Lakers 115, Wizards 103: Running Diary

59415762Click here for the Lakers Gameday Page
We took a look at the Lakers – Wizards contest in Washington D.C. while it was happening, entering a thought or three each quarter as the Lakers looked to get back into the win column after Sunday’s loss in Toronto.

Inactives
Lakers: D.J. Mbenga
Wizards: Gilbert Arenas, Jarvaris Crittenton

Starters
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Gasol and Bynum
Wizards: Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood

Phil Jackson Pregame
Check out Jackson’s pregame particulars by CLICKING HERE.

59416084First Quarter
11:50 In Toronto, the Lakers watched Pau Gasol play one of his more aggressive games in taking 22 shots, and it was good to see that continue with the game’s first bucket, plus the foul.

5:16 Remember in New York on Friday night when neither the Knicks or the Lakers missed often in the first quarter? It’s like they’re replaying that game, but in Washington with Wizards jerseys as the Wiz opened 8-for-12 from the field and L.A. 6-of-9 in a 18-16 lead for the home team. Washington got seven points from Jamison, L.A. seven from Gasol.

0:00.7 Kobe Bryant’s pull-up jumper thanks to a nice outlet from Odom gave the Lakers the final four points of the period – capping a 14-7 run – that produced a 30-29 lead after a hot shooting first quarter from both teams. The Lakers canned 11-of-17 shots (64.7 percent) while the Wiz made 13-of-24 (54.2 percent).

Second Quarter
10:00 Odom continued a hot individual start to the game by canning his fourth field goal in as many attempts to get to nine points, matching his buddy Pau Gasol. In less good news for L.A., Jordan Farmar (who had 17 points against Toronto) committed his second foul and had to go right back to the bench.

7:02 Vujacic, trying to play his way back into Phil Jackson’s rotation, nailed his first field goal attempt of the game from 18 feet, capping a quick 6-0 Lakers run that made it 46-37 while Kobe rested on the bench. The Slovenian followed up that play by, in feisty fashion, tying up Haywood for a jump ball. You had to love the determined expression on his face.

3:11 An impressive quarter continued for the Lakers as Bryant scored a tough and-1 bucket at the basket and moments later, Shannon Brown hammered home his third big dunk of the half, flying in to stuff Bynum’s missed free throw home to create a 55-41 lead for L.A. The Lakers would close the half up 60-44 after Fisher buried a corner three; Fish did go down on the floor for about 20 seconds on the ensuing inbounds play, holding his groin area, but seemed fine while walking to the bench under his own power.

59416074Third Quarter
4:53 Remember that gravity-defining hanging runner off glass that Bryant nailed over Dwight Howard in Game 5 of the NBA Finals? He just pulled off a similar move over Haywood. Pretty stuff.

3:59A pretty passing play resulted in an alley-oop dunk from Bryant to Gasol, moments after Artest had nailed a three-pointer and Fisher had picked off a Foye pass. The Lakers often seemed to be toying with Washington’s defense, not allowing their lead to fall below 10 points at any point of the quarter.

0.04.0 Haywood hit 1-of-2 free throws to cap a solid offensive quarter for Washington featuring 28 points on 57.9 percent shooting. Their problem was that the Lakers shot a ridiculous 71.4 percent (10-of-14) to score 27 points of their own, allowing just one point chipped off the 16-point halftime edge.

59415761Fourth Quarter
9:30 It’s not often that someone gets under the skin of Pau Gasol, but Andray Blatche managed as much early in the fourth with some post-whistle extra-curriculars. The resulting double technical seemed to re-energize Gasol, who went hard to the basket on Blatche moments later and drew a foul, hitting both foul shots to reach a game-high 24 points and put L.A. up 11.

6:35 After a Brown three capped a 7-0 Lakers run, Farmar went on a 5-0 run himself after Foye managed a jumper. The second bucket was a three-pointer, and that’s no surprise since he’s been scorching hot from three of late, hitting at least one in seven straight games and going for 46.5 percent in January after shooting just 31.6 percent in December.

2:39 A very impressive all-around Lakers effort was punctuated by a nasty one-handed alley-oop jam from Gasol to Odom, who threw down with his favored left hand to put the Lakers up 112-94. The game would end with a 115-103 margin for the Lakers, who now head to Indiana for an always difficult game at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Until then, your numbers:

POSTGAME NUMBERS
59.5 L.A.’s shooting percentage for the game on an impressive 44-of-75 from the field, including 9-of-22 from three.

38 Bench points for the Lakers, who got terrific games from Lamar Odom (15 points, eight rebounds) and Shannon Brown (11 points, three assists) and a nice fourth quarter from Jordan Farmar (seven points).

26 Points for both Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to lead the Lakers. Bryant added a team-high eight assists, and Gasol a game-high 10 rebounds.

9 Turnovers for L.A., which was too busy making shots to turn the ball over.

3 Huge dunks from Shannon Brown, all in the second quarter, including a rebound flush-back of a missed free throw.