The Denver Nuggets attempted to come back from a 13 point deficit with 7:09 remaining in their second game of their Post Season match-up against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on Tuesday night. The visitors were able to cut the Lakers lead to four points; but could never get any closer and Los Angeles held on to win the game 104-100 and take a 2-0 lead in their best of seven first round series.
Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant was the leading scorer for the night as he notched 38 points while his fellow All-Star center Andrew Bynum scored 27 points in the victory. Ty Lawson had a team high 25 points for Denver while Kenneth Faried had another strong performance as he racked up a double-double including 14 points.
Bryant would knock down eight points in the final 1:44 of the first and the Lakers would be on top 32-25 at the end of the period. The Nuggets would tie the score at 36-36 with 7:07 left in the second when Faried tipped a shot into the cylinder. The Lakers would soon pull away however and Bynum hit a shot with nine seconds remaining; giving Los Angeles a 55-48 advantage at the half.
Los Angeles would control the game throughout the third and after Bryant hit two at the charity stripe with 23 seconds in the period the home team would hold the edge at 81-74. The Lakers appeared to be ready to break the game wide open as Pau Gasol split a pair at the line giving his team a 92-79 lead with 7:09 to play. Denver would not give up without a fight and had their deficit down to four points on several occasions in the quarter. They never could get over the hump to get any closer and the Lakers held on for the win.
The series will move to Denver for games three and four with Los Angeles holding a 2-0 advantage. The two opponents will take to the hardwood once again on Friday night.