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Lakers Hold Off Nuggets 96-87 in Game 7

Harry How, Getty Images
Harry How, Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers were able to hold off the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 on their home court Saturday night for the 96-87 victory.

Paul Gasol had 23 points, 17 rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots to lead the Lakers, and Metta World Peace (the artist formerly known as Ron Artest) chipped in 15 points in his return from a seven-game suspension for elbowing Oklahoma City’s James Harden.

Steve Blake scored a playoff career-high 19 points and Kobe Bryant finished with 17 points and eight assists.

Los Angeles was able to narrowly avoid becoming the ninth team in NBA history to blow a 3-1 series  lead after giving up a 16-point lead in the second half, before escaping with the win.

Andrew Bynum had 16 points, a career playoff-high 18 rebounds and six blocked shots for Los Angeles, which opens the second round Monday night in Oklahoma City against the second-seeded Thunder.

Ty Lawson and Al Harrington scored 24 points apiece for the sixth-seeded Nuggets, who committed 19 turnovers and managed just 7-of-27 shooting in the fourth quarter. Arron Afflalo was the team’s third leading scorer with 15 points.

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