Lakers close out preseason with victory

It was a tale of two halves Friday night in the Lakers final preseason game. The first half saw an energetic bench severely outshine the starting unit. The second half featured a far more lively starting unit pull away and the bench hang on late to give the Lakers the victory in the finale of the preseason.

Oct 25, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) goes up for a shot while defended by Los Angeles Lakers center Jordan Hill (27) during the second quarter at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Seven Lakers finished in double figures on the night with Steve Blake leading the way. Blake was unconscious in the 3rd quarter, finishing a perfect 7 of 7 on the night including 5 for 5 from deep, the last coming on a pull-up, contested three in transition late in the quarter. His great quarter was matched by the rest of the starters, featuring some dazzling passes by Steve Nash, who finished 7 points and 4 assists in 29 minutes. Pau Gasol had a very Pau-like game, tallying 16 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocks.

 

The first half saw the starters plod their way through the game early on before the newest edition of the Bench Mob turned up the pace in the game. A 15-3 run by the second unit featured great leadership by Jordan Farmar and great defense and energy from the rest of the unit. When the Lakers starters re-entered the game, they held a 40-29 lead. That lead vanished in a heartbeat as the Jazz finished the quarter on a 24-12 run to take a 53-51 lead into halftime.

 

The third quarter saw a major role reversal as the starters played the entirety of the quarter and poured in 37 points. Nash wowed the fans with a nifty over the shoulder pass to Shawne Williams, was the recipient of a beautiful pass by Pau Gasol, and led a Laker starting squad that looked the best it had all preseason. In all, the three Lakers point guards – Nash, Blake, and Farmar – finished with 37 points, 14 assists, and shot 13 of 20 on the night.

 

Xavier Henry and Wesley Johnson continued their great preseasons, finishing with 13 and 6 points respectively. Johnson pulled down 9 rebounds on the evening, further cementing himself as a rotation player and possible starter on the Lakers. Henry continued to display his impressive ability to get to the rim, shooting a team-high 8 free throws on the night.

 

The Lakers finished the preseason at 4-4. None of Ryan Kelly, Elias Harris, or Marcus Landry saw action on the night. All three are battling for the final roster spot, with none of them guaranteed a roster spot. Kaman sat out again due to an illness, but is expected to be ready for opening night.

 

The Lakers tip-off the regular Tuesday night at 10:30 when they take on their same city rivals in the Los Angeles Clippers.

Topics: Game, Jordan Farmar, Jordan Hill, Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol, Preseason, Steve Blake, Steve Nash, Utah Jazz, Win

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