Posted by hiphopmama on January 25, 2009
San Antonio 85, LA Lakers 99
That was pleasant. After losing that heartbreaker in San Antonio a week ago, it was nice to see us take up the challenge and do what we should have done in that first game: put them away. So the outcome was definitely nice, but there were plenty of other things to rejoice about in this one. Kobe out of the game and icing his knees before the fourth quarter even started? Fisher playing just 25 minutes? Farmar making his triumphant return? All priceless, and that doesn’t even include how well Bynum held his own against Duncan, which is cause for celebration in and of itself. I am rarely at a loss for words of critique with the Lakers, but I am happily stumped right now and will content myself with raving about the spirit we found to regroup after our second set of back-to-back losses of the year.
I almost forgot my biggest source of pride for the evening: the bench’s closing abilities. It was only because of that that Kobe and all the rest got to sit out the last 10+ minutes, as Farmar, Vujacic, Radmanovic, Ariza, and Powell did something they’ve struggled with all year, which was to hold onto a sizable lead until the final whistle. The fact that we were at home surely had something to do with it, but I’m still jazzed nonetheless. Farmar’s return had a noticeable effect on the squad and was probably a key reason for our consistently high level of play throughout, as his solid play kept other backcourt guys from accumulating too many minutes and helped keep the squad fresh.
It was also heartening to see us play at a more Spurs-like pace and still come out the victors. We did almost break the 100-point barrier, but we held San Antonio to 85 on 37.5% shooting and held them to 21.7% three-point shooting. That’s quite a feat against this team, which is right up at the top of the NBA in that category. It wasn’t the toughest scrum we’ve had against them, to be sure, and we were able to coast to the finish line after opening up a big lead early in the second half, but that in itself is something to be proud of, as we’ve certainly had our struggles doing that this year.
And that’s all I really have to say about that one. It was satisfying to watch us win that way, and you have to believe that the fully rejuvenated bench had something to do with it. Now if we can just keep our guys healthy the rest of the way, we have a good chance of securing that dreamed about home court advantage. I know we have the highest number of road games left for any team, but we’re not exactly chumps away from Staples. We are currently 12-5 on the road, and there are at least a couple among those five losses that could easily have been ours if we had executed better. Indiana comes to mind. And Miami. And Orlando. And San Antonio. I have no comment on that Sacramento game.
Couldn’t ask for much more on a Sunday afternoon. =)