Kobe Bryant didn’t make a move to the other side of the court. He merely toss an underhanded pass to Lamar Odom who was already halfway to the Laker basket – dunk.
Odom grabbed a rebound, threw a cross-court pass to Steve Blake, who passed it to a running Shannon Brown – layup.
A few minutes later, Luke Walton grabbed a defensive rebound, sent a long pass to Derek Fisher, who shovel-passed it to Pau Gasol, just flying in through the paint for a drop-in two.
In the third quarter, with the Lakers still holding a 31-point lead, Blake threw a long cross-court pass to Odom, standing under the Laker hoop, and in a split second, Odom touch passed the ball to an approaching Gasol who dunked it in.
All fast break points, all assisted, all high-percentage shot attempts. It’s no wonder the Lakers shot 66% in the first half and 56% for the game. They had a total of 29 fast break points, to the Warriors’ six, and they assisted on 32 of 44 made field goals, twice as many as Golden State.
And their defense? It flowed almost as smoothly as their offense and against prolific scorers like Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, this was quite an accomplishment. The Lakers forced the Warriors into a mere 36% shooting in the first half and kept them there, with 35% shooting for the game. They had 10 steals (as did Golden State), 11 blocked shots, and 32 of their 46 rebounds were on the defensive end.
At halftime, Golden State’s leading scorer was young Curry who had only nine points and he finished with an uncharacteristic 13 points on just 5-10. Ellis, who left the game for good at the start of the third quarter due to an injury to his hip, scored just five points on 2-10 from the field.
It couldn’t get any more perfect for the Lakers, but it did for one Pau Gasol. Gasol is 11th in the league in field goal percentage at 54%, but tonight he went 10-10 for a pristine 100%. With 8-8 from the charity stripe, he finished with 28 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four blocks. It was another all-around efficient night for the league-leading double-double man, and there was nothing that the Warriors could offer to even attempt to hinder him. Modest as can be, when asked about his perfect night after the game, Gasol credited his teammates for all their assists.
The Lakers bench had another productive night with 44 points, 19 rebounds and 11 assists. Shannon Brown led the reserves with 17 points on 7-10 and Steve Blake led all assists with six. Rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter played a good amount of minutes on the floor and they made good use of them, getting themselves accustomed to helping execute the offense and playing defense. If there’s any additional good to be had from blowout wins, it’s the opportunity for the regulars to rest and for the other players, especially the first years, to get some floor time.
It was another game that the Lakers were expected to win, and though the opponent didn’t provide much of a contest, it can’t be stressed enough that the Lakers still played to win. Despite leading by 28 points at the half, the home team remained focus, leading in the second half by as much as 35 points and refusing to give the Warriors even the slightest notion that they could recover. The Lakers have gained a narrow-minded focus from their recent road trip and they look poised to maintain that attitude for as long as they need to. Great news for Lakers’ supporters; not so great for the rest of the league.
Pre-game Thoughts: Home sweet home and it’s another game versus a relatively “weaker” opponent. Hopefully the Lakers continue their romping ways.
Half-time Thoughts: 41-69 – Pau Gasol’s already got 20 points and the Lakers are shooting 66%!!!
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: Sasha Vujacic – There’s a reason Phil Jackson doesn’t put him in the game when it counts – his agenda is different from that of the team’s. In 7:44 minutes of play, he didn’t run one play. He got his one three-pointer and that was his greatest contribution. Even rookies, Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter play within the system!
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Pau Gasol! Another perfect night for a Laker! Gasol went 10-10 from the field and 8-8 from the free throw line to get his 28 points. Nothing he does should surprise anyone, but he’s just so talented and skilled, one can’t help but be in awe.