L.A. Times: Kobe Bryant walked away after the final play, his head down, lost among the silence of a quiet, deflated Staples Center.
In between the fouls and free throws was another game that crackled with intensity but finished with a lone overriding concept — the Denver Nuggets are for real.
The late-game hero of Game 1, Trevor Ariza, lost the ball on a late play in Game 2, and Derek Fisher missed everything on a last-second three-point attempt Thursday as the Lakers fell to Denver, 106-103, tying the Western Conference finals at 1-1.
Games 3 and 4 are in Denver, where the Nuggets haven’t lost since March 9, winning 16 consecutive games at Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets were 2-14 in playoff games against the Lakers before Thursday, but that changed amid a late-game flurry that left the home crowd stunned.
The Lakers were too, in case their eerily quiet locker room didn’t prove the point.
“They have home-court advantage now,” Bryant said, summing up just about everything.