After a 103-98 victory in Sacramento, Mike D’Antoni was very pleased with the overall effort tonight. The Lakers, playing their fourth road game in six nights, started slow in Sacramento, but played great defense for the final three quarters.
They allowed 37 points to the Kings in the first quarter, the Lakers held the Kings to 61 points in the final three quarters. The Lakers committed a season low seven turnovers and were able to convert after defensive stops. After the game on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Mike D’Antoni was very pleased with how the defense led to an improved offense:
“The first quarter, give them credit. We did an unbelievable job defensively for three quarters”.
Without Steve Nash, the Lakers ran their offense through Kobe and he dished out 15 assists, while only having one turnover. The Lakers great defense led to open shots and if they weren’t knocking down the shots, Dwight Howard’s activity on the offensive glass kept possessions alive. D’Antoni praised the chemistry the team built tonight:
“We didnt turn the ball over, we were making easier plays. Offense and defense are tied together and we finally got an offense going. Guys were making easy plays and trusting each other. Pau was unbelievable from the high post feeding guys down low”.
Pau dished out 10 assists, with several alley-oops to Howard down low or to cutters in the lane. Without Nash, Bryant took the role of facilitator and handed out 14 assists on the night he passed Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list.
With Utah’s victory over Brooklyn tonight, the Lakers remain tied for the eighth spot in the West. Hopefully they have found the chemistry between Gasol, Howard, and Bryant and can carry it onto their matchup against Dallas. With eight games left in the season, the Lakers need to play with the defensive urgency and chemistry they played with tonight.
In case you missed it, be sure to check out Kobe in our dunk of the week!
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