NBA: LA Lakers 104, Denver 93
Lamar Odom keyed an eight-point run to start the fourth quarter Wednesday and the Los Angeles Lakers held on to defeat Denver 104-93.
The Lakers took a 3-2 advantage in the Western Conference finals and moved to within one victory of earning a berth in the NBA’s Championship Series. Los Angeles will try to wrap up the series when Denver hosts Game 6 Friday.
Los Angeles came from seven points behind midway through the third period to tie the game at 76-76 going into the fourth quarter. Odom then scored five points during the run that opened the final period.
Denver closed within 91-87 on a dunk by Carmelo Anthony with 4:29 to play and the Nuggets appeared set to regain the ball when the Lakers’ Pau Gasol ran into Nene in the lane.
Instead of charging being called, however, Nene was whistled for a blocking foul — his sixth of the game. Gasol made two free throws and Denver could not put together another run.
Odom helped pick up the slack from a relatively poor night for Los Angeles superstar Kobe Bryant, finishing with 19 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. Bryant made 6-of-13 shots from the field and was held to 22 points and eight assists. He had been averaging 30 points a game during the playoffs.
Carmelo Anthony led Denver with 31 points, but the Nuggets were limited to 38 percent shooting from the field.