It took most of the first half for the Lakers to get rolling, but once they did, their was no stopping them en route to a 130-105 manhandling of the lowly Seattle Sonics. The Lakers’ lead at halftime was only eight, but they came out in the second half and scored 68 points, outscoring Seattle by 17.
“I was concerned that we might have been too flippant in the first half,” said Coach Jackson. “We worked our way through it in the third and got a little extension and were able to come out there and open the game up…” Jackson also praised the way the Lakers came out in the first quarter full of energy despite playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
A total of eight Lakers reached double figures in one of the team’s most balanced scoring nights of the season, highlighted by 23 points from Kobe Bryant. Luke Walton was second in scoring for the Lakers, knocking in 17 points in one of his best offensive nights of the season. In all, every Laker that entered the game scored, including newcomer Ira Newble who got almost four minutes of playing time in his first appearance in the purple and gold.
The blowout victory also enabled the Lakers to rest their starters heading into a difficult home-and-home against the Warriors beginning Sunday night.
“What I was concerned about was that, Seattle has such a good up tempo game that, you know, we might fade,” said Jackson. “But with the lead that they extended in the first quarter, I was able to rest guys and play them in rotation minutes.”