This was looking like another one of those off nights for the Lakers. Despite the Philadelphia 76ers coming out as flat as a piece of rib eye in a cheesesteak, the Lake Show failed to take advantage.
Pau Gasol earned his keep in the first half as he had 13 and 7 at the break. But his production dipped in the second half as he fisnished with 19 and 13. Kobe Bryant didn’t hit his first shot until there were less than two minutes left in the first half and it took three full quarters until Matt Barnes sunk the first Laker three of the night. That triple helped to spark a run that would end this game in a 93-81 Laker W.
But before we get to that last quarter, let’s all pause for Mike Vick. That’s what almost all of Philly did when their QB entered the building to MVP chants.
Now back to the action…
After a sleepy three quarters of play, Phil Jackson got his team to kick it into championship gear in the fourth. L.A. was coming off a woeful third in which they were outscored 23-14 and trailed by 5. But that all changed quickly.
First the Renegades set it off. Barnes had another great game off the bench putting a double-double in the box with15 and 10 boards. His contagious hustle translated to the first team once they got back on the court.
It wasn’t the best night for Kobe as he put in only 9 points on 3 of 11 shooting. Not the type of effort he was expecting coming off being honored at his local high school. Some of that could be due to a nagging pinky finger that has been bothering KB for the last two years.
But when Lamar Odom is playing with confidence he’s more than capable of picking up the slack. LO had a game high 28. Odom’s silky smooth game was on full display as he got easy buckets on drives, put backs and even hit a few jumpers late.
Before the 6ers knew what hit them they had been outscored 35-19 in the last 12 minutes.
These Lakers are really finding their groove on the road. This is the fourth straight win and makes it a healthy 4-1 record on the current swing. Up next is Toronto for another early tip Sunday. The Lakers have had some trouble playing in Toronto in recent years so here’s hoping they keep up this momentum and finish up strong before coming home.