The Lakers lead the Nuggets 3-1 in the series and can advance to the next round with a win in at home on Tuesday. Los Angeles has been without defensive stopper Metta World Peace all series due to a seven-game suspension for vicious hit on Oklahoma City Thunder's James Harden, but has done a nice job in slowing down the fast paced Nuggets. The Lakers have kept the Nuggets under 100 points in three of the four games without Artest.
Los Angeles is hoping to finish off the Nuggets on Tuesday so no return trip to Denver is necessary.
Hopefully we finish them off, center Andrew Bynum told reporters before the game. I don't want to go back to Denver. ... Closeout games are actually kind of easy. Teams will fold if you come out and play hard.
The young Nuggets haven't played poorly this series, but have struggled in late game situations. The team will need strong performances from its leaders, especially players like Ty Lawson and Al Harrington, in clutch situations if they hope to survive to fight another game.
I definitely believe we have a chance, Harrington said. If we can get Game 5, I definitely don't think the Lakers want to come back here to play a Game 6. If we can get Game 5, I think 6 can maybe take care of itself, and hopefully make it a seven-game series.
Nuggets coach George Karl added, It's not over, and it's a series that we can win Game 5. We should have won (Game 4) in a lot of ways. We gave a lot of good effort and had a lot of good results, but we got beat by a good team.
In addition to getting more clutch performances at the end of the game, the Nuggets need to do something to slow down Kobe Bryant. Bryant is averaging 28.3 points per game this series and has basically had his way with any defender the Nuggets have thrown at him.