The headlines in tomorrow’s papers almost read: “Deja Vu all over again” after Caron Butler’s potential game-winning three pointer juuuuust rimmed out Friday night in Washington. With the miss, the Lakers were able to slip out of the nation’s capital at 16-2 with a win after almost blowing another 15-point fourth quarter lead.
Of course, just three days ago, Troy Murphy’s tip-in gave Indiana a buzzer-beating win over L.A. after the Pacers had trailed by 15 points entering the fourth quarter, where as the Wizards entered the final quarter trailing 87-72.
On to Kobe Bryant … Though he did hit one big jumper to put the Lakers up three after the Wiz had come within a single point in the final minutes, Kobe missed his first six shots of the quarter as many of his teammates stood around and watched on offense. Bryant did add a game-high seven assists and seven rebounds. Meanwhile, Caron Butler was scoring with ease, going for 12 points in the fourth before just missing the game winner.
Here’s what Phil Jackson had to say after the game:
And your numbers:
Points in the paint for the Wizards to just 38 from L.A.
Points scored by the Lakers in the fourth quarter, 16 points fewer than they scored in the first period.
Offensive boards ceded to the Wizards, again a too-high number, as has characterized the Lakers’ 2-1 road trip.
Boards each for Andrew Bynum and Pao Gasol, though the Lakers as a team totaled just 38 rebounds to 47 for Washington. Also the number of three pointers made by L.A., led by four from Vladi.
Lakers in double-figures: Fisher (10); Farmar (11); Radmanovic (14); Gasol (17); Bynum (19) and Bryant (23).
Blocks by Bynum after his shot-blocking had slipped in L.A.’s first two games of the trip.