LAKERS 96, NUGGETS 87: Pau Gasol had 23 points and 17 rebounds and Steve Blake came off the bench to score a playoff career-high 19 points to lift host Los Angeles to its Game 7 victory over Denver.
Kobe Bryant had a relatively quiet 17 points, Andrew Bynum added 16 points and 18 boards and Metta World Peace had 15 points as the Lakers advanced to a Western Conference semifinal matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Game 1 will be played Monday night at Oklahoma City.
Ty Lawson and Al Harrington scored 24 points apiece for the Nuggets, who were denied in their bid to become the ninth team in NBA history to win a series after trailing 3-1.
The Lakers finally got their inside-outside game in gear, only it was Gasol and Blake - not Bynum and Bryant - that led the charge after Los Angeles blew a 16-point third-quarter lead.
Blake, who hit 5 of 6 3-point attempts, drilled a pair of shots from behind the arc and Gasol had six points in a 16-5 burst as the Lakers surged ahead 85-78 after Denver had built its biggest advantage at 73-69 in the opening minutes of the fourth.
Los Angeles hit 11 of 24 3-points while the Nuggets were only 7 of 26 from long range.
World Peace, playing for the first time after serving a seven-game suspension, buried a pair of 3-pointers in a 12-2 run as Los Angeles stretched the lead to 62-46 in the opening five minutes of the third quarter.
Lawson ignited a huge comeback by the Nuggets, scoring 13 points in a 22-7 closing run to whittle the deficit to 69-68 entering the final 12 minutes.
Gasol had 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Blake added 11 points by halftime. Lawson led Denver with 11.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Los Angeles improved to 43-1 when taking a 2-0 series lead. It was the Lakers' 16th victory in a Game 7, second only to the Boston Celtics (20). The last time the Lakers lost a Game 7 at home was to the Celtics in the 1969 NBA Finals. ... The Nuggets, playing in a Game 7 for the first time since 1994, lost in the first round of the playoffs for the eighth time in the last nine postseason trips. ... Gasol, who scored a season-low three points on 1-of-10 shooting in Game 6, had 11 offensive boards and six assists. ... Los Angeles issued a statement Saturday saying they are fully committed to head coach Mike Brown. ESPN analyst Magic Johnson, a vice president with the Lakers, predicted Brown would be fired if the Lakers lost Game 7. The team said Johnson's words don't reflect the "position of team ownership or management."