Lakers go 3-1 up on Nuggets, 76ers, Knicks win
(Reuters) - Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake landed clutch three-pointers in the final minute to give the Los Angeles Lakers a nail-biting 92-88 road victory over the Denver Nuggets and a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Sessions landed the go-ahead score that put the Lakers on top 89-86 with 48 seconds left, then reserve Blake made a dagger three-pointer on a pass from Kobe Bryant with 18 seconds remaining to bury the Nuggets.
"I was letting (Kobe) know (I was open) throughout the game, even when I missed one, I said 'I'm going to make the next one,'" Blake told reporters after tallying eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Bryant scored 22 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists to leave the Lakers able to secure a second round spot with a win in Game Five on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Oklahoma City Thunder await the winner of the series.
Denver were coming off a 15-point home triumph over the Lakers in Game Three but they failed to recapture their fast-paced style and allowed the Lakers to slow them.
Danilo Gallinari had a team-high 20 for the Nuggets, who led for much of a tight game, but were shot down in the end.
In the Eastern Conference, Boston and Philadelphia each seized 3-1 series leads while New York avoided being swept by Miami and cut their series deficit to 3-1.
In Boston, Paul Pierce shook off a first-half knee injury to score 24 points while Rajon Rondo sliced up the defense with 20 points and 16 assists as the Celtics blew away Atlanta 101-79. Continued...