May 1, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol (16) forces Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) to turn the ball over during the second half of game two of the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Young Nuggets Come Up Short In Crunch Time

After a dismal and lifeless Game 1, the Denver Nuggets showed a lot of heart in Game 2 – especially in the second half.
Denver battled back from 19 down and made it a game late. However, they just couldn’t capitalize on their chances.

After the Nuggets cut the Los Angeles Lakers lead to four with a little over two minutes to go Kobe Bryant stole Ty Lawson’s pass and found Andrew Bynum for an And-1.

Kenneth Faried had a chance to score with less than a minute left, but fumbled the pass. However, he fought back to block Kobe Bryant’s fast-break basket.

A lot of good things happened for the Nuggets on Tuesday night.

  • Lawson rebounded from a terrible Game 1 and led Denver with a 25 points and seven assists. He scored 11 points in the third quarter – including seven straight points.
  • Despite being undersized and playing a veteran big man, Faried fought and battled his way to 14 points and 10 rebounds. The 6-foot-8 big man may never be an All-Star, but he has the potential and energy to be a game changer.
  • Despite just shooting 2 for 6 from the field, JaVale McGee caused havoc on the defensive side of the ball. He blocked six shots, five in the fourth quarter, and altered many more.
  • Corey Brewer may be the only player on the squad that has brought it in both games. He harassed Bryant and got out and ran on the fast break to score 13 points. He is the only player on the Nuggets that has been in the positives in both games. He had a plus-3 on Sunday and plus-4 on Tuesday.

The only thing that didn’t go right for the Nuggets was Danilo Gallinari and Arron Afflalo.

  • After a near perfect Game 1, in which Gallinari scored 19 points, the Italian struggled shooting. He missed 13 of 18 shots, but did hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four with 1:58 left in the game.
  • Afflalo is a different story. Not sure if it is the intimidation of defending and playing against Bryant, but Afflalo is not the same player that finished the regular season averaging nearly 19 points and shooting over 50 percent. Afflalo has missed all eight of his 3-pointers in the series and is shooting 7 of 23 from the field. He also found himself on the bench down the stretch as Denver started to rally.  For the Nuggets to have a shot in the series they need more from him.

GAME NOTES

  • Al Harrington is the only player on the Nuggets that has been able to hit from distance. He is shooting 5 of 11 from behind the arc, while the rest of the team is shooting only 3 of 22. Harrington also had a team-high plus 16…
  • Denver had 30 fast-break points compared to Sunday when the Nuggets only had 19.
  • The Nuggets have never led in the series.
  • After being outscored by 20 in the paint, the Nuggets won the points in the paint, 60-52 in Game 2.
  • Denver’s bench outscored L.A.’s 35-8.

 

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Tags: Al Harrington Arron Afflalo Corey Brewer Danilo Gallinari Denver Nuggets George Karl JaVale McGee Kenneth Faried Kobe Bryant Kosta Koufos Los Angeles Lakers Ty Lawson

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