Fancap: Portland Paralyzed By Lakers’ Late Snake Attack

Portland’s zone defense seemed to be causing the Lakers’ fits; it was a frustrating shooting night with lots of missed easy shots and bad bounces.  Despite the poor play, LA was only down four.  Stu Lantz remarked that the offense had to start with either a first pass into Pau or dribble penetration; as if he heard him, Ron Artest drove into the lane for an easy lay-in on the next possession.

I will say…. I was mildly stressed at this point of the game. Each team had had a nine point lead at some point and now it was back to basically trading baskets.  Portland has a talented team and can be a tough match up for the Lakers, but even so I’m never truly worried in a close game as long as Kobe is on the floor.  He proved me right yet again last night.

Everyone came up pretty clutch in the 4th; Lamar had a huge layup down the lane and then a jump hook as well to either cut or tie the lead with minutes to play.  He was outstanding all night and came up big down the stretch as well.

Both he and Pau finished with their 63rd combined double double of the season, second in the league only to Kevin Love and Minnesota.  Is anyone in Lakers Nation surprised though that the biggest plays of the game were made by our wily veteran leaders Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant?

Kobe started the game strong but struggled for a good chunk of the contest before announcing to the world that yes, he is still the best closer in the NBA.

With four minutes to go, #24 got penetrated and made a tough underneath shot off the glass to bring LA within two.  He found Pau inside with a bullet pass and then poked the ball away from Andre Miller on the next possession, finishing with a slam of his own off a give and go up the court with Fish.  Tie game.

Portland was becoming careless with the ball, and the Lakers were playing better than they had all game.  Fish came up with a steal and a sweet scoop shot to give the Lakers a two point lead; Bryant followed this up with a defensive rebound and a running floater over LaMarcus Aldridge, complete with exuberant fist pump afterward!

Next: The Headliner, Finisher, I’m the Closer, Winner

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