That’s right, folks, the Denver Nuggets forced a Game 7 in an explosive 113-96 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
A game that left Lakers fans turning the station by the mid of the 3rd quarter, had critics shocked, and had Nuggets nay sayers befuddled. Even I had the Lakers winning in 6 games — and boy, it has never felt so RIGHT to be so wrong — who knew the Los Angeles Lakers would come into a Game 6 thinking and acting like the Denver Nuggets would roll over and let them take a game at the Pepsi Center? The Los Angeles Lakers of Game 6 were identical to the Denver Nuggets of Game 1.
Denver started the game with fireness as they gained a 13-0 lead over L.A, not only was Denver penetrating, but they were connecting long-range and hitting those powerful dunks. However, the Lakers wouldn’t just lay down and die. They rallied and had the score within 5 points with less than 3 minutes remaining in the second quarter, so it seemed it would be the same Denver Nuggets movie. Oh, but Denver wouldn’t just submit to the Laker’s half-court ways.
Credit goes to Pau Gasol and his goaltend that would give Denver a 9-point lead going into the half. Denver would have a 9-0 run out of the half thanks to the Manimal. He came out of that half with a blinding fury that would lead to an and-1, attempted a dunk only to have Kobe miss “swiping” the ball and hit Faried on the head. It was much of the same through the third quarter and leading into the 4th when Denver would have a 28-point lead as Kobe was taken out of the game with less than 8 minutes remaining.
Yes, Denver out-shot, out-played, out-lasted the Los Angeles Lakers.
What about Ty Lawson?!?! I have stated all season long, once we see All-Star caliber Ty Lawson, that’s when Denver prevails. He was stunning and deliciously fantastic. He scored 32 points on 13-for-18 from the field, 5-for-6 from the arc, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. It was amazing to watch! Not to mention he didn’t play much of the 4th quarter. He was aggressive and he attacked. What more can you ask for?
Another fantastic player performance was Corey Brewer. He racked up 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. When the Denver Nuggets obtained Corey Brewer for next to nothing, I compared him to a ‘Energizer Bunny’ because he is instant energy. He can attack, slash, dunk, defend and his smile. Wait, what? Anyways, Brewer was beautiful and seemed like he could get shots from anywhere.
When Denver plays unselfishly, and runs the full court, this is the beauty that NBA fans get acquainted with.
While JaVale McGee didn’t have an outstanding game, he was solid on defense. This was more like Game 4 McGee, Denver needs Game 5 McGee. He didn’t help with Denver’s offense, but the way he has shown growth in thus series is a positive and uplifting thing. However, I love McGee’s energy when he is on the bench.
Gallo had a well-rounded game with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists and I will keep on reiterating about his underrated passing skills. Some that may not be familiar with the Nuggets team or Gallo should know he played the point when he was in Italy, and many consider him a ‘forward-point.’ Last night was the perfect example why. Arron Afflalo, while he may not have racked up points, he was key on the defensive front.
I can not forget the Manimal!! He came out of the second half determined and on a quest to Manimalize the Los Angeles Lakers. He tallied another double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. If you have forgotten, the is the same player that’s a rookie and hadn’t played the first 6 weeks of the season. He has shown continued progress this season and specifically in this series. In a series, where I labeled Manimal as an X-Factor/key player many scoffed at that idea. The thing is, what Manimal lacks in height, he makes up for exponentially in intensity, heart, and drive. Something, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum both lacked in Game 5.
It was the most impressive playoff game that I have seen from the Nuggets in quite some time in terms of how their season has gone. Just weeks before the end of the regular season, it was unclear if Denver would even make the playoffs. To see that same team push a Game 7 is surreal, and that’s an understatement.
In preparation for Game 7, I want to play this video over and over towards the Los Angeles Lakers.
Denver, get ready to shock the world!