Falling down by as many as 12 points in the third quarter at ORACLE Arena against the Warriors didn’t seem to worry the Lakers.
Not even a little bit.
After all, Golden State may possess more than its fair share of offensive firepower, but the squad simply struggles to get stops when it counts. Keeping that in mind, the Lakers buckled in on defense in the third – dwindling the home team’s lead down to just two entering the fourth – and it was no surprise that the Lakers scored 37 points in the final quarter to emerge with another win.
Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom all scored at least 20 points, while Trevor Ariza and Josh Powell each made key contributions off the bench to bury Golden State.
Here’s the breakdown: Twelve of Bryant’s 30 came in the fourth, and he added a team-high nine assists; Gasol went for 24 points, 13 boards and five assists; while Odom scored 22 points with seven boards, limited on the glass due to the Warriors’ hot shooting and his need to play defense on the perimeter. Meanwhile, Ariza nailed clutch back-to-back threes 30 seconds apart at around the four-minute-mark of the fourth, while Powell hit 5-of-6 field goals and all six of his free throws for 16 points.
“We had some substantial bench play tonight,” said Phil Jackson. “Jordan (Farmar) and Sasha (Vujacic) had pretty good floor games, and Josh Powell and Trevor (Ariza) gave us some decided help … They gave guys rest and we were able to come back, play strong and finish the game up.”
Finish the game up they did, outscoring the Warriors by 10 in the final quarter. The home team led for almost the entire game before losing the lead for good with Ariza’s triples. G.S. got its lead thanks to some terrific shooting – including 7-for-9 threes in the first half – that saw Corey Maggette, Stephen Jackson and Jamal Crawford all score at least 23 points, but they couldn’t sustain it in losing to L.A. for the third time this season.
The Lakers earned their 19th road win in 25 tries, including eight of the last nine games, the best away-from-home mark in the NBA.
Game lead over the Denver Nuggets, who currently hold the West’s No. 2 seed. The Spurs, meanwhile, dropped to eight games behind the Lakers.
Offensive rebounds for the Lakers, led by five off the bench from Josh Powell.
Plus rating for Lamar Odom, who’s been playing with a great deal of passion much to Phil Jackson’s pleasure.
Assists by the Lakers on 46 field goals for a solid 72 percent. Kobe Bryant led the way with nine helpers, while Luke Walton added six in just 19 minutes of play.
League-high wins for the Lakers, tying the Boston Celtics.
Shooting percentage by Pau Gasol, who made 10-of-15 shots for 24 points plus his game-high 13 boards and five assists.