The Los Angeles Lakers escaped with a one-point win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night and veteran center Brook Lopez looked like his old self. Lopez led the Lakers with 27 points and the vast majority of his work came in the paint as opposed to launching 3-pointers.
“He did a really nice job tonight of establishing the block for us and getting down there and scoring in the paint,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said. “It was something we went into the game as part of the gameplan with him.
“We felt like he had an advantage on the block down there. Give him a lot of credit for sticking with it all game long and continuing to bail us out.”
Lopez did indeed bail the Lakers out, drawing a foul and knocking down the game-winning free throws with 0.6 seconds left, not that he was ever worried about missing. “I knew I was going to hit them. Just had to be confident,” he said.
Nonetheless, the story was Lopez’s work from within as he made 11 of 14 shots inside the arc. “I have to do a better job of getting an inside-out rhythm,” Lopez added after the game.
Walton noted that anytime Lopez is the first big down the floor they want him on the block. However with Julius Randle usually also on the floor, along with Lopez’s superior outside shooting, he often ends up outside.
“I have to do a better job of getting an inside-out rhythm,” Lopez said. “I’ve been trying to do a better job of running that first big spot and getting good seals in the post early.”
Of course, it had to be mentioned to Brook that he failed to grab a rebound, but Lopez took it all in stride. “It’s a fun fact. I have to be better. I always have to be better, regardless of what happens. Win or lose,” he said.
WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERSNATION FORUM CLUB