The Lakers shellacked the Clippers 119-82, outscoring them by 29 points in the second half to bust open what was only an eight point halftime lead. Seven Lakers scored in double figures, led by Derek Fisher’s 17 (7-11 shooting) after struggling to find his shot for parts of the past two weeks. As a team, the Lakers held the Clippers to an abysmal 38% shooting from the floor while outrebounding them by a healthy 10 boards.
“Every body getting the chance to play kind of gives the team a good feel about playing basketball,” said Jackson.
Kobe Bryant added 16 points and Lamar Odom continued his outstanding overall play, scoring 15 points to go along with eight rebounds and four steals. In his return to the starting lineup, Vladimir Radmanovic chipped in 10 points, including two three point makes.
“It felt good to get back on track,” said Bryant. “During the season you’ll have games like we’ve had in the past, particularly when you don’t have that many practices, you can’t get that rhythm that you are used to playing with. It kind of deteriorates some what so we got a good practice under our belt, came out and executed well.”
Although all five starters scored in double figures, the Lakers’ bench also played a key role in igniting the team’s second half run. Ronny Turiaf in particular energized the team on both ends of the floor in his 21 minutes of playing time, scoring 13 points and emphatically blocking five Clippers’ shots.
Jordan Farmar also continued his strong play, reaching double figures with 10 points in only 18 minutes on the floor. Seldom used reserves DJ Mbenga and Coby Karl had six points a piece for the Lakers on a night in which all 11 players that dressed scored.
With the Lakers’ second victory over their crosstown rivals in the past few weeks, Coach Jackson said that wins are important this time of year regardless of who they come against.
“Every game becomes critical at this point of the year,” Jackson said. “And wins, it doesn’t matter who you beat, it’s just you have to get wins.”
Bryant echoed Jackson’s statement, revealing “We just want to be number one to be number one. I mean, it’s that simple. You got to win games on the road so home court is not that big a deal. I think that for us it’s about being number one, it’s about winning everything and that’s the kind of mentality we have to have.”