by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack

Okay, so I didn’t get a Lakers victory, but I did get a good game. A frustrating game for Kobe, but a great game that was close down the stretch. Now we’ve got our WCF tied at 1-1 and the Cavs looking to tie things up tonight.

I wasn’t expecting it to be easy for the Lakers, not with the way Denver has been rolling and certainly not with the way that the Lakers have played in the Playoffs so far this season, but man, Denver looks good. An Ariza steal and some key Kobe free throws away from going back to Denver up 2-0. It really was that close. Of course, we could say the same for LA, but really, they are supposed to be the team up 2-0.

Liked hearing Kobe say they owe them one in Denver and that this is why they are the best road team in the NBA. It’s certainly not going to be an easy task in Denver where the crowd has been waiting since 1985 (the year I was BORN!), for a conference finals series. That’s pretty crazy.

Loved seeing Ariza score 20 points on 6-7 shooting. Didn’t love seeing Melo score 34 points to go with 9 rebounds. Actually, I can’t hate and say I didn’t enjoy seeing Melo play so well. He’s not a Laker, but it’s fun seeing the pieces fall into place and marveling at just how effortless Melo is making it look right now on the offensive end of the court.

Also didn’t love Nene poking the ball away from Kobe in the final seconds to force a jump ball. Sloppy handle last night for Mr. Bryant.

Watching the battle between he and Kobe is a gift, as well. The defense Melo was playing on Kobe in the fourth couldn’t get much tighter and then Kobe rises and drains a three. That was perfection. Honestly, Melo was tapping Kobe on the forehead, grazing his face with his hand. Kobe doesn’t even blink, just sees the basket and then the bail sailing through.

Melo and his team was just a little closer to perfection for the full 48 minutes, though.

Nice seeing JR step in for the charge and 4th foul on Kobe in the fourth. Great sign for Denver to have Linas Kleiza come in and score 16 points in his 21 minutes.

Not nice to see Derek Fisher go back into his shooting slump after appearing to shake himself free of it in Game 1. Fish was just 1-9 in the game. Maybe we need more Shannon Brown, who seemed to provide a boost in his 16 minutes of burn.

I really don’t think we can say enough about the addition of Billups to this Denver team. Everyone just seems to believe more, want it more and be willing to do more to make it happen. Game 3 in Denver, who’ve you got?

Now we get to go back to Cleveland tonight where I’m expecting a big game from LeBron. It’s pretty ridiculous that after a 49-point performance in Game 1, I’m actually thinking he’s going to have an even bigger game tonight. Just shows how ridiculously crazy good he is. I’d like to see a big night from Delonte West for the Cavs. I’d also like to see a big night from Mickael Pietrus.

A friend was teasing me yesterday about my love for the guys who aren’t stars. What can I say, I love the underdog and I love a good story. While it’s amazing to see the superstars continue to add to their legacies, is there anything better than watching someone beat the odds and shock the world? I don’t think so.

Okay, I’m going with Orlando again tonight. Yikes! I know, I can’t help but root for SVG and his craziness.

And just a thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday. Very much appreciated, I definitely felt the love.