Friday was the holiday called Star Wars Day ("May the Fourth be with you"), so it was fitting that Denver's own Skywalker stole the show. In the biggest game of the season, reserve center JaVale McGee tallied 16 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks as the Nuggets won Game 3 against the Lakers, 99-84, before a rowdy crowd at the Pepsi Center.

It was the epitome of a breakout performance - considering that in the first two games, both won by Los Angeles - the playoff newbie McGee scored seven total points.

"I think the intensity and guts of JaVale he was working underneath the defense - always helping uphill and pounding the penetration," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "He and Kenneth Faried were really, really great. Faried has tremendous heart."

The rookie power forward, who played down the stretch alongside McGee in the low post, finished with 12 points and 15 boards, including six offensive.

And so, we've got a series. Game 4 is Sunday at the Pepsi Center.

Basically since the final buzzer of Game 2, Karl and the Nuggets talked and talked about changing their first-quarter approach.

"You got to be ready," Karl said Friday morning. "You got to be the guy to create the fight, start the fight."