Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks provide a different look for the Laker team, but the team is tough to watch. It’s been that way for well over a month and the losing streak seems like it never ends. The best thing to do is to usually find glimpses of team cohesion or developed skill throughout the season. Hopefully it’ll translate into next season’s team.
The 1st quarter started rough for the Lakers. Pau Gasol had a few touches in the paint, but couldn’t convert. Kent Bazemore drove along the baseline, lost control of the ball on a spin move, and turned it over. On a 2nd drive, he drove baseline after perimeter ball movement, trying to set up Gasol for a short two-on-one situation, but turned it over on the pass. Brooklyn, however, looked to punish the Lakers in the paint with Kirilenko and Paul Pierce. The Nets started on 9-3 run early. Meeks hit a couple of threes early in the 1st quarter to get an offensive rhythm going, but Brooklyn was the team pushing out in transition for early opportunities. After a made 3-pointer by Joe Johnson, the Nets extended the lead to 19-8 after 5:00 of play. Wesley Johnson and Kent Bazemore both took the start for tonight’s game, but both got punished in the paint by Kirilenko and Paul Pierce. After 7:00, the Nets began to blow out the Lakers, 27-10. Paul Pierce started to get his rhythm after hitting a couple of three pointers and getting easy post up points in the paint. After 9:00 of play, the Nets were shooting a whopping 75% from the field, getting any shot they wanted, in rhythm. Nick Young came into the game, and right away, went straight into isolation mode. Two-dribbles to the right and a pull up at the elbow of the key later, and the ball hit all twine. The Lakers ended the quarter down 33-21.
The Lakers started the 2nd quarter with Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman up front. This stabilized the tempo and put it in the Lakers’ favor. They were able to control the backboard and get a few shots near the painted area. Deron Williams was more reluctant to push up the tempo. Still, 3:00 into the 2nd quarter, the Nets were leading 40-27 while Paul Pierce was sitting on the bench. Pau Gasol and Bazemore game in at the 5:30 mark, which sparked a 7-0 run. Bazemore got fouled on a drive, and hit two free throws. In transition, Bazemore spotted up at the three-point line and hit all twine. Jordan Hill grabbed an offensive rebound after a MarShon Brooks miss, and converted on the layup. This cut the lead to 49-39. Brooklyn called a timeout. Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson came back in and continued the offensive continuity for Brooklyn. The deficit at halftime was 63-47.
The third quarter started off flat. Bazemore provided great energy and looked to score, and Meeks got a couple of assists in the process. Still, the Laker defense was absolutely flat. With Bazemore’s energy and Meeks staying focused, the Lakers sparked a 13-4 run midway through the 3rd quarter. Energized and committed to defense, the Lakers continued to attack on both ends of the floor, putting the Nets into bad situations on offense. Steals, blocks, and running the shotclock down were the results of great energy on the defensive end. The Lakers cut down the deficit down to 9. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Lakers found themselves down 12 points, due to back-to-back three-pointers made by Mirza Teletovic, a reputable 3-point shooter.
The 4th quarter began with a 6-0 scoring run. It started with a baseline Kaman layup. Jordan Hill contributed with an 8′ jumphook in the paint. MarShon Brooks got an offensive tip-in off of a missed shot. The surge stopped with a deficit at 5 points when the team lost some steam. Nick Young missed two of three free throws to try to cut the lead to three. The Nets came out with a quick 6-0 spurt to extend the lead back to eleven. The Lakers see-sawed back and forth with the Nets for the entire quarter. The Lakers couldn’t get the deficit past five points. In the end, they lost 108-102.