05/12/2012 10:24 pm ET Updated May 13, 2012

Lakers vs. Nuggets LIVE: Metta World Peace Returns For Game 7 In Los Angeles

The writing seemed to be on the wall after the Los Angeles Lakers edged the Denver Nuggets, 92-88, in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series to take a 3-1 lead. That writing seemed to say that the Lakers were moving on.

Not so fast.

"I don't think it's an impossible challenge," Nuggets coach George Karl said after Game 4. "I think it's a great challenge for this young team."

That "young team" has played exceedingly well with its back to the wall as the Lakers have begun to wilt, with neither Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum doing anything to resemble Wilt. Kobe Bryant didn't keep it a secret that he felt his teammates didn't bring the necessary intensity to the Lakers' loss to the Nuggets in Game 6.

The Nuggets enter this winner-take-all tilt at the Staples Center flush with confidence, having won the past two games in the series. Not merely surviving, the Nuggets have been thriving as of late. Fleet-footed point guard Ty Lawson propelled Denver to a decisive 113-96 win in Game 6.

Can the return of Metta World Peace turn the tide for Los Angeles? Or will Karl's young Nuggets group keep surging into the second round?


05/13/2012 2:01 AM EDT


During his postgame remarks, Nuggets coach George Karl told reporters, "I hate Steve Blake tonight, but I love him as a player." The former Terp had a huge game, hitting the shots usually taken by Kobe during long stretches. Blake finished with 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting.

05/13/2012 1:35 AM EDT

Fast Break Points

Lakers: 11

Nuggets: 18

via ESPN

05/13/2012 1:34 AM EDT

Lakers Team Stats

Shooting: 35-89

3-PT Shooting: 11-24

Free Throws: 15-23

Rebounds: 50

Assists: 22

Turnovers: 11

Blocks: 14

Steals: 10

05/13/2012 1:32 AM EDT

Nuggets Team Stats

Shooting: 35-89

3-PT Shooting: 7-26

Free Throws: 10-14

Rebounds: 54

Assists: 23

Turnovers: 18

Blocks: 9


*via ESPN

05/13/2012 1:28 AM EDT

In Case You Were Wondering

@ LisaHorne :

BREAKING....VANESSA BRYANT was at the game waiting for KOBE in tunnel????????????

05/13/2012 1:27 AM EDT

Up Next For L.A.

@ okcthunder :

We're set! Thunder hosts Lakers in Rd 2, Gm 1 Monday 8:30p CT TNT/Thunder Radio. Thunder Alley @ 5:30. Series sched @

05/13/2012 1:23 AM EDT

Big Night

Pau with a tremendous game tonight, scoring 23 while grabbing 17 rebounds. He also had six dimes. Dominant performance after his terrible Game 6.

05/13/2012 1:22 AM EDT


96-87 and that's all folks!

05/13/2012 1:21 AM EDT

Wizards Style

McGee jumps the line on his FT and it's waved off.

05/13/2012 1:21 AM EDT

Of Course

Bynum with a hard foul on McGee in waning moments. He hits first. Kobe is chatting with TNT broadcast team.