The Denver Nuggets finally claimed their first in-game lead during Game 3 of their 2012 NBA Playoffs series against the Los Angeles Lakers, and they turned it into their first win of the series as well on Friday night. JaVale McGee's mom (Pamela) brought some serious intensity in the stands, but more importantly, JaVale put together a spectacular game that helped spark the win. The often-aloof big man came out with energy and focus that helped him amass 16 points on 8-12 shooting, 15 rebounds, four blocks and two steals on his way to a game-high +30 plus-minus differential.
Ty Lawson guided the offense on a 21-2 run in the first quarter that set the tone for the rest of the night, and Colin Neilson of SB Nation's Nuggets blog, Denver Stiffs, thinks the series is far from over:
McGee had a - dare I say it - transcendent - basketball game alongside Kenneth Faried and Ty and showed a level of big man play perhaps not seen in the Mile High City since the era of Mutumbo. Ty was quieted in the second half, but the damage was done as the Nuggets bruised the Lakers in the paint all night, outscoring them under the hoop 52-32.
...I was so pleased to see a Nuggets team playing with purpose tonight. Everyone seemed to be highly focused and full of energy despite the number of Laker fanroaches to come out of the woodwork in the Pepsi Center, seemingly spurred on by an especially raucous Can crowd. If the Nuggets can keep this level of intensity through into game 4, they have a real shot to head back to Los Angeles all tied up at 2-2.
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.