Things were coming so easily for the purple and gold in the first half that only one of eight players* seeing at least 10 minutes of action shot worse than 50 percent individually. As a team, L.A. made 27-of-39 shots (69.2 percent), led by Andrew Bynum’s 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting, to score the most points in any half this season and take a 72-47 lead into the tunnel.
*Kobe Bryant, who made 3-of-7 shots while trying to adjust to his injured finger.
Intent upon getting his rotations back in order after Lamar Odom, Sasha Vujacic and Luke Walton had each missed time with minor injuries, Jackson went with his starters for the majority of the third quarter, at one time seeing the lead swell to 36 points.
Did we mention that it wasn’t close?
Bynum finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds in his second consecutive terrific effort (albeit against inferior low-post talent), four Lakers (Odom, Vujacic, Trevor Ariza and Vladimir Radmanovic) scored at least 10 points off the bench, and Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol would play 28 minutes each to power the Lakers to victory No. 34.
With Boston beating Orlando in the first game of TNT’s double-header, the Lakers once again own the league’s best record, which will be put to the test against a Spurs team that beat L.A. in the final seconds on Jan. 14 in San Antonio.
Until then, a few numbers:
Game streak snapped in which Kobe Bryant had at least 10 assists. In 28 minutes, Kobe managed five dimes, but to be fair, were his teammates hitting with more frequency off his looks the 10 may have come anyway.
Field goals attempted by Bynum and Gasol, respectively, to lead a very balanced Lakers attack.
Plus rating for Pau Gasol to lead all players.
Combined rebounds by Andrew Bynum in the last two games, after boarding had been a struggle for the 7-footer of late.
Assists tossed by the Lakers, led by eight from Derek Fisher and five each from Bryant and Odom.