The Denver Nuggets managed to stay alive in a do-or-die game five against the Los Angeles Lakers. Now they have to do it again to even the series and force a decisive game seven.
Prior to game five, Andrew Bynum told reporters that close out games are usually easier than other games because a team can get up early and their opponents pack it in.
The Nuggets used that as inspiration, and got a 24 point game from Andre Miller as well as 21 points and 14 rebounds from JaVale McGee to knock the Lakers off 102-99 to keep the series alive.
Kobe Bryant scored 12 of his 41 points in the final five minutes of the game as he attempted to single handedly bring the Lakers back, but 98-96 with 59 seconds to play was as close as he would get.
As in Denver's other win in the series, McGee and Kenneth Faried we able to match Bynum and Pau Gasol in the front court, leaving Bryant to attempt to outscore Danilo Gallinari, Aaron Afflalo and Miller all by himself.
To keep the series going, the Nuggets are going to have to work inside out again, and hope to dominate the paint. They had more points in the paint and more rebounds than the Lakers in each of their wins.
Los Angeles just needs to keep their bigs involved and to get a good enough effort from them. This is the type of situation where the Lakers really miss the role Lamar Odom played for them last year as Jordan Hill is just not able to compete as part of the forward rotation.
Prediction: The Nuggets are hungry and have the mile high advantage on their side. The Lakers big men looked slow and out of shape in Los Angeles and the altitude in Denver will only make that worse. This one is going seven before Bryant inevitably does what he does best and single handedly ends the Nuggets season in game seven.
Predicted Score: Denver over Los Angeles 96-90