2009 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Finals, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets, Game 3

Information about game 3 of the L.A. Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets series in the 2009 NBA Playoffs, with score, recap, pictures, stats, highlights, quotes and Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol performance.

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 2 - 1 Denver Nuggets

GAME 3: L.A. Lakers 103 - Denver Nuggets 97

Lakers back in control of the series.

Leaders Points Rebounds Assists
Lakers Bryant: 41 Gasol: 11 Bryant: 5
Nuggets Anthony: 21 Martin/Andersen: 7 Billups: 7
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
LAL 26 22 23 32 103
DEN 28 24 27 18 97
click for Lakers 2009 Playoff pictures (LA Daily News), Western Conference Finals vs. Denver Nuggets Game 1
Picture Gallery (LAT)

May 23 - PEPSI CENTER - DENVER. The Lakers regained home-court advantage with an encouraging 103-97 victory over Denver in the Nuggets first defeat at home since March 9.

Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter, including a three pointer with 1:08 left that put the Lakers ahead for good 96-95 and 5 free-throws to freeze the game in the final seconds. As he did in game 1, Trevor Ariza, who had 16 points, once again stole a key inbound-pass, this time by Kenyon Martin, then was fouled by Carmelo Anthony and made both free throws to make it 99-95 with 36 seconds left. It was Anthony's 6th foul and he left having scored 21 points but just 3 of them in the second half. He shot 4-for-13 from the field while Chauncey Billups ended with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Pau Gasol had a good game and finished with 20 points and 11 boards.

The Lakers survived a horrible night from the free throw line from where they missed 14 of 45 attempts. They led only once in the first half at 12-11 four minutes into the game, and after missing 8 of 17 free throws they went to the halftime rest down by 4 points, 52-48. They tied it at 52, seconds into the third but the Nuggets quickly took a 60-53 lead. The Lakers stayed close the rest of the period until J.R. Smith buzzer-beater made it 79-71 to end the quarter. But Smith also received a technical foul for jawing at Vujacic who was trying to defend him on the play.

Before the fourth quarter started, Kobe made the technical free throw, and it was the beginning of the end for the Nuggets. The Lakers had their second lead of the night with 7:31 left when Ariza made one of his 3 three-pointers. Chauncey Billups generated an ovation by making a three and drawing a foul on Kobe Bryant the same play but sadly for the Nuggets their players combined for a pitiful 5-for-27 (.185) from beyond the three-point line. Billups made his free-throw and Denver went up 89-86 before Gasol scored the next 4 points going strong to the post where Nene and Kenyon Martin were playing in foul trouble. Then Kobe took charge as he usually does at the end.

The Quotes

Phil Jackson (LAL Coach): "."

Kobe Bryant (Lakers): Trevor, hes very crafty, hes long, hes fast, hes quick and hes a ball hog, He does a good job of reading those things. Its a great defensive play.. “I rank this right up there with some of the biggest road wins we’ve had since I’ve been a Laker,” Bryant said. “Because, in the past we always had guys that had a lot of experience. Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Ron Harper, they’ve all been through this before. For our guys this is brand new. Last year we weren’t tested like this. And it goes a long way for us as a ballclub.”

Lamar Odom (Lakers): “Kobe does that time and time and time and time and time again for game winners, It is routine—for him.” about Kobe's 3-pointer.

Carmelo Anthony (Nuggets): "I don’t really think they did anything different tonight. But I missed some easy shots" ... "I think Gasol was the key to them winning tonight. Getting him going and him making shots, it made it hard to double-team him and still try to guard Kobe out there."


Los Angeles Lakers Denver Nuggets
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl More
Kobe Bryant 41 6 5 2 -  
Pau Gasol 20 11 1 - 1  
Trevor Ariza 16 4 2 2 1  
Lamar Odom 8 7 1 - -  
Andrew Bynum 7 4 - - 3  
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl More
Carmelo Anthony 21 5 3 3 - 6 PF
Chauncey Billups 18 6 7 2 - 4 TO
Chris Andersen 15 7 - - 3  
Nene Hilario 13 6 1 1 -  
J.R. Smith 10 3 6 1 - 2/10 3pt

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