Tonight will be forever known as the Brooks-Bazemore game.
The duo combined for 29 points and 5 steals leading the Lakers to victory over the Boston Celtics 101-92 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
With the Lakers’ playoffs hopes clearly out of reach, the organization has stated that the remainder of the season is for evaluating the roster. Steve Blake was traded to the Golden State Warriors for little used Kent Bazemore and Marshon Brooks. Only hardcore NBA junkies would know who they were.
In their first game since the trading deadline,the Lakers faced their old time rivals, the Boston Celtics. The Lakers-Celtics rivalry renewed as both teams are challenging for the league’s worst record – a rare occurrence in the history of these storied franchises.
In the first, the Celtics’ Jeff Green opened the game aggressively,scoring their first 11 points. The Lakers, lacking cohesion, played too quickly by rushing their offense and playing sloppily. They committed 5 turnovers in the period,shooting only 35% from the floor. Pau Gasol in his first game action since injuring his groin in January, scored 5 points.
In the second quarter, the newcomers made their Lakers’ debut and immediately paid dividends, leading them on a 9-2 run with the rest of the second unit. The Celtics responded with a 10-2 run of their own, taking a 40-32 lead with 4:48 remaining. Bazemore was active throughout the quarter, playing with an infectious energy. The 24 year old lefthander out of Old Dominion showed playmaking ability off the dribble, speed and agility when running the lanes on the break, and active hands on defense. The Lakers closed the half with an 8-2 run, trailing 46-44 at halftime. They had 10 turnovers and shot only 2-9 from 3 point range.
Jodie Meeks had a strong start to begin the third quarter, scoring 7 points in the first 3 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Celtics from pulling away. They led 70-59 with 2:27 remaining behind 11 points from Brandon Bass. The Lakers went cold offensively and continued throwing the ball away with 5 turnovers yet again. The Celtics’ frontline pounded the offensive glass to offset a poor shooting night. The Celtics led 74-63 after 3.
Marshon Brooks exploded in the fourth quarter, scoring 8 points in the first 3 minutes. The Lakers reeled off a 21-5 run to take the lead 84-79 with 5:50 remaining. Unbelievably Brooks scored 10 points in the quarter and Bazemore scored 8. The Lakers dominated the quarter outscoring the Celtics 38-18 for the period. Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman, and Jodie Meeks had 16 points apiece. Bazemore had 15 ,Brooks 14, and Jordan Hill finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds. For the Celitcs, Jeff Green had 21 and Brandon Bass had 20.
What is becoming apparent is the Lakers front office has an eye for talent. With the constraints of the CBA finding good, cheap talent is a necessity. As these youngsters showed, they are seeking athletes they can develop going forward. While this is a far cry from the halcyon days of 2010, there is hope for the future.
The Lakers play Sunday at home against Brooklyn.
Topics: Los Angeles Lakers