Lakers fall again to Nuggets as Lawson dominates

The Lakers perhaps were getting ready for the storyline of longtime Lakers guard Derek Fisher now playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder — and facing the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs.

But the Lakers have another point guard to worry about before they can even meet up with Fisher and All-Star Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook. Denver’s Ty Lawson lit the Lakers up for 32 points on 13-of-18 shooting from the field, finding his three-point stroke after being given wide-open looks to start Game 6.

With Lawson’s help, the Nuggets routed the Lakers, 113-96, to avoid elimination for the second consecutive game and force Game 7 Saturday night at Staples Center.

With a victory, the Lakers would finally advance to face the Thunder in a second-round series that begins Monday night in Oklahoma City, with or without the Lakers.

“If we give the same type of effort with our execution, game-plan execution, and the energy, then it’s going to be a long night for us on Saturday,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said.

NOTES, QUOTES
Game Sevens have been good to Lakers
   –The last time the Lakers faced a Game 7 in the playoffs, they won at Staples Center over the Boston Celtics to win the 2010 NBA Finals. The Lakers are 15-8 in all-time Game 7’s.
   –The Lakers announced Time Warner Cable Sports’ plans for their new regional channels next season. They will be called Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes (Spanish language) and will televise all locally available Lakers games with Bill Macdonald and Stu Lantz again on the call.
   QUOTE TO NOTE: “My room resembled a scene from ‘The Exorcist.'” — Kobe Bryant, on his case of gastroenteritis Thursday.

ROSTER REPORT
   PLAYER NOTES:
   –G Kobe Bryant missed the Lakers’ Thursday shoot-around with a case of gastroenteritis, which is a viral condition that inflames the stomach and intestines. Bryant still played in the Lakers-Nuggets Game 6 Thursday night and scored 31 points.
   –F Metta World Peace is finally done with his seven-game NBA suspension for elbowing Oklahoma City’s James Harden on April 22. World Peace sat out Game 6 of the Lakers-Nuggets first-round series Thursday night; he began his suspension by missing the Lakers’ final regular-season game.
   –F Matt Barnes was expected to carry the load while Metta World Peace was suspended during the first round of the NBA playoffs, but Barnes was slowed by a sprained right ankle and missed 18 of 20 three-point attempts through the first five playoff games. In Game 6 Thursday night, he made his first three-point shot but then his next three went awry.