We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 97-88 loss vs. Denver in their second preseason game:
Paint points for the Nuggets, a team that led the NBA in that category during the 2012-13 season (57 per game). The Lakers also conceded 32 fastbreak points, but held Denver to 42.4 percent field goals.
Shooting percentage for the Lakers, who were playing a back-to-back to open the preseason. Despite coach Mike D’Antoni emptying the bench at the start of the fourth quarter, the Lakers cut Denver’s 16-point lead to seven. “I actually thought we created a lot of good looks,” Steve Nash said. “We just didn’t knock them down, not only three’s but also opportunities in the paint that we didn’t finish. We shot a terrible percentage and didn’t play offensively, but I thought the shots were there. We just didn’t knock them down.”
Turnovers the Lakers forced that led to 26 points. For the second straight preseason game, the club forced their opponent into more than 20 miscues, with Golden State committing 23 in Saturday’s contest. “(We’re) being active, communicating and covering for each other,” Pau Gasol said of the team’s defense. “The principles in defense that you need to do in order to be solid. We can still tighten up a little more, but I feel we’re in the right direction.”
Points for Gasol in 23 minutes of action, to go along with four rebounds and two assists. “I felt good,” he said. “A little winded, but overall, pretty satisfied with how I felt. Still can improve a lot, but it was the first preseason game I played, so looking forward to the next one.”
Assists for Steve Blake in just 17 minutes off the bench. With Jordan Farmar resting after playing 28 minutes in the first preseason contest, Blake received the bulk of the playing time with the second unit.
Points for Steve Nash, although he did only attempt two shots. He finished with six assists and five rebounds in 22 minutes of action. “Not bad,” Nash said of how he felt physically. “First basketball game in five months, I’ll take it. I just need a few more weeks to get my rhythm and timing, and get a real feel for the group.”