After suffering yet another close loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night, the Los Angeles Lakers were back on the floor at Staples Center to face the Indiana Pacers for the final time this season.
The first meeting between the two teams was a lopsided affair that came at the end of a three-game road trip for the Lakers, who fell behind early trailed the Pacers by as many as 39 points in the second quarter of the 110-91 loss.
Prior to Sunday’s game Lakers coach Byron Scott announced Kobe Bryant would not travel with the team to Portland for the second game of a back-to-back. Sunday marked the fourth consecutive game Bryant played in after sitting out three straight to rest.
Continuing the mode as facilitator, Kobe Bryant found Jordan Hill on a pick-and-roll for the Lakers first basket of the game. Bryant then connected on a long jumper and shortly after added a three pointer to extend the Lakers’ lead to 9-2.
C.J. Miles helped provide a spark for the Pacers, who managed to withstand Bryant’s hot start and went on an 18-4 run to take an eight-point lead with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter. The Lakers finished the quarter without a basket in three and a half minutes and trailed 28-15.
A pair of Carlos Boozer free throws put an end to the Lakers’ scoring drought and it was the start of a 6-0 run. Both teams then traded baskets over the next few minutes with the Lakers still trailing by 11 by the time Bryant checked back in midway through the quarter.
Following a Luis Scola travel, Bryant threw a skip pass to Ronnie Price, who connected on a 3-pointer that forced Pacers head coach Frank Vogel to call a timeout. Coming off a turnover by Bryant, Miles made a layup to give the Pacers a 48-38 lead with just under one minute left in the quarter. Nick Young jumped the passing lane on the Pacers’ final possession and beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer that got the Lakers within single digits at 48-31 by halftime.
Continue Reading: Kobe Bryant, Nick Young Lead Lakers’ Comeback