We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 99-91 loss to Dallas to open the 2012-13 regular season:
Kobe’s field goal percentage on 11 of 14 shooting, without attempting a single three or free throw. Released to focus mostly on scoring in his 35 minutes, Bryant had just one board and no assists. Coming with a sore foot on which he hadn’t practiced for eight days, Bryant said he played at about “80 to 85 percent.”
L.A.’s shooting percentage, which is solid on paper, but less impressive considering they got off only 77 shots. A second half charge on the glass led to second chance opportunities, but most resulted in fouls, and we’ve been over how that went.
Missed free throws for the Lakers, and it wasn’t just Dwight Howard’s 3 of 14. Jordan Hill hit only 1 of 6, Pau Gasol missed 2 of 8 and Metta World Peace 1 of 2, a total of 12 for 31 in a game L.A. lost by eight.
Boards for Howard towards his first double-double (19 points), but he blocked only one shot and was a step slow with his rotations. Clearly, Howard needs a few games to get back into form, having played in only two preseason games after rehabilitation from April back surgery. “Dwight’s reaction times was a little off,” said Mike Brown. “He’s half a count late. Defensively and rebounding wise his timing was off just a little bit.”
L.A.’s biggest lead, attained in the second quarter with a good burst from Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks, Antawn Jamison, Jordan Hill and Pau Gasol (either Gasol or Dwight Howard will stay in with the four bench players). That evaporated by halftime, however, when L.A. went in trailing 48-46. The Lakers trailed by as many as 16 in the second half, which Dallas won 51-45.
Dallas players in double figures. Vince Carter and Rodrique Beaubois chipped in a combined 22 points off the bench to help four starters with at least 11 points, helping the Mavericks’ bench outscore the Lakers’ bench 37-17.
“It was going to be a collective effort against a front line like this,” Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle said. “We were really persistent. Everyone had each other’s backs, and we played it out.”
Assists for Steve Nash, whose total was hurt due to all the fouls committed by Dallas inside off his dishes. The Lakers, of course, did not convert at the stripe. Nash made 3 of 9 shots and didn’t find a comfort zone offensively.
“Obviously it was a disappointment for us,” he said. “We have high expectations and tonight we didn’t play well, so regardless of what it was tonight, it wasn’t good enough. We started out well enough; we had a pretty good stretch there in the second quarter, too. And then after they got back, they jumped on us in the second half, so like we said in camp, we got a ways to go.”