And Kobe Bryant thought he was sick before Thursday night’s Game 6 of the Los Angeles Lakers first-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets? Watching the pitiful effort of his teammates had to make his stomach turn inside out.
”Kobe being dehyrdrated and all that and sick as a dog, coming out and trying to will us to a win, it’s disappointing to watch him give that type of effort … and we don’t get it from everybody,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said after Denver earned a 113-96 victory, forcing a Game 7 Saturday in Los Angeles.
”Our second- and third-best players are (Andrew Bynum) and Pau (Gasol) and the reality is both of those guys got to play better in order for us to win.”
Bryant was outstanding for a healthy player. That he scored 31 points on 13–for-23 shooting after having to get an IV before the game makes his performance that much more awesome. His help was not there, though. Both Lakers 7-footers were anemic against the smaller and hungrier Nuggets. Bynum was just 4 of 11 shooting and Gasol 1-for-10.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets were ablaze. They opened the game scoring the first 13 points, led by the brilliant play of guard Ty Lawson. The point guard had 32 points, six assists and five rebounds. The Nuggets built the lead up to as much as 15 and seemed on the verge of a blowout. However, Bryant led the Lakers back, all the way to within 47-43. But that was as close as they would get.
Denver led by nine at halftime and poured it on to start the third quarter. Bryant talked Brown into leaving him in the game to start the fourth, even as they trailed by 22 points. But Bryant was virtually playing alone, and the Nuggets never relented.
Rookie big man Kenneth Faried outplayed Bynum and Gasol with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Danilo Gallinari and Andre Miller both had 12 points for Denver, which goes to L.A. believing it can pull the upset.