WHAT HAPPENED: It was 13-0 after the Nuggets opened the game with a trio of 3-pointers, including one from Danilo Gallinari, who had been 1-for-14 in the series from downtown. Kobe Bryant, after missing shootaround earlier in the day with gastrointestinal distress, kept the Lakers within striking distance until the third quarter, when the Nuggets rang up 36 points en route to their highest-scoring game of the series. You could say they were due for an offensive explosion after leading the NBA in scoring this season. Ty Lawson shot 13-for-18 for a team-high 32 points, and Corey Brewer shot 8-of-12 in just 18 bench minutes to finish with 18 points. Kobe had 31.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN: We are going to have at least one Game 7 in the first round, and it’ll be at the Staples Center on Saturday — the same day the Sixers and Celtics play Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. The Nuggets now have the momentum, but it’s difficult to imagine them taking control of a game in the first 4 minutes as they did in this one. Denver has only made it out of the first round once in nine years.
WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Who didn’t? It started with Lawson, while Gallinari and Brewer both had a pair of 3-pointers and Kenneth Faried had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.Only Al Harrington (1-for-8) and JaVale McGee (1-for-5) had sub-par games off the bench.
WHO DIDN’T: The Lakers’ bigs. Denver already had 30 points before Pau Gasol took his first field-goal attempt. He finished 1-for-10, and Andrew Bynum snared 16 rebounds but was 4-for-11 from the field for 11 points.
WHAT’S NEXT: Game 7 is Saturday, when the Nuggets will try to become the first team since the Phoenix Suns in 2006 to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series. But they’ll have to go against Metta World Peace, who will return from his seven-game suspension for elbowing Oklahoma City’s James Harden. As anybody who saw Game 7 of the 2010 Finals against Boston could tell you, Metta can be a beast and a difference maker in a Game 7 when others shrink because of the pressure.