Well, there’s the 48-minute effort many Lakers fans and Phil Jackson had been looking for.
On the heels of a fantastic second half and fourth quarter in particular for the Lakers in Chicago on Saturday night, the purple and gold seemed eager to prove that they’d attained a new level of focus while completely dominating the youthful Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Lakers were active and energetic on defense throughout Tuesday evening’s contest, and saw five players – including subs Luke Walton and Josh Powell – hit double figures in scoring. The Lakers led by 17 after one quarter and 24 at the half, and didn’t allow even a single crowd-bolstering run from OKC, which had the many Oklahomans heading for the exits with 5:55 to play after Walton nailed a triple that made it 101-81.
While Kobe Bryant struggled with his shooting (6-for-18), the Lakers still managed to shoot at least 50 percent from the field for the sixth straight game, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since the 1990-91 season. Leading the good shooting display were Walton (5-of-6, 11 points), Odom (7-of-10, 18 points despite fouling out early in the fourth) and Fisher (4-of-5 in 21 minutes).
On the other end, Kevin Durant, who’d gone for at least 30 in L.A.’s two previous wins, was hounded to 8-of-20 shooting for 24 points in 40 minutes of burn. No other Thunder player scored more than 12 points (Jeff Green).
A thorough, professional win indeed for the Lakers.
Games coached for Phil Jackson in a Lakers uniform, just one behind Pat Riley’s franchise mark. Jackson passed the organization’s first ever head coach, John Kundla (725), for second on the all-time charts.
L.A.’s shooting percentage in a clinical first quarter, including impressive
Un-scientific my eyes measured underneath Shannon Brown’s shoes when he took off for a massive alley-oop jam.
Points in the paint for the Lakers, compared with 38 for the Thunder.
Bench points for the Lakers.
League-best road wins for the Lakers, who’ve lost just nine games outside of STAPLES Center.
Seasons it’s been since L.A. had shot at least 50 percent from the field in six straight games, which happened against the Thunder to the tune of 50 percent shooting.
Player who played at least 30 minutes … You guessed it … Pau Gasol. Nonetheless, 34 is just fine, while Bryant played 29, Odom 25 and Fisher 21.