The Golden State Warriors were just what the Lakers needed. With all due respect to the great hoops fans in the Bay but the Warriors are the official slump buster of the NBA these days. Not that a one game losing streak is…well…even a streak but it’s not a slump either. L.A. just needed to get their swagger back after Tony Parker ran off with it last night.
Pau Gasol had his total game on display posting a triple-double of Magic Johnson proportions (21, 11 and 11). Andrew Bynum dominated the severely undermanned Warriors dropping a game-high 31. Metta World Peace continued his Ron Ron rediscovery by bruising and abusing his way to 18 points and 9 boards.
Most important of all the Lakers dictated the tempo from start to finish, sharing the rock with a season best 34 assists as a team including assisting on all 17 field goals made in the second half. All that equaled a 99-87 win made close only by some garbage buckets by Golden State late.
The real news is Kobe Bryant’s 2-hour workout before the game. That’s most activity Kobe has undergone during his now seven game absence. With Thursday to rest Mamba went ahead and called his shot saying he’ll play against the Spurs on Friday.
Tonight marked the final back-to-back swing of the season for the Lake Show. From here out it’s time to get into playoff mode. L.A. really needs that third seed in the West. Without it their road to the Finals will be made that much more difficult.
Beating the hapless Warriors is far from a playoff tune up. If anything it’s a glorified scrimmage in this breathless season. But these days Mike Brown and every playoff bound NBA coach will take whatever extra practice they can get.