Nuggets 103 at L.A.   Game recap & pictures
Game 2: Nuggets 106, Lakers 103 at L.A.   Game recap & pictures
Game 3: Lakers 103, Nuggets 97 at Denver   Game recap & pictures
Game 4: Nuggets 120, Lakers 101 at Denver   Game recap & pictures
Game 5: Lakers 103, Nuggets 94 at Los Angeles Game recap & pictures
Game 6: Lakers 119, Nuggets 92 at Denver   Game recap & pictures

Back to Playoffs 2009

Los Angeles Lakers 3 - 2 Denver Nuggets

GAME 5: L.A. Lakers 103 - Denver Nuggets 94

Focusing on their big men the Lakers advance.

Leaders Points Rebounds Assists
Lakers Bryant: 22 Odom: 10 Bryant: 8
Nuggets Anthony: 31 Nene/Andersen: 8 Billups: 5
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
LAL 25 31 20 27 103
DEN 25 31 20 18 94
click for Lakers 2009 Playoff pictures (LA Daily News), Western Conference Finals vs. Denver Nuggets Game 5
Picture Gallery (LAT)

May 27 - STAPLES CENTER - LOS ANGELES. Playing intense defense and making the ball go inside to their big men, the Lakers got a 103-94 victory that leaves them neening just one win to advance to another NBA Finals.

The score was tied after the first, second and third quarters for just the fourth time in NBA playoff history. The Nuggets led by 7 points twice in the third quarter, the last one 73-66 with 5 minutes left but the Lakers went into a 21-3 run that included an 11-0 to open the fourth and put them ahead 87-76 with 8:11 remaining in the game. Denver got to 96-91 with 1:24 left but in the next play the Lakers showed how good they can play basketball. Kobe Bryant found himself open for a three-pointer but when he was in the air he changed his mind and assisted Odom under the basket for 2 points and a foul and the game was basically over.

Kobe Bryant had scored 40 and 41 points in the other Lakers' victories in this series, but this time his 22 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists were more than enough while many of his teammates made their contribution. Gasol was the anchor of the offense and a big presence on the defensive end and finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 blocked shots. Coming off the bench Lamar Odom had a solid game, specially in the second half and ended with 19 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 blocked shots and Andrew Bynum was productive in the offense in the first half and added 9 points in 19 minutes. Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points and Kenyon Martin and Chauncey Billups added 12 points each for the Nuggets while J.R. Smith, maybe their best player in game 4, missed 9 of 10 3-point attempts and got 7 points and Nene fouled out with 4:02 remaining, with 4 points and 8 rebounds. He has fouled out of three games in this series.

Both teams looked anxious most of the game, like trying to win it on every play but the Lakers showed their composure in the key moments. Sasha Vujacic was on the floor just 3 1/2 minutes but he made the 3-pointer that tied the game at 56 going into the halftime. Derek Fisher who has been in a shooting slump in these Playoffs started the game in attack mode and scored 12 points, his backup Shannon Brown gave L.A. the spark they needed in the key moments of the fourth and Trevor Ariza added another 12 that included a couple of circus shots to rebound from a poor game 4.

The Quotes

Phil Jackson (LAL Coach): "This Lakers group is really connected. They’re driven and they’re motivated to get to where we were last year to give us a chance to win.”

Kobe Bryant (Lakers): “It was a big gamble for me coming in, but I wanted to change my approach this game and be more of a decoy. The past couple games they really were loading to my side and I figured I could be a decoy and try to give chances to my teammates.”

George Karl (Nuggets): "I thought they got the benefit of the whistle. Every player in my locker room is frustrated, from guards to big guys. Gasol goes after at least 20 jump shots, 20 shots to the rim and gets one foul; our big guys have 16. Nene has six fouls, three or four of them don’t exist."

Highlights

Los Angeles Lakers Denver Nuggets
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl More
Kobe Bryant 22 5 8 1 - 7 TO
Lamar Odom 19 14 3 - 4  
Pau Gasol 14 10 4 2 5  
Trevor Ariza 12 5 4 1 2  
Derek Fisher 12 - 2 - -  
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl More
Carmelo Anthony 31 4 4 2 -  
Chauncey Billups 12 3 5 2 -  
Kenyon Martin 12 5 1 1 1  
Linas Kleiza 10 5 - - -  
Dahntay Jones 9 4 1 1 -  

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