Ty Lawson leads Nuggets back into series vs. Lakers
Denver, CO, United States (AHN Sports) – Ty Lawson unloaded a game-high 25 as he carved up the Lakers in pick-and-roll situations, and the Denver Nuggets rode a quick start to climb back into their series with Los Angeles 99-84 Friday night in Game 3 at Pepsi Center.
Denver, which never led in this series entering Friday, raced to an early 24-point lead and the Lakers never fully recovered.
It marked back-to-back 25-point, seven-assist efforts from Lawson, who sparked the Nuggets’ huge start by scoring 13 points during an 18-2 run to close the opening period.
The suddenly reinvigorated Nuggets tallied 16 points in the paint as they took a 30-14 advantage into the second quarter.
The Nuggets were able to shut down Andrew Bynum in the first half, and dominated the rebounding battle. They crashed the boards to pull down six offensive rebounds that gave them 26 field-goal attempts to the Lakers’ 19 in the first 12 minutes.
In the second stanza, Denver had a whopping 17-6 rebounding advantage. It launched a scorching 28-2 run that translated to a 41-17 advantage in the quarter.
Trailing 55-39 at halftime, Bynum awoke and scored 12 points the third after a scoreless first half, but the Lakers could not sustain down the stretch as they made just 3 of 14 shots in the fourth period.
Lawson also posted four rebounds, two steals and zero turnovers in 38 minutes of action for the Nuggets, who also received a solid effort from reserve center JaVale McGee, who tallied 16 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks.
It was breakout performance for McGee, who came in with a total of seven points scored in the first two games. McGee played down the stretch alongside rookie forward Kenneth Faried, who had 12 points and 15 rebounds, and they hounded Bynum in post throughout the contest.
Bynum, who just made five of 11 shots, finished with 18 points to go along with 12 rebounds.
Kobe Bryant, coming off a 38-point game Tuesday for his 83rd 30-plus point playoff performance, scored 18 points on 7-of-23 shooting. Bryant averaged 34.5 points the first two games of their opening-round series.
The Lakers, who are 42-1 all-time when leading 2-0 in a best-of-seven series, lead this Western Conference quarterfinal series 2-1, but the Nuggets go for the equalizer in Game 4 Sunday night in Denver.