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NBA Play of the Day: Danilo Gallinari Redeems Himself In L.A.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles LakersThe Nuggets have been an up and down team this season. Certainly they have the potential to be very good but, even though some critics have said that they would be a Top 3 team in the West this season, I didn’t buy it in that tough conference. They would make it interesting in the playoffs, though, but the Nuggets aren’t going to fool anyone.

Meanwhile, it’s been a sad state of affairs for the Lakers. Going into the game they were 15-17, which was way below expectations. And this was supposed to be a star-studded championship team. Instead, we have Kobe Bryant playing way too much, Dwight Howard being in cruise control a lot of the time because of his injury, Steve Nash missing a lot of the season, and Pau Gasol seemingly on a full decline and not fitting in the offense. Plus the Lakers have already gone through three coaches. Truly a baffling season by this franchise.

And the Lakers were down once again, this time to the aforementioned Nuggets on a Sunday night. Kobe had just made a three and had cut the lead down to 105-102 with 36 seconds left. Denver had a chance to put the game away but if they didn’t get anything, the Lakers had a chance to send the game to overtime.

Andre Miller was taking on Jodie Meeks one-on-one. Miller killed the clock for a little bit then made his move with seven seconds left in the shot clock. He was able to get inside for a lay-up but Dwight was there for the help defense; Howard blocked the shot. But as luck would have it, the ball went straight to Danilo Gallinari, who was wide open for a corner three. As much as we had made fun of Gallinari in terms of clutch shots, he made this one count. The three-pointer went in and the Nuggets led by six with 13.8 seconds left, virtually putting the game out of reach for the Lakers. As the shot went through the net, you could see Kobe putting his head down and slumping his shoulders. I had never seen Kobe Bryant that sad on the basketball court.

The Nuggets would go on to get the win, 112-105, against the Lakers. The Lakers’ season continues to sink deeper into the abyss. As for Denver? While they’re not the Top 3 West team as some had predicted, they’re a good 20-16 for the season. As for Gallo? That shot was much sweeter for him after what had happened in the past.

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Rey Moralde is a Southern California native who has a passion for basketball, old-school video games, sushi, and terrible pop music.

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