Posts tagged while
After another shaky first half, the Lakers bounced back in the second, and stormed past the struggling Detroit Pistons 108-83 at Staples Center on Tuesday night.
Kobe Bryant scored 17 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out eight assists, and in the process became the league’s 10th all-time leading scorer, passing Hall of Famer Dominque Wilkins with 26,671 points. Bryant missed his first nine shots of the game, but rebounded to hit six of his next nine on his record-breaking night.
Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 21 points, hitting 7-11 from the field, to go along with seven rebounds. Lamar Odom had 16 points and nine rebounds off the bench, and Andrew Bynum, plagued by early foul trouble, finished with 13 points and six rebounds, hitting all six of his shots.
The slumping Pistons stayed close early, rallied from an 11-point first half deficit to close the score to 45-42 at halftime. In the second half, the Lakers put the hammer down and took advantage of 19 Detroit turnovers, to turn a close game into a rout. The Pistons found themselves down by as much as 29 points in the fourth quarter, as they continue to struggle on the road. They are now 3-16 away from the Palace of Auburn Hills.
The win was a welcomed sight for the Lakers, who have had trouble blowing out even bad teams at home recently. In fact you’d have to go all the way back to December 3rd when the Lakers beat the Sacramento Kings 113-80 to find a home game they have won by more than 10 points. That win broke a season-long four-game losing streak.
On this night, the Lakers did everything pretty well, for the first time at home in a while. They shot 47.2% (42-89) from the field, hit 18-22 foul shots (81.8%), outrebounded the Pistons 41-37, and turned the ball over a season-low six times. They also held the Pistons to 44.4% (32-72) shooting, and just 3-13 from beyond the arc. All of those numbers added up to free tacos for fans at the game, and an easy win.
The Pistons were led by Tracy McGrady and Greg Monroe, who each scored 14 points. McGrady, oddly enough starting at the point guard position, also had six assists, but did turn the ball over six times. Tayshaun Prince had 12 points, and Richard Hamilton, now coming off the bench, scored 11.
The Lakers hope to carry this momentum into their game tomorrow night in Phoenix, where they face the new-look Suns in the second game of a back-to-back. The Lakers won in Phoenix in the second game of the year 114-106, but were blitzed by 22 three-pointers, as the Suns won 121-116 at Staples Center back on November 14th.
Here is a collection of quotes following the Lakers 112-99 win over the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center, to run their record to an NBA-best 14-1.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson
On Kobe Bryant:
“He’s looking to pass the ball. I thought he stayed aggressive in the things that we had to have.”
“I think 10-5 would have been great with us, but we’ve been playing well enough to get that momentum. Now we’re just playing on momentum most of the time.”
“It’s human nature to get lackadaisical and for us to believe that things are going to go right for us because they have in the past. But we are only successful in the moment. And you have to prove it again and again, especially in sports.”
On Andrew Bynum and his injury:
“There’s going to be a period of adjustment he has to go through. He’s going to have to find a way to get through this. And if he does, then we’re going to feel pretty good until the next incident happens—and then we’ll have to deal with that at that time. But unless this moves around in his foot, we’re in pretty good shape if he can adjust his play to accommodate that.”
Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant
On needing 38 points to become the youngest to 22,000 points:
“To be honest, I don’t follow anything of that sort. I just go out there and do what I do, I don’t care about that stuff. You guys got me all wrong. I just play. I play hard, and I play the same way all the time. I never concern myself with milestones or anything like that.”
“We’re just playing well, playing in rhythm. We understand each other. We’ve been together for a while.”
“The first quarter was a little bit of a slow start for us defensively, but then we were able to dig our heels in and get used to the rhythm. We tried to corral Bosh a little bit. They had some double-digit deficits and the rhythm of the game was kind of getting away from them a little bit. They were looking to take some 3-point shots in transition and kind of got away from going to him a little bit.”
Lakers Forward Pau Gasol
“We expect to win every night. We have great expectations. Fourteen-and-one doesn’t surprise me with the team we have.”
Lakers Center Andrew Bynum
“Our rebounding was big. They weren’t very impressive inside with J.O. (Jermaine O’Neal) out and we were able to take advantage of it.”
Lakers Forward Trevor Ariza
“We have the versatility to play any kind of way. The way the NBA is, that’s a good thing because we can slow the ball down, we can run up and down the court, we can do whatever.”
On putting inferior teams away early:
“Honestly, I don’t know what it is. We’re not doing it on purpose. Everybody in the NBA is a pretty good team. Most of the time, we can’t just beat them in the first quarter.”
Raptors Coach Sam Mitchell
“I saw a lot of good things. We showed a level of toughness. I thought we boxed out. We just couldn’t get any rebounds. We got some good looks, but didn’t make them all.”
Raptors Forward Chris Bosh
“I know that good teams are not going to let me just get off offensively. They did a great job of trapping and their rotations were really good. I didn’t get too many good shots all night and I made some costly turnovers.”