Remember when the Lakers beat the Clippers by 29 points?
Neither do I. Neither do a lot of people.
The team that got run over by the Indiana Pacers tonight in Game number 57, looks nothing like the team that played in that first game of the season. Absolutely, positively no resemblance whatsoever.
Tonight’s game played out like any other Laker game this year – give up 30 points in the first quarter, play a great second quarter to catch up, and then turn into a raging hot mess in the second half. The Lakers have been losing like clockwork, and tonight was no exception – 118-98, Pacers.
Kent Bazemore – In his third game in the purple and gold, Bazemore had a solid night. He led the game with 23 points on 8-19 from the field, adding in four rebounds, three assists and three steals. His offense came through in various ways, from jumpers to layups, a dunk here, and a three pointer there.
Kendall Marshall – 0 points on 0-3 from the field, four assists and four turnovers.
Not Enough – Five Lakers scored in double figures, but only Bazemore broke the 20+ points mark. Wes Johnson’s 15, Pau Gasol and Jodie Meek’s 13 apiece and Marshon Brooks’ 11 were no match against the seven Pacers who scored 10 points or more and the two who scored nine points each.
Rebounds – Offense aside, the Lakers were blown out of the water (yet again) on the glass. Indiana grabbed 20 more rebounds than their visitors, including a 21-10 advantage on the offensive boards. They outscored the Lakers 21-10 in second chance points.
Runaway Train – The Pacers led by as much as 12 points in the first quarter, but a steal by Jordan Farmar in the second quarter fueled a run that got the lead down to a single point, and just three points going into halftime. It was 57-54 after the break, but by the time the end of the third quarter, the lead was up to 21. The Pacers shot 58% in the third, while the Lakers could only muster up 6-18 from the field. They were outscored 34-16. It just got progressively worse in the final 12 minutes, where Indiana’s lead ballooned to 33 points. Despite the Lakers shooting a slightly better percentage in the fourth, and winning the quarter by one, too much damage had already been done. Too little, too late – that’s one of the many depressing themes for the Lakers this season.
It was a near-impossible task, to say the least, to go into Bankers Life Fieldhouse and even think of pulling out a win against a 43-13 team. In their last meeting just a few weeks ago, the Lakers actually challenged Indiana at Staples, only to fall short towards the end. Tonight, however, on the road, the gap between the two teams widened even further, and there’s no telling when/if the Lakers will ever bridge that abysmal divide.