Nuggets get first-ever playoff win over Lakers
BETH HARRIS | 5/22/2009, 11:21 a.m.
Tied at 101, Martin made the layup off Nene's assist that gave the Nuggets the lead for good.
Bryant dribbled upcourt and got into traffic, with Nene tipping the ball away to earn a jump ball with 18 seconds left. Gasol controlled the tip to Ariza, but the ball squirted away and Fisher fouled Billups. He made both for a 105-101 lead.
"Looked to me like Anthony pushed on Trevor and Trevor tried to get rid of the ball, and no foul was called and they recovered the basketball," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.
Martin then fouled Gasol, who made both before Billups got fouled.
The Lakers were shaky on free throws in the fourth, making 9 of 14, while Denver didn't blink at the line. The Nuggets were 29 of 37, with Billups hitting 13 of 16 and Anthony 10 of 14.
Kleiza's 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter gave the Nuggets an 85-82 lead, their first since the game's opening minutes. Billups followed with two free throws and Anthony hit two straight baskets to extend Denver's lead to 91-84.
Bryant missed a jumper, but he came up big on the Lakers' next possession, hitting a 3-pointer with Anthony's hand in his face. Shannon Brown tossed in a 3 and Lamar Odom made two free throws as part of an 11-2 run that put the Lakers back in front 95-93.
Denver regained the lead before Bryant's 3-pointer, again with Anthony guarding closely, tied the game at 99 with 1:59 remaining. Billups made two free throws before Bryant's jumper tied it at 101.
The Lakers led by 14 early in the second quarter before Denver outscored them 14-2 to get to 55-54 at halftime.