Denver gains homecourt edge with win in L.A.
I'll be expanding on last night's game as soon as I'm able. But I wanted to get some impressions out there ASAP.
Here is what I had to say in my preview:
"It continues to puzzle me why Karl elects to go with LK who hasn't shown any ability to get his offense going (0-0 for 0 points, 0 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 foul in 7 minutes in Game 1)"
Needless to say ... I wont be applying for any head coaching jobs any time soon.
Linas Kleiza comes off the bench last night and plays 22 minutes going 5-8 from the floor (4-7 from three, 2-2 from the foul line) for 16 points, 8 rebounds (3 offensive), and a team high +16 on the night.
Let's not go absolutely nuts and proclaim that LK is back, but his shot was falling at all the right times as he hit timely three after timely three. He found himself in good position (or lucky position) on a couple offensive rebounds and helped out on the defensive end with 5 boards. Every rebound was big last night for anyone wearing Powder Blue as the Lakers were ALL OVER THE GLASS on the offensive end.
Kleiza was the wild card off the bench that Denver desperately needed and without his performace the Nuggets do not win that game. I can't say enough about his game ... LK ... as John Kelley (Thanks 5280) would say, "THANK YOU, THANK YOU, TTTHHHHAAAAANNNNNNNKKKKKKK YOOUUUUU!" (An AVS reference?! ... you betcha!)
Melo again proved that he can score with the best of them going 12-29 (0-6 from three, 10-14 from the foul line) for a game high 34 points, 9 rebounds (5 offensive!), 4 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal. Melo continues to write the new book on his playoff success.
That's 73 points in two games for Mr. Anthony.
Chauncey Billups carried the Nuggets by getting to the foul line 16 times and making 13 of those. None bigger than his final free throw. And the pass off Kobe's back for a two pointer (GW memory without the dunk finish) was just awesome and a wily play.
Great finish to a horrendous first quarter by the Nuggets. More thoughts and such coming in the morning!
This series is tied up 1-1 heading back to Denver.