Lakers Return Home To Staples Center, Beat Suns In Close Game
Well, the Lakers ended their Grammy road trip with a 4-3 record, ending their trip with a loss to Miami on Sunday. It was a winning record but one Laker didn’t think it was successful. Nevertheless, life moved on as they played in the comforts of Staples Center on Tuesday night.
On Tuesday night, they played the Phoenix Suns. The Suns upset the Lakers in the first game of the Grammy road trip. Did the Lakers get revenge on the Suns? Did the Lakers lay another egg? Let’s check out the recap!
Dwight Howard started the game with… wait. What? No headband?
Dwight Howard ditched the stupid headband tonight and immediately made his first 2 shots against Phoenix. This is clearly no coincidence.
— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) February 13, 2013
Steve Nash looked to get everyone involved as he had three early assists in the first six minutes of the game. Kobe finally got involved with this first dime as he gave Metta World Peace the ball at the corner for a three-pointer. Metta followed it up with a fastbreak lay-up (yeah, I know) to boost the Laker lead to 16-11.
In fact, Metta would go on a personal 9-0 run against the Suns. Then a nice no-look bounce pass by Kobe to Dwight made it into an 11-0 run. Michael Beasley finally stopped an overall 12-0 Laker run.
Then Kobe started going into “Magic Mamba” mode. He drew the double teams and read the defense very well as he passed it off to open teammates wherever he could find them. In the end of the first quarter, Kobe had six assists. The momentum was temporarily stopped when P.J. Tucker made a three-pointer at the buzzer.
The Lakers led the Suns at the end of one, 30-22.
Earl Clark started the Lakers scoring with a three-pointer. And early in the second quarter, Steve Blake made a fantastic save.
Steve Blake totally selling out to save that ball. Into the $1500 folding chairs. Great hustle.
— Emile A (@hardwoodhype) February 13, 2013
However, a Shannon Brown dunk cut the lead down to three points. But a quick 5-0 run that included an alley-oop (that was actually botched but it went in) and a Steve Blake three. It would become a quick 6-0 run after Jermaine O’Neal technical foul.
Earl Clark continued to show his confidence with the perimeter jumper. And as the half came to a close, Kobe Bryant started to overpass. Maybe even he knew he hadn’t shot the ball yet. Nevertheless, the overpassing wasn’t much of a problem as Antawn Jamison continued to score. Jamison ended the half with a dunk. Like a real dunk. Not dunking a cookie into a glass of milk but a dunk in a basketball game.
At the end of the half, the Lakers led, 56-47. Kobe Bryant had eight assists and no field goal attempts. Jamison led the team in scoring with 14 points.
The Lakers started out the half with a Dwight lay-up and a nice Steve Nash bank shot. In the next few moments, the Lakers started playing sloppily; some of it is due to overpassing.
A bit later, Kobe finally attempted his first shot. It was a missed three.
Okay. Stop Shooting Kobe.
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) February 13, 2013
A couple of Jared Dudley lay-ups would cut the Laker lead down to six points. And then after a Laker timeout, P.J. Tucker scored on another fastbreak lay-up (plus the foul).
It got even uglier for the Lakers. They missed their last 14 shots in the third quarter and were run over by an 18-2 Suns run in nearly the last nine minutes of the period.
The Suns ended up with the lead after three, 71-65. Kobe still hadn’t made a field goal at that point. The Lakers only scored nine points in that period.
Jodie Meeks stopped the drought quickly with a three-pointer. Then the energy of Metta World Peace from both ends helped tie the game at 73. This seemed to be the right prediction at the time.
There is only one possible outcome here. Kobe suddenly catches fire late in the 4th, hits everything in sight and the Lakers lose.
— David Murphy (@davem234) February 13, 2013
A wild sequence led to a Jodie Meeks putback and a Laker lead, 75-73. After the Suns tied it, Steve Blake made a turnaround jumper to put the Lakers back on front. Kobe and Nash would go back into the game.
Kobe continued to be sloppy with the ball but Antawn was able to save him again with a putback to put the Lakers up, 81-75.
— Nicky Zee (@Nicky_Zee) February 13, 2013
Nash and Howard then ran a perfect pick and roll play.
Kobe Bryant finally made a field goal with about two minutes left in the game. Luis Scola made a putback to put the Suns within six. But P.J. Tucker misses the ensuing three-pointer. Nash puts it away with a teardrop.
Lakers win the game and get their revenge against the Suns, 91-85. They pull to within half a game of Portland, who is the ninth seed in the West.
POINTS: Antawn Jamison and Dwight Howard, 19
REBOUNDS: Dwight Howard, 18
ASSISTS: Kobe Bryant, 9
BLOCKS: Dwight Howard, 2
STEALS: Metta World Peace, 4