May 9, 2012

Lakers Fail to Close Out Nuggets in Game 5

OK, fine. I was wrong.

I predicted a 4-1 series win for the Los Angeles Lakers, but JaVale Mcgee and Andre Miller of the Denver Nuggets had a different idea of how the first reound series would go.

A furious fourth quarter rally and Kobe Bryant's 43 points weren't enough to lift the Lakers in their fifth game against Nuggets, losing 102-99 in Los Angeles.

McGee and Miller punished the Lakers inside with drives and dunks in the fourth quarter, even pushing the Nuggets' lead to 15 in the 8-minute mark. As I watched the game, I was really frustrated how the Lakers failed to get key stops, particualrly preventing Miller from going to the hoop, in the final quarter. Miller scored 10 of his 24 points in that stretch.

And get me going about Andrew Bynum's statement about "easy" close-out games:

"Close-out games are actually kind of easy," Bynum said. "Teams tend to fold if you come out and play hard in the beginning, so we want to come out and establish an early lead and protect it."


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