The Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers both have extremely strong home-court advantages. It was no surprise when the Lakers won the first two games of the playoff series between the two teams at home, which was followed by a Nuggets win in Denver in Game 3. Then, L.A. threw a wrench in things in Game 4.
Kobe Bryant wasn't his best in Game 4, but his supporting cast was efficient offensively -- while the Nuggets were anything but. Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Ramon Sessions combined to shoot 19-35 from the floor, and Jordan Hill contributed a double-double off the bench. Steve Blake had the dagger in the Lakers' 92-88 win, hitting a three-pointer to extend the lead to six points with under a minute remaining.
If Denver is going to avoid elimination on Tuesday night, the Nuggets are going to need to shoot better and play faster. The slow pace of the game suited the Lakers in Game 4, and it allowed their big players to prevent Al Harrington, Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee from having the impact that they had in Game 3. Denver was also a poor 3-19 from behind the arc. The four-point margin of the Game 4 loss doesn't make it look like the Lakers were firmly in control, but Los Angeles was well in command during the second half. At the STAPLES Center, the Nuggets will have to be better in every facet of their game.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET
Venue: STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, Calif.