We compiled some of the more interesting numbers from L.A.’s 84-80 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers winning for the 12th time in 13 games out of the All-Star break and fourth time in a row:
5 Straight shots made by the home team to finish the game, including three from Kobe Bryant and two from Derek Fisher. Portland, meanwhile, made only 1-of-8 to close the game. Phil Jackson cited improved awareness, energy and the forcing of turnovers as keys to the fourth quarter defense.
6 Turnovers forced by the Lakers in the fourth quarter, resulting in eight points at the other end, four of which came during a critical stretch in the final minutes as both Bryant and Fisher stole the ball and converted layups at the other end. “When it comes down the stretch, I’m comfortable just making the play,” said Fisher. “It’s not always going to be make a shot, but even defensively, just being in the right spot at the right time you get a steal, which then allows you to go down and make a shot.” His shot with 10 seconds left sealed the game, after his steal with two minutes left put L.A. up for the first time in the second half.
9 Blazers players who grabbed at least two rebounds, helping Portland out-board L.A. by 10 at 45-35.
9 The biggest lead for both teams at varying points of the action, though the lead changed hands only twice. The Lakers led by seven points after the first quarter, but Portland rallied to lead by four at the half and after three quarters. L.A. reclaimed the lead for good on Fisher’s transition layup with 1:56 on the clock.
17.6 L.A.’s shooting percentage from the three-point line, as only 3-of-17 went down. Bryant hit two of his seven attempts, while Ron Artest was 0-for-3, Shannon Brown 0-for-2 and Steve Blake and Fisher both 0-for-1. Matt Barnes added the other make on three attempts.
27.8 Portland’s shooting percentage in the fourth quarter on 5-of-18 from the field, which Phil Jackson said was in part due to a strong defensive start from sub Matt Barnes in the final period. Portland shot just 38.6 percent for the game as a result.
73 Lamar Odom’s shooting percentage on 8-of-11 field goals in an outstanding all-around game. He scored 16 points with 11 rebounds and a game-high six assists, plus two steals in 41 minutes of action. Portland assistant coach Bob Ociepka echoed comments from Minnesota assistant J.B. Bickerstaff that Odom was by far the most difficult sub (starting for Bynum in this one) for whom to prepare in the NBA.