Lakers are back to the NBA Finals

The Los Angeles Lakers has a return trip to the NBA Finals to the tune on 119 - 92 thumping of the Denver Nuggets. Kobe Bryant played as himself and scored 35 points in 60 percent shooting, dished out 10 assist and grabbing 6 rebounds with only 1 turn over. His three-pointer right in the face of J.R. Smith mid fourth quarter gave the Lakers a 101-82 lead and forced Denver Coach George Karl to call a timeout.

The Lakers shot 57.3 percent from the field to avoid having to play a Game 7 in the Western Conference finals back at the Staples Center.

They will finally get some much-needed rest after playing every other day for a grueling two weeks.

These Lakers, who are headed to their record 30th NBA finals and are seeking their 15th title, are a more grizzled group—but also more bruised and battered — than the one that fell to Boston in the finals last year.

“Now we’re in a place where we didn’t get the job accomplished last year,” Bryant said. “Hopefully we will this time.”

The Lakers have been here before, a chance to close out an opponent in a Game 6, the opportunity to get more rest and advance.

But the Lakers failed the last time, when they could have eliminated the Houston Rockets in the sixth game of the Western Conference semifinals but lost by 15 points.

"It's the most fun because it's the most challenging, especially with the team that we're playing and the environment that we're playing in," Kobe Bryant said about playing in a Game 6. "It's going to be a very, very tough game."

The Lakers lost Game 4 here by 19 points, their most lopsided defeat in the playoffs. The Lakers talked after shoot-around today about matching Denver's energy tonight.

Lakers learned their lesson the last series against Houston and made sure they will get Game 6 and close out the series right after the opening tip. This time its their turn to wait for their opponent while the Cleveland Cavaliers whose 8-0 on the last 2previous series was 1-3 against Orlando before stealing Game 5.

Lakers will have 5 days rest no matter what happened to Cleveland - Orlando Eastern Conference Finals.