2:41 PMLakers 95, Nets 90: Nov. 20 Running Diary
Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Tuesday evening contest against the Brooklyn Nets, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:
0:00 Kobe Bryant really wanted to deliver a victory in his the first game for his new coach on the sideline, not just being aggressive on offense (hitting his first five shots) but by staying on his teammates. When Pau Gasol didn’t roll to the hoop out of a pick and roll to Bryant’s liking, Kobe lit him up, the Spaniard nodding and going over to pat Bryant on the butt. The lead after one was 29-23, L.A. shooting 60 percent from the field, holding Brooklyn to 45 percent, though four turnovers helped the Nets stay close.
0:00 The third World Peace three of the half allowed L.A. to go into halftime trailing by only a point, MWP’s 14 points trailing only Howard’s 15, highlighted by three dunks after he up-faked Nets defenders. Brooklyn managed to break the first quarter rhythm the Lakers developed in part due to frequent trips to the line, 16 attempts besting L.A. by five, and this a Lakers’ team that leads the NBA in free throw attempts at nearly 30 per evening.
0:00 Back-to-back buckets from Lakers mainstays Bryant and Gasol allowed a 76-73 lead heading into the fourth quarter, a strong defensive finish to the third keeping Brooklyn in check. Howard was huge inside, totaling 18 points and 13 boards with three swats, while Gasol and Bryant had five assists apiece.
0:00 L.A. came up with the key defensive stops down the stretch to hold onto a 95-90 win, the Nets scoring only 17 points in the fourth, just six of those since the Humphries free throw in the final 5:15. And Bryant hit all six of his free throws in the final minute to seal the deal. Howard’s 23-point, 15-board, 4-block performance came despite those 12 misses at the line; Bryant totaled 25 points and five assists; Gasol’s seven dimes led the way, and he added a 17-point, 11-board double-double, while World Peace totaled 17 points and eight boards, with four of the team’s six triples.
The Lakers have little time to rest, as they fly to Sacramento tonight for the second home-road back to back of the season. We’ll see you there.
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