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Did the Lakers buy their Game 5 win?


Conspiracy theorists are everywhere in the sports world. In fact, you wouldn't believe the amount of calls we get here at The Times from folks who are convinced the NBA is engineering a seven-game series between the Lakers and the Nuggets (of course, the Lakers always win Game 7).

But Lakers fans aren't the ones saying the referees are being paid off. Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla writes that at least one Nuggets player is convinced the Lakers bought their 103-94 victory.

"The Lakers paid $50,000 to win that game. They got their money's worth," said the player, who was not identified in the column.

I had no idea the going rate of a Game 5 Western Conference final was $50,000 (I guess it depends on how much the winning team's coach is fined before the game).

I'm just curious as to how much the Nuggets will pay to win Game 6? Quick, what are Tim Donaghy's visiting hours?

For more on the game, check out our Lakers blog.

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: Denver's J.R. Smith, left, reacts in the final seconds of the Lakers' Game 5 victory on Wednesday as Kobe Bryant looks on. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press

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