The Los Angeles Lakers lead the Denver Nuggets 2-1 in their first round playoff series, with each team winning at home.
The Lakers looked good in 103-88 and 104-100 wins in games one and two, including a 27 point performance from Andrew Bynum in game two and 30 plus points from Kobe Bryant in both games.
But in game three, the Lakers seemed bothered by the altitude and a tenacious Denver defense, especially in the first half and they trailed 55-39 at the half. They battled back but couldn't close the gap and fell 99-84.
The big news in game three was Bynum, who was held scoreless in the first half after arriving at the arena late. He finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds but his lack of production put the Lakers in too much of a hole early.
Denver got their first win by being strong down low. Their front court of Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee out-rebounded Bynum and Pau Gasol 30-19, as well as keeping Bynum off the board in the first half.
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It will take that kind of an effort down low as well as more balanced scoring from the Nuggets if they want to even the series at two.
Prediction: This game will be decided down low and this time the Lakers big men will not be denied by the upstarts from Denver. Look for a close game, but for Denver to fade late.
Predicted Score: Los Angeles over Denver 100-92
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