Lakers Backcourt Vital in Game 3 Win

The Lakers received their usual point production from their guards late in the game, only it wasn’t Kobe Bryant that did the heavy lifting.

Bryant, the leading scorer this post season, took just four shots in the fourth quarter, allowing Steve Blake and Ramon Sessions to dictate the offense. 

The point guard duo combined for 13 of the Lakers 22 points in the period and to secure a 92-88 victory over Denver and send the Lakers back to the Staples Center with a 3-1 advantage in the series.

Sessions was acquired at mid-season to alleviate point guard duties from Bryant in late game situations. Much like Derek Fisher’srole in the past, Sessions was expected to set up teammates and knockdown open attempts from three-point range.

In 19 regular season games with Los Angeles, Sessions saw his workload increase by six minutes per game from his time in Cleveland, buried 47.9 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and averaged a team-high 6.2 assists per game.

Only his hot shooting didn’t quite translate into post season success. During his first three games against the Nuggets, Sessions made only 2-of-10 attempts from long range, handed out 15 assists and shot 42.5 percent from the field.

With his offensive output lacking, Sessions found other ways to contribute.

Ramon Sessions put the Lakers ahead for good with 48 seconds remaining in Game 4.

In Game 3, the 6-foot-3 guard grabbed nine rebounds, trailing only Andrew Bynum for the team lead, but the Lakers still were out rebounded 54-31 as the Nuggets claimed a 99-84 victory.

Denver was back in the series as JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried each totaled six offensive and 15 total rebounds, jumping out to an early lead that the Lakers could never recover.

Ty Lawson torched Sessions for 25 points and the Nuggets bench outscored Los Angeles 39-9. ‘

Sessions set the tone early in Game 4, matching Lawson’s point total in the first quarter and helped to feature Bryant offensively.

Jordan Hill submitted the best performance of his playoff career, totaling 12 points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes.

Los Angeles reestablished its dominance in rebounding, finishing the game with a 48-38 advantage off the glass.

The Lakers shot 45.5 percent from the field and still found a way to corral 19 offensive rebounds on 47 missed shots, resulting in 28 second chance points, the most for the team since 2003.

Bryant scored 22 points, but only two in the fourth quarter as Denver forced the ball out of his hands. With multiple defenders targeting the two-time scoring champion, the Nuggets were daring Blake to make shots.

Kobe Bryant has score 113 points this post season, tops in the NBA.

The 31-year-old guard responded by making three catch-and-shoot field goals in the quarter, all wide open.

A three-pointer from Al Harrington with 9:44 remaining gave Denver its last lead of the game at 76-75.

The Nuggets never trailed by more than four and a late scoring drought by Los Angeles brought them back into the game.

Pau Gasol sent Gallinari to the floor, enabling Sessions an open look from the corner. The three-pointer from Sessions proved to be the game winner.

Andre Miller was whistled for offensive goal tending for Denver on the next possession and then Bryant found Blake for an open three-pointer to put the game away.

Eight of Blake’s 10 points came in the fourth quarter while Sessions totaled 12 points, four rebounds and two assists.

The trio accounted for 44 points, keeping the Lakers afloat as Bryant connected on just 10-of-25 field goal attempts.

The Lakers have had the most prolific scorer in the NBA for years, now they finally have some help for him in the back court.

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About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.
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