L.A. Times: Normalcy returned to Lakerdom, with the purple and gold back on top again.
Suggesting a long, hard series awaits, as opposed to proving they were superior to the Nuggets in any way, the Lakers pulled this one back in after trailing by 10 points in the first quarter, and five in the last 4 minutes 17 seconds before Kobe Bryant rescued them in a 105-103 escape Tuesday in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
Bryant scored 40 points, 18 in the fourth quarter, as well as guarding Chauncey Billups in the beginning, J.R. Smith in the middle of the game and Carmelo Anthony at the end.
“Once I sensed we didn’t have the energy, I took it on myself to lead by example,” Bryant said.
“There are certain points of the game when Chauncey is in attack mode and I know when those are. Same with J.R. Then I went and wrestled with the bear.”
The bear was Anthony, whom Kobe couldn’t guard, nor could any other Laker. Once a pigeon when the Nuggets played the Lakers, Anthony had 39 points, so the Lakers will have to think of something else.
And while they’re at it, maybe they can locate their size advantage.