We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 99-93 win at Indiana:
Field-goal percentage for Indiana, the third Lakers opponent in the last four games to shoot under 40 percent. After trailing 19-8 early, L.A. went on a 31-9 run, holding the Pacers to 4 of 25 in that span to take their biggest lead at 39-28. In their 10 wins since the All-Star break, the Lakers have posted a defensive efficiency of 98.8, which would rank fourth in the NBA. “We played hard and we played very well defensively,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I thought Steve Blake and Metta (World Peace) on the defensive end were unbelievable.”
Plus rating for Blake, a team-high. The Lakers backup point guard scored a season-high 18 points, all coming off 3-pointers (five) and free throws (three). He also recorded seven assists, six boards, four steals and two blocks. Another Laker off the bench to step up: Antawn Jamison, who scored 17 points and grabbed seven boards off the bench in 33 minutes.
Points for World Peace, including 11 during the third quarter to help carry L.A. on offense. More than his offensive contributions, he spent most of the night guarding David West, who scored just eight points on 4 of 13 field goals. West had come into the game averaging nearly 19 points and nine boards on 55 percent from the floor in six March games.
Triples for the Lakers, out of 26 attempts. Blake and Jamison combined to make nine of the 13 off the pine, two of them coming in the fourth quarter at key moments down the stretch.
Minutes played for Kobe Bryant, who sat out the remaining three quarters because his severely sprained ankle was “really stiff” and “continued to swell.” Less than 48 hours after injuring that ankle, Bryant was in the starting lineup, the only Laker to have appeared in all 67 games this year. Despite missing all four field-goal attempts and finishing scoreless, his decision to give it a go was inspiring, according to his teammates, leading to a total team effort in the win.