Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets: Lakers’ Bench Seals the Deal in Game 4

Heading into the fourth quarter down 71-70 in Sunday's critical Game 4 matchup against the Nuggets, the Los Angeles Lakers turned to their supporting cast for valuable production to notch the victory.

In the final frame with the game down to the wire, who would you think amongst Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Ramon Sessions and Jordan Hill generated the most points to close out the game?

Yup, it was Steve Blake—an obvious choice when the game is on the line. Right?

Blake benefited from great drive-and-dishes and kick-outs from his teammates, knocking down key shots on his way to eight points in the final quarter of play, including the dagger three-point shot that sent the Nuggets down 3-1 in their opening playoff series.

After giving the Lakers a pedestrian effort in the first three games of the series, Steve Blake battled back from a 1-for-5 start on Sunday to nail three huge buckets when the game truly mattered.

Meanwhile, across the bench, the newly-anointed No. 3 big man Jordan Hill kept the energy and hustle alive for the Lakers in the second half, delivering a performance that head coach Mike Brown cited as the difference in the game during Sunday's post-game media session.

Jordan Hill quickly got after Denver's bigs around the basket and countered Denver's activity on the offensive glass. Hill finished with a game-high 11 rebounds (seven offensive boards) and 12 points in 23 minutes of action.

Hill's energy in the third quarter and Blake's contributions in the fourth put this Lakers team over the edge in a game they desperately needed to avoid returning to Staples Center tied at two games a piece.

Now, the Lakers are looking at a potential series-clincher at home on Tuesday to move on and face a waiting Oklahoma City Thunder team in the Western Conference semi-finals.

It's always a bonus when the Lakers' bench can hold steady with another ...

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