Lakers 96, Hawks 83: Postgame

BenchWhat impressed you the most in L.A.’s 96-83 trouncing of Atlanta on Tuesday night?

Let’s play multiple choice:

A) Pau Gasol’s third career triple-double (in 30 minutes): 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists plus two blocks
B) Lamar Odom’s 15 points, five assists, two steals, two blocks and 20 rebounds, following up consecutive games of 17, 18 and 19 boards
C) USC senior Robert Ward’s banking in a $165,000 half-court shot after the third quarter
D) All of the above

Gotta go with D on that one.

Alas, as the shot was fantastic to see – Ward plans to pay off his college loans with the money – it was a terrific second quarter that ultimately allowed L.A. to cruise to an easy victory with all five starters icing their knees for the majority of the fourth quarter.

In that second quarter, the Lakers held the Hawks to only 12 points, before outscoring the red-clad visitors 40-24 to run away with the victory. Seven of Odom’s 20 boards came on the offensive glass, Gasol collected five of his 10 assists in the first four minutes of the third and Kobe Bryant needed to score only 10 points in 28 minutes as L.A. boosted their league-best record to 43-10.

Some numbers:

Reasons Robert Ward has to be happy.

Rebounds for the Lakers, a season-high.

Offensive rebounds for the Lakers, just two below their franchise best (30).

Points scored in a putrid fourth quarter from L.A.’s bench.

Season-high assists from Pau Gasol in three quarters of work.

Straight games that Lamar Odom’s amassed his season-high in rebounds. He started with 17, then went up one in in two straight games until tonight’s 20. Golden State, whom L.A. plays on Wednesday night, is the squad against which Odom grabbed his career-high 22 boards last season.

Career triple-doubles for Gasol after his 12, 13 and 10 against the Hawks. His first two triple-doubles came as a Memphis Grizzly.

Massive block from new Laker Shannon Brown, who destroyed a Mario West layup attempt with two hands on the glass.