The Lakers crowd was engaged throughout the Sunday afternoon showdown between the Lakers and Thunder. Laker faithful could sense the season hanging in the balance, the team’s need for a signature win, and the effort the Lakers were putting into this game.
Pau: "There's a certain level of compromise and commitment that we all need to accept."
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 28, 2013
The Lakers finally entered their “discomfort zones” to earn the win. Kobe facilitated from the start – earning 14 assists. Nash played off ball for most of the game, and looked to shoot first when he got the rock, punishing the Thunder defense for playing the passing lanes. Pau Gasol accepted his role of the bench, and played big. Dwight Howard committed himself to defense, touches be damned. The Lakers all did the dirty work that they have been reluctant to do in the past, and came away with a signature win.
Haven't heard Lakers fans this loud since before the season opener started. Have plenty to cheer about today
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 27, 2013
In response, the fans were as loud as they have been all year. Despite LakerNation being down on Dwight recently, the fans all cheered for the big man every time he went to the line – supporting him amidst a horrid shooting night from the stripe. The building nearly exploded as the Lakers took control late in the game, and finally ended with a standing ovation at Staples as the clock ran down. This was the best game of the season.
Lakers fans ecstatic. Not just because they're getting free tacos.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 27, 2013
Late in the fourth quarter, an incredible pass from Kobe to Earl Clark for a slam got the fans riled up.
What a play by Kobe and what a JAM by Clark!!! WOW.
— Chris Manning 2K14 (@LD2K) January 27, 2013
On the next possession, Russell Westbrook took to the skies to try to send one home on Pau Gasol. Instead, Russell sent the ball out of bounds, resulting in a turnover. Incensed, Westbrook went after the referee, and drew a T. The fans rejoiced. Everyone was on their feet, ecstatic to see the Lakers up late in a close game, and the Thunder losing their composure. It was wonderful.
WESTBROOK T'D UP!
— Lakerholicz.com (@Lakerholicz) January 27, 2013
Fan of the Night:
The middle aged bald man in a goatee on the jumbotron late in the fourth. Decked out in yellow Laker gear, his epic dance can only be described as a standing up seizure – he went full retard. Staples Center even replayed his dance on the jumbotron. It was fantastic.
Runner Up: This is a tie – the two fans sitting next to each other who brought cut outs of Nash and Kobe’s heads and flailed them around after every big play.
Another fan had a license plate that said Kobe-Wan. ‘Nuff Said.