The Los Angeles Lakers fought the Denver Nuggets to a draw in the second quarter of Friday night's Game 3, but that means they were unable to claw back from their 16-point first quarter deficit. Denver exited the first half with a 55-39 lead thanks to a massive first half from Ty Lawson and a huge second quarter from JaVale McGee.
Lawson finally punished a Lakers backcourt that shouldn't be able to keep up with his speed, putting up 18 points in the first on 7-11 shooting from the field. He also added four assists and two rebounds, and was able to escape the half without turning the ball over. McGee, on the other, hand helped out with six points in the quarter, but more importantly, he's tallied nine rebounds in the half. McGee's nine boards along with Kenneth Faried's ten have helped Denver out-rebound the Lakers 31-18.
Kobe Bryant has been just about the only live body for the Lakers so far— his 14 points are almost double that of Pau Gasol, Los Angeles' second leading scorer in the half. Andrew Bynum, who has bene a major match up problem for Denver so far in the series, is 0-3 from the field and has not shot a free throw en route to a -18 plus/minus for the half.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more on these teams, visit Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs and Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll. Head over to SB Nation NBA for more news and notes on the 2012 NBA Playoffs.