The Lakers rebounded from consecutive losses to lowly Charlotte and Memphis by defeating the Wizards 126-120 in an overtime thriller. After trailing 120-117, Derek Fisher nailed a clutch two from just inside the arc to bring the Lakers to within one of Washington. After two free throws by Kobe reclaimed the lead 121-120, the purple and gold never looked back.
“I thought that a lot of players contributed tonight to the victory,” said Jackson. “Radmanovic (18 points) and Sasha (20 points) in the first half with the three point shooting obviously was pretty traumatic. D.J. (6 points, 3 rebounds) gave us a good game off the bench at center. Luke played a terrific game tonight.”
Despite the win, the Lakers continued their disturbing trend of allowing big quarters to inferior teams, giving up 39 in the third to Washington.
“They played with fury there in the third quarter,” said Jackson. “Again, we gave up over 35 points which is a lot…39 in that third quarter. Stevenson with five threes was a pretty remarkable performance.” Jackson also praised the 27 point performance of Wizards guard Nick Young.
Bryant had 26 points, but was quiet for much of the game, with Jackson acknowledging that Kobe did a great job getting his teammates going early before taking a more assertive role on offense in the second half.
Although there was certainly tension heading into tonight’s game, Jackson said that the team was still able to enjoy tonight’s victory. “I think this was a fun game, actually…big plays, they made a lot of them…”
Jackson also revealed that he believes the Lakers will need to finish with seven more victories to finish with 57 to have a chance at regaining the the top seed in the Western Conference.