With six seconds left in the game, and the Jazz up by just one point, Kobe Bryant had the ball…and it slipped from his hands. It was, in its very essence, the most appropriate ending to a game wrought with sheer carelessness and foolery. They lost to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday in much the same way they did tonight; with an excellent game by Andrew Bynum, but a so-very-so game from everybody else.
Aside from Utah’s Gordon Hayward, who scored a career high 22 points on 9-14 because the Lakers (ahem, Kobe Bryant and everyone else guarding the paint not named Andrew Bynum) barely paid him any mind. Bynum was the only Laker dialed in today – the Most Thought-filled player in a yellow uniform. Regardless of his 5-13 from the field for his 12 points, he had a career-high 23 rebounds, not to mention four blocks. He also played a team-high 38:40 minutes, but even despite the extended playing time, had the most energy on the team. If that knee bothered him on Sunday, he showed no signs of ill-effects tonight. The man had his arms outstretched, hands wide open and feet bounce-ready to grab every imaginable rebound available. Unfortunately, there was little help on the boards from the rest of the team.