Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum both had double doubles and Lamar came within one rebound of joining them. The Lakers absolutely dominated on the boards and in the paint, which usually means an easy victory. The main problem was the lack of defense for the first three quarters and all the outside shots the Warriors were hitting. They have a number of very capable shooters besides Ellis, including David Lee and Dorell Wright, who added 27 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists of his own. I wasn’t familiar with him before last night’s game, but I am now.
The only Warrior I was okay with producing anything was Steph Curry because he’s on my fantasy basketball team (along with Pau and LO!), but since injuring his ankle earlier in the season, he hasn’t been quite the same player. He definitely had a decent game last night though.
Back to Lamar: he was incredible down the stretch and hit 10 straight points during a key stretch of the fourth quarter, doing his part to help the Lakers erase the deficit. Most of that burden fell on the very familiar shoulders of Kobe Bryant. After scoring only 9 points in the first half, he scored 30 points in the second half and exploded for 17 points in the final 5:49 of the game! After assisting on Ron Artest’s three with under two minutes to play, he hit a backbreaking shot from downtown of his own and knew it. After the ball dropped through the bottom of the net, Kobe turned and raised both his hands in victory. It was a gorgeous shot and I threw my hands up too as it went in. Money almost every time….even if Kobe doesn’t always make it, I always expect him to. I never have any doubt that he can, and that he will.
Next: A Bit of Lakers History