Kobe Bryant Los An 149299a
The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets in game one of the Western Conference Finals, 105-103.

"Once I sensed we didn't have the energy, I had to take it upon myself to lead by example," Bryant said. "It's just part of my responsibilities to this team."

Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant finished with 40 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.

"He was the scoring opportunity for us," Lakers' coach Phil Jackson said. "We had very little else going on. He muscled his way through."

Jackson believes energy was the key to their victory against the Nuggets.

"We won that game on energy and gutting it out," Jackson said. "They outmuscled us and put pressure on the passers. We talked about getting the game close enough to win it at the end. We got a couple stops that helped us."

Lakers forward, Pau Gasol, had 13 points with 14 rebounds. He played 42 minutes and went 5-9 from the field. Guard Derek Fisher also scored 13 points, but finished with 6 assists.

Despite the Nuggets' losing effort, forward Carmelo Anthony led with 39 points. He added 6 rebounds and 4 assists. "Any great player would love that moment, get the ball in their hands every time down the court and make something happen," Anthony said.

Nuggets' head coach, George Karl was speechless after the game. "They have the best closer in the sport and we didn’t do enough," Karl said.

Nuggets' forward Kenyon Martin finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Chauncey Billups had 18 points and eight assists. Quotes from Yahoo Sports

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