Despite being short handing again tonight, the Lakers begin their three game home stand with a win in dominating fashion.
For the first time in a couple games, they came out with great energy; it was essentially what kept them in the game in the first half.
They got most of the hustle plays killing the Grizzles on the glass and in the paint. Unfortunately, it was their dismal shooting (38% as a team), heavy reliance on Kobe, and the mental lapses on defense that allowed the Grizzles head into halftime with a two point lead.
The Lakers apparently got the memo during halftime because they began the 3rd quarter making 7 straight points. As a whole, they played better. They weren’t quite depending on Kobe for everything, and after a quiet first half, it was our bench players who came in and made what I think was the biggest impact in the game. Josh Powell especially.
I think the most impressing thing from tonight was our team play. At first glance you would think it was Kobe being selfish going one on one all night just to put up 40+ points, but as a whole we shared the ball nicely, racking up 35 assists tonight.
A special Congratulations goes out to Kobe Bryant for being the youngest to reach 24,000 points in NBA history; in the process he also passed opponent Allen Iverson for 16th place all time scoring list, as well as hitting the 40 point mark for the 99th time in his career. Congrats, Mamba!
Player of the Game: Someone please get O.J. Mayo a free massage; the boy got schooled tonight. Kobe put in work for 41 points on well over 60% shooting and only 4 free throw attempts. He added 4 rebounds, an assist, and a steal. That’s getting it done.
Play of the Game: Kobe had an assortment of dunks tonight, but I decided to go with his fall away over Marc Gasol late in the 3rd quarter. Kobe being Kobe.
What’s Up Next: Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets roll into town Sunday evening. The Hornets are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Raptors. I expect this to be their ‘bounce-back’ game; the Lakers need to not take them lightly.