We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 122-103 home win against Denver, bringing the team’s record to .500 at 8-8:
Points scored by the Lakers, matching a season high, on 47 for 87 shooting, a 54 percent clip. Five players scored in double figures, led by a super sub…
… Named Antawn Jamison, who exploded for 33 of the team’s 61 bench points. Jodie Meeks went for 21 himself, all on three-pointers, to become the first two Lakers subs to each score more than 20 since Kobe Bryant (24) and Nick Van Exel (20) did it on 4/19/98 vs. Utah. The last time someone scored 30 off the bench was 2/11/98, when Shaquille O’Neal did so against Golden State. Jamison added 12 rebounds in a terrific individual effort. Jamison spoke after the game: “Just being myself,” he said. “D’Antoni is doing a great job as far as just telling me, be aggressive, you know play your game, I know what you can do. He’s given me that kind of confidence and my teammates have been doing a great job as far as telling me to keep my head and go out there and compete. I had fun, we all had fun, and those are the types of things we got to do going forward.”
Assists on 47 made field goals for the Lakers, with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Chris Duhon all totaling eight dimes. Gasol initiated offense from the high post, while Bryant and Duhon operated mostly out of screen/roll sets. “It was just a total different game,” said Gasol, comparing the win to a 77-point effort in Tuesday’s loss to Indiana. “We just made a lot more shots today than we did in the game before and hopefully we will make more shots in the next one against Orlando. The other game was a heartbreaker for us. We scrambled, we were off most of the night and we missed a lot of free throws, had turnovers and we lost to a last second shot. Everything tonight just went a lot better and now we have to find that consistency in our game.”
Boards collected by Dwight Howard, a season high, including eight on the offensive end. The big man also finished with 28 points, his first 20/20 as a Laker and 42nd of his career. He and Jamison combined for 32 of the team’s 46 rebounds, a +8 advantage over the Nuggets, who ranked second in the league in rebounds prior to the contest. He also helped limit board machine Kenneth Faried to just two in nearly 23 minutes. Speaking of Jamison and Howard: they combined to miss only 10 of 35 shot attempts, good for a 71.4% collective clip.
Three pointers hit by a red-hot group of Lakers shooters, tying a franchise record in a regulation contest*. Meeks drained 7-of-8 for the game, including his first five of the contest, all in the second quarter. Jamison hit 5 of his 10 attempts, Metta World Peace hit 2 of 7 and even Dwight Howard got into the action, hitting his with nine seconds left before breaking into a massive grin. Since Mike D’Antoni took over, the team is shooting at a 41.4 clip (65 for 157) from distance, which would rank fourth in the league behind Miami, New York and OKC. The last time the Lakers went for 17 threes came on 1/7/03, when Bryant set an NBA record with 12 three pointers, a mark matched by Donyell Marshall in 2005.
*L.A. made 19 threes against Washington on 12/17/06 in an overtime contest.
More fast break points for the Lakers than the Nuggets (20-10), in a category not often won by L.A. especially against a younger, faster squad.
Lakers who had made eight or more three-pointers in a game, meaning Meeks is tied as the 10th player to hit at least seven. “My teammates found me wide open, I have to give credit to them and credit to my hard work,” he said. “I think I’ve put in a lot of time but it was a total team effort tonight and I’m glad we got the win.”