Nuggets roll over Lakers, tie series 2-2
The Denver Nuggets are so much more than just Carmelo Anthony.
A dominating effort on the boards and a great performance by the bench helped the Nuggets overcome a below-par effort from an ailing 'Melo on Monday night, when they raced past the Los Angeles Lakers 120-101, evening the Western Conference finals at two games apiece.
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They did it with their star hobbled by a sprained ankle and slowed by a stomach virus that had him hugging the commode before tip-off and getting IVs at halftime.
"Even before I twisted my ankle, with my stomach, I didn't have my legs early in the game," Anthony said. "I felt like I didn't have any energy. Those IVs were a must. They helped a little bit. I'll be OK for Wednesday."
Anthony finished with 15 hard-earned points on 3-of-16 shooting, but it hardly mattered because, unlike in Game 3 when his shot also wasn't falling, his teammates came to the rescue.
Six of them scored in double digits, led by Chauncey Billups and J.R. Smith with 24 apiece.
"It was important for everyone to step up," Anthony said. "We had a bunch of guys step up today. I know the past two, three games our bench hasn't been as productive as they have been in the playoffs, but tonight those guys stepped up. J.R. stepped up big, Linas Kleiza came in and hit some big shots, he was just phenomenal out there."
Kenyon Martin and Nene each had a double-double as the Nuggets posted their eighth blowout of the postseason but first against Los Angeles following three games that came down to the final seconds.