After a decent but unimpressive first half that produced just a two-point lead for Los Angeles, the Lakers absolutely exploded in the second half, outscoring the Nets 33-10 during an eight-minute stretch wrapped around the third quarter break to run away with a 27-point victory.
Pau Gasol was terrific with 26 points and eight boards in 31 minutes, while the Lakers’ bench was again the league’s best – particularly during that second half blast – while producing 56 points from the pine for the contest. That number stands out even more because the Nets managed just 19 points from their Ariza-thin bench.
“Their front line was obviously a problem and their bench was huge – guys like Jordan Farmar, Lamar Odom – their intensity they brought,” said Nets head coach Lawrence Frank. “That second unit, second effort plays really took the game out of reach for us.”
All things considered, Tuesday’s second half was an emphatic answer to questions surrounding the Lakers defensive effort in its last few wins, not only looking good on paper but pushing L.A. to a 12-1 start to the season in a Western Conference in which not one other team has fewer than five losses.
Let’s get to the numbers:
Lakers’ advantage in points in the paint, 52-38, as L.A. repeatedly found Gasol (26 points) and Bynum (15 points) on the block. “Our emphasis was our inside game and they have a lot of young players in the interior area,” said Jackson after the game.
Boards grabbed by the Ariza-Odom-Farmar combo, who also pitched in 41 of L.A.’s 56 bench points. Also the number of fourth quarter points for New Jersey, compared with 30 for L.A.
Percent of shots hit by Kobe Bryant on 5-of-17 shooting. Aside from Bryant, the Lakers shot 55.7 percent. After the game, Bryant seemed the opposite of concerned about his poor shooting night, choosing to focus on a excellent second half performance from his teammates.
Percent of threes (2-of-4) hit by Vladimir Radmanovic, who had been white hot heading into the contest after 5-of-5 and 4-of-5 nights in the previous three games.
Second half points for L.A., in contrast to New Jersey’s 39.
Percent shooting by Pau Gasol on 9-of-12 from the field. Gasol also nailed all eight of his free throw attempts and added eight boards, three dimes and a block to his 26 points.
Season-high points scored by the Lakers.