The Cinderella story would have the Lakers, who sit .5 games out of the worst record in the West, upsetting the league’s best team. It would have featured a heroic performance from an undermanned Lakers squad against a DEEP Pacers unit.
But there was no slipper at the Staples Center.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Pacers pulled away in the second half for an easy victory, winning 104-92. Only six Lakers scored on the night, with Pau Gasol leading the way, pouring in 21 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Kendall Marshall joined him with a double-double of his own, dishing out 13 assists and adding 11 points.
The two teams battled back and forth for much of the first half, heading into the locker room tied at 49. But as has been the case for the entire season, the 3rd quarter is where the game was blown wide open, as the Pacers pushed the lead to double digits behind a 30-point quarter. The fourth quarter was much of the same, with Indiana finishing the game as the 13th straight opponent with more than 100 points.
Jodie Meeks continued his hot play, finishing with 21 points, his 3rd 20-point game in the last four outings. Nick Young struggled mightily, finishing with just 12 points on 5 of 16 shooting. Jordan Hill was the only other Laker in double figures, putting up a double-double of his own with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Things aren’t getting any prettier for LA, who are now 16-30 and sit one game back of the worst record in the West. Furthermore, the news on Kobe Bryant released during the game was none too positive as he’s scheduled to miss at least 3 more weeks.
LA doesn’t have much of a break, hosting Charlotte on Friday before heading back East for a three-game road swing. With the trade deadline quickly approaching, LA is bound to be in the news, whether positive or negative.