The Los Angeles Lakers, who were victorious, were stretched to their limits in the first-round of the 2012 NBA Playoff series against the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers outlasted the Denver Nuggets for a thrilling 96-87 victory Saturday night only to advance to their next round series starting Monday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, in Oklahoma City.
With a wild win last night at home, Game 7 of the series was not at all a stroll in the park. The team was led by Metta World Peace who had just come off a suspension and by Pau Gasol whose previous game was very poor. Gasol had 23 points, 17 rebounds and six assists while World Peace scored 15 points in his return from the seven-game suspension. To add to the excitement, Steve Blake came up big scoring a playoff career-high 19 points, Andrew Bynum had 16 points and a career playoff-high 18 rebounds and Kobe Bryant had 17 points and eight assists for the Lakers.
The game had its ups and downs as the Lakers blew a 16-point lead in the second half before surviving a back and forth 3rd quarter which saw them up and then down by a single point. But it was a wild 4th quarter finale with lots of momentum and physical play from the Lakers and speedy transitions from the Denver Nuggets in which Lakers finished with the win.
Furthermore, the Lakers had just barely avoided becoming the ninth team in NBA history to blow a 3-1 series lead. After last year exit from the playoffs where they were swept 4-0 against the 2011 Champions Dallas Mavericks, this would have not been a good comeback.
The Lakers showed an aggressive side to them where they attacked the paint and consistently pounded the boards. All they have to do is keep up the same energy as the open up the second round Monday night in Oklahoma City against the second-seeded Thunder.
The sixth-seeded Denver Nuggets had 19 turnovers and average 7-of-27 shooting in the fourth quarter, were led by Ty Lawson and Al Harrington scored 24 points apiece. Afflalo scored 15 points in just the third Game 7 in franchise history for the Nuggets. This was an improvement for the Nuggets who have lost in the first round in eight of the last nine postseason, but never with this much excitement.
Check out Game 7 Highlights Below
The next round will be more than exciting for the Los Angeles Lakers as they advance to play the Oklahoma City Thunder. The two teams have a lot of controversy due to the violent incident between Metta World Peace, aka Ron Artest and James Harden when they last met at the Staples Center in LA. Except this time the Lakers head to Oklahoma City to open up the series.
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