LOS ANGELES Close-out games in the NBA Playoffs despite Andrew Bynum's misguided opinion are not easy to win. But if you look at Lakers' recent playoff performances, you can almost begin to understand where Bynum came up with his proclamation.
Prior to Tuesday night's Game Five loss to Denver, the Lakers had won eight consecutive close-out games. Their last loss in that situation came against Houston in Game Six of their second round series on May 14, 2009. Since that loss to the Rockets a team which had the artist formerly known as Ron Artest on its roster close-out games became a Laker speciality.
Under the now-retired Phil Jackson, they beat Denver in six and Orlando in five to win the 2009 World Championship. In 2010, they made it back-to-back titles knocking off Oklahoma city in six; sweeping Utah then taking a memorable Game 7 at STAPLES Center to win the Finals against arch-rival Boston.
The streak lasted for one series in last year's post-season as they beat Chris Pa...