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2008 NBA Playoffs: First Round, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets, Game 1

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2008 NBA Playoffs First Round
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets

Series Index:

Game 1: Lakers 128, Nuggets 114 at Los Angeles Game recap & pictures
Game 2: Lakers 122, Nuggets 107 at Los Angeles Game recap & pictures
Game 3: Lakers 102, Nuggets 84 at Denver Game recap & pictures
Game 4: Lakers 107, Nuggets 101 at Denver   Game recap & pictures

Back to Playoffs 2008

GAME 1: L.A. Lakers 128 - Denver Nuggets 114

No more a one-man show.

Leaders Points Rebounds Assists
Lakers 36: Gasol 16: Gasol 8: Gasol
Nuggets 30: Iverson 12: Anthony 7: Iverson
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
LAL 26 32 39 31 128
DEN 22 34 22 36 114
click for Lakers 2008 Playoff pictures (LA Daily News), First Round Game 1
Picture Gallery (LAT)

April 20, 2008- STAPLES CENTER - LOS ANGELES. The Lakers are not a one-man show anymore, and the Denver learned it the hard way. It wasn't the best game for the Lakers but it was a rout of the Nuggets 128-114 in their first game in the 2008 NBA Playoffs.

Denver focused its defense on Kobe Bryant and it kind of worked early when he forced shot after shot and then became an spectator to end the first half with 4 points on 2-for-10 shooting. But the Lakers are much more than Kobe these days and Pau Gasol wasn't ready to miss the opportunity to win his first Playoff game in 13 attempts, he kept the team alive with his with 36 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 blocks. Not only it was a basketball lesson, Gasol's performance came against last season Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Camby. Lamar Odom also looked great, providing 17 points, 14 rebounds (6 offensive), 6 assists and tons of energy. Walton was the other player that helped complement the early lack of scoring from Kobe and ended with 16 points.

Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 12 rebounds and Allen Iverson added 30 points before being ejected after picking up two technical fouls with 2:10 remaining, Linas Kleiza scored a career playoff high 23 points. They all contributed to make it a game in the first 2 periods and were only trailing 58-56 by halftime. L.A. made the difference in the third outscoring Denver 39-22, then in the fourth an 11-2 run by the Nuggets made it 101-91 with 8:17 remaining but Kobe picked it up from there and scored 18 points in those final 8 minutes to preserve the margin. Despite his shooting struggles Kobe ended with 32 points and now he knows for sure he doesn't have to be best player on the team every night.

The Quotes

Phil Jackson (LAL Coach): "Our job remains to win the game at home on Wednesday night and establish some momentum in this series and put them in a desperate situation, going home and having to win"

Kobe Bryant (Lakers): "I knew he (Gasol) could perform at a high level, this just ain’t Memphis. I think this offense has freed him up a little bit and showcased more what he can do instead of just being in the post all the time".

Lamar Odom (Lakers): "A big-time player, top 10 in the league, definitely", said about Pau Gasol

Allen Iverson (Nuggets): "(Ken Mauer) made the right decision about throwing me out. I was frustrated, but I deserved to get thrown out."

Highlights

Los Angeles Lakers Denver Nuggets
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl
Pau Gasol 36 16 8 - 3
Kobe Bryant 32 3 1 1 2
Lamar Odom 17 14 6 2 -
Luke Walton 16 4 5 - -
V. Radmanovic 8 1 6 1 1
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl
Carmelo Anthony 30 12 3 2 1
Allen Iverson 30 5 7 - 1
Linas Kleiza 23 4 1 1 -
J.R. Smith 15 3 0 1 -
Kenyon Martin 5 8 - 1 1

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