The opponent on Friday night? The 3-16 Washington Wizards. Normally, we would say that these Wizards would be the cure to the Lakers’ ills. But the Lakers lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were 4-17 at the time. So no games are a given these days for the Lakers. What’s more? Those same hapless Wizards beat the Lakers in their only match-up last year when the Lakers were supposed to run over them.
Once again, Pau Gasol was not suited up for the seventh consecutive game. Jordan Hill was also out due to back spasms. But instead of Antawn Jamison starting, it was Devin Ebanks that started due to the good game he had against New York. Did the Lakers snap their four-game losing skid? Let’s check out the recap.
The Wizards showed early why they were 3-16. They quickly turned the ball over four times and the Lakers took advantage by going on a 10-0 run.
Do I drink or stay sober for this rare occurrence of LA winning and communicating and scoring?
— Senator Mugen (@FastTimesAtRF) December 15, 2012
L.A. also had some pretty good ball movement, which was absent in previous games.
But once again, the Lakers started turning the ball over and the Wizards got some easy baskets. They were nearly able to catch the Lakers at the end of the first quarter.
The Lakers clung to a two-point lead, 27-25, after one.
The Lakers couldn’t stop Cartier Martin, of all people. Washington went on a 20-6 run that carried over from the first quarter as we’re all wondering once again what was wrong with these Lakers.
Mike brown , phil jackson, Andrew Bynum and the rest of america laughing just laughing at the @lakers and the fans.
— Savvy Salvi (@IluvLALakers24) December 15, 2012
Cartier Martin scored 15 quick points in six minutes of playing time. The Lakers were suddenly down nine points.
The Lakers are losing to Cartier Martin.
— Noam Schiller (@noamschiller) December 15, 2012
While the Wizards were still turning the ball over, the Lakers were as well. The undermanned Lakers (and it did not help that Dwight Howard got his third foul) were able to cut into the lead with baskets from unlikely sources: Devin Ebanks and Robert Sacre.
Then the Wizards got sloppy. Jodie Meeks then got on fire and scored eight straight points in about a minute. He carried the Lakers into a tie with The Wizards at 49-all. Yeah, I know. I can’t believe I typed that.
Metta World Peace then carried the scoring load at the end of the half as he scored seven of the last nine Laker points. So after a wild 24 minutes, the Lakers somehow end up in the lead, 58-55. Jodie Meeks led the Lakers with 14 points. And it was encouraging to see the young guys like Darius Morris (five points) and Sacre (four points) play well.
Martell Webster tied the game immediately at 58 but the Lakers ran off ten straight points.
Lakers are hot to start the 3rd quarter!!!!!
— ℓкяgιяℓ (@LKRGIRL) December 15, 2012
At first, the Lakers couldn’t run away from the Wizards. Washington ended up making three straight field goals after some sloppy Laker possessions to cut the lead down to four. But the Lakers cut the momentum down with a Dwight basket after a behind-the-back pass from Kobe. That led to a 10-0 run from the Lakers and a 78-64 lead.
The Wizards tried to make a run but Jodie Meeks returned and immediately scored two huge baskets. At the end of three, the Lakers comfortably led, 83-69. But was it comfortable enough?
Jodie Meeks continued his offensive onslaught in the fourth quarter, scoring on a jumper and a three-pointer.
Jodie Meeks is takin over this game….
—JuJu Coop (@CoolCoop24) December 15, 2012
Then the Wizards scored nine straight points, punctuated by a fantastic alley-oop to Martell Webster. This really was a game of runs. Kobe temporarily stopped the run with a short one-handed shot. But the Wizards wouldn’t quit and were able to get the lead down to three points. The lead was officially uncomfortable.
A key play later on was Kobe getting fouled on a three-point attempt. Kobe made all three foul shots and that pushed the lead to eight. By then, the cushion was too much for the Wizards.
The Lakers beat the Wizards, 102-96. They snap their four-game losing streak.
POINTS: Kobe Bryant, 30.
REBOUNDS: Dwight Howard, 11.
ASSISTS: Kobe Bryant, 7.
BLOCKS: Dwight Howard, 4.
STEALS: Jodie Meeks and Metta World Peace, 3.