If the Denver Nuggets win game seven of their first round Playoff match-up Saturday night as they take on the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center; Lakers center Andrew Bynum will be haunted by the words “easy closing out” until next October. The All-Star center uttered the infamous phrase to reporters before his team took on the Nuggets in game five of the series with Los Angeles holding a 3-1 advantage. The big man’s prediction was off the mark; as Denver has taken the last two games of the match-up, knotting up the series at 3-3 after slamming the Lakers at the Pepsi Center by a final score of 113-96.
The Nuggets shot 51.6% (47-91) from the field and 50% (10-20) from outside the arc for the night as starting point guard Ty Lawson knocked down a game high 32 points while Corey Brewer came off the bench with 18 points in the victory. Kobe Bryant, who had suffered from flu-like symptoms all day scored 31 points for the Lakers while Ramon Sessions added 14 points. Bynum grabbed a game high 16 boards, however he just put up 11 points in the contest while Pau Gasol could only muster three points in the game.
Denver came out in front of the home crowd and was on fire offensively in the opening period. Brewer drove the lane putting the ball through the cylinder at the buzzer putting his team on top 30-20 at the end of the quarter. Los Angeles would cut their deficit in the second, however only by one point as Lawson drained an outside jumper just before time elapsed at the half putting the Nuggets ahead at the half with the score 54-45.
The home team would put the game away during the third quarter as they outscored their opponents by a 36-23 margin and would hold a formidable 90-68 lead at the end of the period. The Lakers never could regroup in the final 12 minutes of action and the two teams will meet Saturday night to determine which team will be doing the “closing out” in this series.