Let’s try a Jager-free version of the Nightcap…
Nuggets 120 Lakers 101 – Although the Lakers might go on to win this series and play in the Finals, it doesn’t change the fact that the Nuggets might actually have a better team. Even on a night in which Carmelo Anthony shot 3 for 16 and scored just 15 points, the Nuggets still had enough to win Game 4 and even the series at 2 games each. J.R. Smith picked up most of Melo’s slack – scoring 24 points including 4 of 9 from three point range to help lead Denver.
The Nuggets had 7 players score in double figures and now have to be feeling pretty good about their chances in what has become a best of 3.
For the Lakers it was a familiar story – Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol did everything and very minor contributions were added elsewhere. Bryant led LA with 34 but took 26 shots to get there and Gasol posted a 21-10 performance. Upcoming free agent Lamar Odom is continuing his playoff quest to completely destroy his worth on the open market – he’s averaged just 7.5 points per game in the Western Finals.
Denver controlled the game throughout – carrying a 7 point lead into halftime and an 11 point lead into the 4th quarter – before blowing the game open in the 4th behind a 43 point outburst. Now here we are – the heavily favored Lakers had the best record in the Western Conference all year and now they are locked in a 3 game grudge match with a team nobody thought could get this far. It’s difficult to say who the pressure is on as the series shifts back to Los Angeles – but if you’re the Lakers you know that you have the superstar advantage. Game 5 is Wednesday night from Los Angeles.
Cavs-Magicians get back together for Game 4 tomorrow in what may represent yet another must-win situation for the Cavs. To this point LeBron has risen to the occasion; we’ll see if he’s got it in him tomorrow.
On a completely unrelated note – Sci Fi Network was running a Memorial Day marathon of the 70’s cult hit Land of the Lost, clearly in anticipation of the Will Ferrell feature film opening next week. Does anyone want to see that movie? To me it looks like a steaming pile of garbage. Remember the last time Will Ferrell re-imagined a decades old television program? Of course you don’t – it was Bewitched and nobody watched that abortion of a movie either.