Inside the locker rooms

DENVER — The Lakers rallied for a victory in Game 3 tonight over the Nuggets, 103-97. Here’s what they were saying after the Lakers took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series:

Lakers coach Phil Jackson: “It was kind of a ragged game in many ways, with inconsistency. Both teams fed into it … but we had the ability to pull it out. Trevor (Ariza) made a big steal down at the end and it changed the complexity of that game.”

Jackson on what the Lakers did differently against Carmelo Anthony (21 points): “I’m not sure. I’m going to have to look at that on tape. He took a couple of jump shots that were contested. He had, I thought, a pretty good first half. The second half, he didn’t play a lot because of foul trouble, but I think our identification was better on what he was going to do, on picks he was going to be coming off, where he wanted the ball, some those those things were much better tonight.”

Kobe Bryant on his fatigue near the end of the game. Was it the altitude? The Nuggets’ rugged defense against him? The wear and tear of a seven-game series against Houston and now this one? “It’s a little bit of everything. I haven’t had a break for three years now, and the team’s been leaning on me, trying to beat me up, and I try to dish it out, too. that makes you tired, too. But you gotta do what you gotta do. And you need support, too, and Pau (Gasol) gave me the support I needed for about three straight plays. I didn’t have anything (in the tank). I just laid on the baseline and tried to rest and Pau made some big shots, and bought me some time.”

Denver guard Chauncey Billups: “It’s very frustrating. Great opportunity we missed out on. We knew it was going to be tough. They (the Lakers) knew the importance of this game as well. you know, they played good. We played hard, but not smart most of the time in the game. I thought our offense was a little too impatient tonight, from everybody, from me all the way on down. … And it hurt us. It hurt us in a lot of different ways.”

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