We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 100-94 win against New York:
Career points for Kobe Bryant on Christmas Day – the most from any player in league history – after finishing with 34 on 14 for 24 shooting. This was also the ninth straight game Bryant had scored 30+, the second longest streak of his career.
Percent free throws for Dwight Howard in his last six games (26 for 38), after a 6 for 9 performance. The big man notched a double-double of 14 points and 12 boards, to go along with two steals and two blocks.
Paint points for the Lakers, while the Knicks had just 26, a +20 differential. The Lakers are averaging 51 points inside in two games since Steve Nash returned.
Points for Metta World Peace off the bench, his second straight game with 20. In three games off the pine, World Peace is averaging 19.0 points, 6.3 boards and 2.0 steals. Postgame, Nash praised World Peace’s energy and defense on Carmelo Anthony as a key to the team’s win. “I want to say [his play] is inspired, but this is what he’s been doing the whole year,” Nash said. “He pounds on the best player on the other team and gets his hands on a lot of balls, rebounds, scores, makes threes. He’s playing phenomenal, he’s a great teammate and he’s a huge part of why we were able to win the last five games.”
Fourth-quarter points for the Knicks, the Lakers limiting the visitors to 6 for 16 shooting (37.5 percent), while forcing five turnovers in the final 12 minutes.
Assists for Steve Nash, who also finished with 16 points and six boards. In two games since returning from injury, Nash has 20 assists to six turnovers. His late game play in the final two minutes of the ballgame – a 10-foot jumper and an assist on Pau Gasol’s dunk – was key in the team’s victory, according to Bryant. “Everybody goes to their natural positions and everybody is able to do what they do best, and focus on that,” he said. “You’re talking about one of the greatest point guards ever. He’s able to line us up and get us into certain things that he believes will be most effective for us down the stretch.”
Game winning streak for the Lakers, pushing their record to .500 at 14-14. “We have everybody back on the floor,” Pau Gasol said. “We’re working together. Everybody on the floor is playing together. We’re finally getting somewhere, we’re getting closer to the place that we want to be and the team that we want to be.”