More physical effort works on Anthony

Carmelo Anthony was on his way to another game of 30-something points, if not roaring into the 40s, blowing past the Lakers for 14 in the first quarter, when something new and unusual happened.

The Lakers finally stopped him.

Anthony came into Game 3 averaging 36.5 points in the Western Conference finals, but he scored 21 harmless points Saturday as the Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets, 103-97.

He was stalled by foul trouble, undoubtedly, fouling out with 36.5 seconds left, but there was something else that got in his way.


The Lakers “physically beat him up better than they did the first two games,” Nuggets Coach George Karl said. “They were more aware of him . . . more body contact with him.”

The Lakers tried to beat Anthony to his comfort spots. He made only four of 13 shots.

“We got him to shoot tougher shots, forced him into penetrating a little more, didn’t let him get into his usual rhythm,” Pau Gasol said. “We were helping our small forwards that have such a tough task to be able to stay in front of such a big body.”

Anthony looked solid at the start, making three of six shots and seven of eight free throws as the Nuggets held a 28-26 lead after the first quarter.

But he had only four points in the second quarter, was scoreless in the third and had only three points in the fourth quarter, all on free throws.

“A couple jump shots were contested,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. “I did think our identification was better on what picks he was going to be coming off and where he wanted the ball.”

Anthony, however, didn’t want to extend much credit to the Lakers.

“I don’t really think they did anything different tonight,” he said. “I missed some easy shots, open shots. Some of them were tough, some weren’t. It’s not something the Lakers did or anybody did on the team.”

Countersuit filed

Kobe Bryant’s former housekeeper is being sued by Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, for violating a confidentiality agreement by talking to the media about the Bryants’ private affairs, according to a countersuit filed Friday in Orange County Superior Court.

Maria Jimenez initially sued Bryant and his wife in March, claiming she was verbally abused and humiliated while working at the couple’s Newport Coast home.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.