This is not how champion are supposed to go about their business. With the game well in hand in the third the Lakers got sloppy and cocky. After opening up a 19-point lead, the Lakers busted out the Harlem Globetrotter act. That combined with more terrible defense led to a nail biting 115-108 victory.
The Wizards are a team that still hasn’t figured out how to win on the road this year. Funny thing is the Lakers nearly gifted them a cheap W.
John Wall looks like the Leo Messi of the NBA the way he runs at defenders. Continuing their troubles of defending quick point guards, Wall had fun in his first taste of Staples Center. The rookie blew by every man in a gold jersey en route to 22 points and 14 dimes.
Wall’s quickness set the table for Reseda native Nick Young. The former USC Trojan did his thing in front of his hometown fans dropping 30 in 32 minutes off the bench. Two of those points came on a sick juke followed by a spinning layup over Pau Gasol.
Gasol was looking well rested tonight. The Spaniard should have had a triple double were it not for his teammates letting him down. Gasol put up a fantasy gold line of 21, 14 and 8 with 5 blocks to boot. Still, Pau played an unnecessary 42 minutes thanks to the laid back Lakers expecting a win to fall in their laps.
Both Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom were unstoppable as they schooled the young Wizards. Washington was content to sit back in a lazy zone leaving plenty of open lanes for the Lakers to attack.
LO had one of those games when he decided he just wouldn’t be stopped. Odom had a fantastic first quarter, scoring 14 of his 24 in the first frame.
KB24 filled it up with a game-high 32 on 23 attempts. Bryant burned the Wiz with some highlight hoops including sick shot fakes followed by punishing pivots and off balance bombs. The total package was on display.
Too bad it was Kobe and Lamar who both began showboating far too early in this contest. Their behind the back passes and ill advised shot attempts would be acceptable if this was a summer league game.
Once again the Lake Show took an opponent too lightly and nearly let a win get away late. The defense is still looking lousy and the confidence is a little too high at the moment. Up next are the upstart Clippers who will be looking to send a message in the first round of the annual Battle of Los Angeles.