Last night, the Lakers seemed to be in total control of their game against the Houston Rockets last night. And then in the last seven minutes, it all disintegrated. Bad shot selection, Hack-A-Dwight, terrible defense, and bench guys like Toney Douglas and Greg Smith all contributed to the Lakers’ second stunning loss in a row.
But life goes on. The Lakers went on to New Orleans on the tail end of a back-to-back. In another subplot (that’s, at least, positive), Kobe Bryant was 13 points away from 30,000 career points. He would be the fifth player to do it in NBA history. Would he do it in this game? Yes? Or yes?
Let’s recap, shall we?
Kobe seemed aware that he was 13 points way from 30K as he put up a bad jumper immediately. The Lakers settled down and started giving the ball to Dwight Howard inside.
But the Lakers looked awful defensively. Someone made that observation about Kobe.
I would care slightly less about Kobe’s defense if he was running the offense well every possession. Nope.
— Ben Rosales (@brosales12) December 6, 2012
What’s more? The Lakers were absolutely getting manhandled on the boards. The Hornets (Pelicans?) had the big lead on the rebounds, 17-9.
However, Kobe had a steal and a dunk at the end of the first. By that time, he was five away from 30,000 career points. The Hornets lead was cut down to 23-20 after 1.
Watching the second unit of Darius Morris, Jodie Meeks, Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison, and Jordan Hill was a labor to watch. It wasn’t pretty. And they couldn’t stop Ryan Anderson from scoring and getting to the glass.
The Lakers continued to play sloppily but somehow stayed close because Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison made back-to-back threes. And with Robert Sacre recalled to the main roster…
It’s so good to have Sacre back. #itsacelebration
— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) December 6, 2012
Late in the 2nd quarter, Kobe reached the 30K milestone.
30K for the Kobe. The Mamba y’all. Congrats. #Lakers
— Julie Rodriguez (@JLMadridFederer) December 6, 2012
Here’s the video to that milestone.
The Hornets started missing shots (and getting their shots altered by Dwight Howard). Boosted by Kobe Bryant, the Lakers were able to cut the Hornets lead down to 48-47.
L.A. scored the first seven points as the Lakers paid more attention on both ends of the court (also Robin Lopez got hit in the face with the ball). Lakers went on a 27-6 overall run going back to the second quarter and the Hornets didn’t score for more than five minutes in the third.
At least, in the meantime, Laker fans didn’t have to worry about this strategy.
Keep this lead over 10, don’t wanna see the hack a Howard
— tavonte drakeford (@MrDrakeford) December 6, 2012
Kobe must have felt so good that he put on a jam session in New Orleans.
Ryan Anderson tried to keep the Hornets in the game but Kobe’s efficiency and Darius Morris’ three-pointer snuffed any hope for a run.
The Lakers led, 77-64, after a huge 3rd quarter. They outscored the Hornets, 30-16.
The bench didn’t lay an egg at the start of the fourth. In fact, they looked so alive. For the very first time. (No, not really, but it was good to see them lively and boost the lead.) Darius Morris and Jodie Meeks made three-pointers to help out a 10-4 Laker run.
But Laker fans were kind of skeptical.
Don’t let this lead slip away like last night, you crazy Lakers.
— ℓαкεrεℓℓα (@annalilia) December 6, 2012
y can’t yall be more consistent #lakers
— ernest gillis (@Ez684) December 6, 2012
The Lakers took much better care of the ball in the second half. They led as many as 20 points. The Lakers caught the Hornets on the rebounding numbers. It was their best second half since they trashed Denver. Kobe puts the exclamation point with another trey.
Lakers finally get back to their winning ways by beating New Orleans, 103-87.
POINTS: Kobe Bryant, 29
REBOUNDS: Metta World Peace, 9
ASSISTS: Chris Duhon, 10
BLOCKS: Dwight Howard, 5
STEALS: Kobe Bryant and Jodie Meeks, 3