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2009 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Finals, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets, Game 6

L.A. Lakers pictures, history, records, championships, and data about Kobe Bryant and players like Magic Johnson
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 4 - 2 Denver Nuggets

GAME 6: L.A. Lakers 119 - Denver Nuggets 92

Lakers reach the Finals playing their best basketball.

Leaders Points Rebounds Assists
Lakers Bryant: 35 Gasol: 12 Bryant: 10
Nuggets Anthony: 25 Nene: 6 Billups: 9
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
LAL 25 28 30 36 119
DEN 20 20 27 25 92
click for Lakers 2009 Playoff pictures (LA Daily News), Western Conference Finals vs. Denver Nuggets Game 6
Picture Gallery (LAT)

May 29 - PEPSI CENTER - DENVER. Playing at the top of their game the Lakers defeated the Nuggets 119-91 and arrived to the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.

The Lakers' execution that Phil Jackson always ask to his players was so good that allowed them to shot 57.3 % from the floor including 57.2 % from beyond the three-point line. They took advantage of all the deficiencies showed by the Nuggets and it all started with Kobe Bryant who scored 35 points shooting 12-for-20, took 6 rebounds and shared the ball enough to get 10 assists. Pau Gasol proved once again his versatility and as it happened in game 5 he was the centerpiece of the Lakers offense to ended with 20 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals while Lamar Odom added 20 points and 8 rebounds.

After struggling against the Rockets and losing one game at home against Denver, the Lakers seem to have learned their lesson and didn't waste their first chance to end this series. They even showed that killer instinct that was absent for most of the season and playoffs.

Trevor Ariza scored 10 of his 17 points in the first quarter to help L.A. build a 25-20 lead, the Nuggets got ahead 33-32 almost 5 minutes into the second but it didn't last long. With 11 points from Kobe the Lakers went on a 21-7 run to close the first half leading 53-40. Denver tried to get into the game by shooting 3-pointers but it didn't work as L.A. kept exploding the Nuggets' lack of attitude on the defensive end and a defensive rotation that was a complete disaster. The Nuggets cut their deficit to 79-67 with 1:15 left in the third but Sasha Vujacic closed the period making 4 free-throws. With 7:20 remaining in the game Anthony's jumper made put his team 14 points below and gave the fans some hope but Kobe Bryant scored the next 5 points to silence the stadium and seal the victory. The Nuggets never got closer.

While the Lakers showed how good they can be playing under pressure, the Nuggets showed an old problem that was supposed to be solved with the arrival of Chauncey Billups and is the fragile mentality of some players like Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith and Dahntay Jones.

The Lakers will try to get their 15th NBA title against either Orlando or Cleveland. The finals begin Thursday, at Cleveland if the Cavaliers win the East or at Los Angeles if the Magic do it.

The Quotes

Phil Jackson (LAL Coach): "We saved our best game for last here, or maybe we caught our opponent a little bit off stride"... "They thrashed a lot of opponents in the Western Conference playoffs. And their physicality and athleticism and their scoring ability is remarkable."

Kobe Bryant (Lakers): "Now we’re in a place where we didn’t get the job accomplished last year. Hopefully we will this time"... "Denver is a great team, very skilled at all positions. Strong inside. Strong on the perimeter. Huge problem for us. And because of that, we had to elevate our level as a unit. And if we didn’t do that, we’d be going home early."

Pau Gasol (Lakers): "We are really tough to beat because we’re using all our weapons, not focusing on Kobe or myself. We have a really good team and need to use everybody. That is how we are going to win it.”

Carmelo Anthony (Nuggets): "I saw little cracks in the Lakers and somehow we’ve cemented those cracks back up, and I think they’re the best team right now in the NBA."

Highlights

Los Angeles Lakers Denver Nuggets
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl More
Kobe Bryant 35 6 10 - 1  
Pau Gasol 20 12 6 3 1  
Lamar Odom 20 8 1 - -  
Trevor Ariza 17 4 - 1 -  
Luke Walton 10 1 3 1 1  
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl More
Carmelo Anthony 25 2 2 1 -  
J.R. Smith 24 2 - 1 -  
Kenyon Martin 13 5 - - -  
Chauncey Billups 10 4 9 1 - 5 TO
Nene Hilario 8 6 1 2 -  

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