We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 118-116 come-from-behind overtime win against Toronto:
Points for Steve Nash, a season-high. The 16-year veteran scored 19 after halftime, with 12 of them coming in the third quarter. His game-tying 3-pointer in overtime gave way to a 6-1 Lakers run to end the game – a play called by coach Mike D’Antoni in the timeout prior. Nash explained: “He said,’Let’s run the same play. But instead of going to Kobe (Bryant) in the corner, try to come off Dwight (Howard) and look for your shot.’ I tried to hesitate a little bit when I came off to confuse them so I could get free, and I was able to get some space.”
Fastbreak points for Toronto in the final three quarters of regulation and overtime, after recording 11 in the first 12 minutes. Many of those transition points came off six of L.A.’s 13 total turnovers to a team that ranked 28th in the league in fastbreak points per game (9.1). The Raptors led 37-25 after the first and by as much as 15 at one point.
Blocked shots for Howard, including two key swats – one on Rudy Gay and one on Alan Anderson – near the end of the fourth and overtime. The big man finished a plus-14 on the evening – a team-high – and also notched his second straight 20-point, 10-rebound game with 24 and 13. “Defensively, he was spectacular all night,” Bryant said.
Triples drained by Kobe in the final 1:41 of regulation, the last one coming with 5.5 seconds to force overtime before Toronto’s Rudy Gay missed the potential game-winning jumper. Bryant finished with 41 points, 12 assists and six rebounds – the first Laker to put up 40 and 10 in consecutive games since Jerry West. Bryant scored 30 after halftime, converting on 7 of 12 field goals (11 of 22 overall) and 5 of 8 on 3-pointers to cap L.A.’s second straight double-digit comeback. “He has been unbelievable and milking him has honestly been a beautiful thing,” Nash said.
The Lakers find themselves just a half-game behind Utah, who has lost six of their last seven, for the No. 8 playoff spot. L.A. has won 15 of their last 21 contests since Jan. 25 and are 7-2 post All-Star break. “We¹re just focusing and we¹re determined,” Bryant said. “We obviously we got off to bad starts (at New Orleans and vs. Toronto), but since the break we’ve been playing well enough to win, we’ve been very determined, we’ve stuck together through adversity and we’re pulling through.”