Posted by hiphopmama on March 27, 2009
LA Lakers 103, New Jersey 95
We won. Never mind the storyline. We got the win, and that’s all that counts, especially on the road, where we are now 4-0 to start the 7-game trip. Phil said he wanted to head back to LA with 60 wins, which meant we could only lose one on the road, and it looks like he just might get it. For some reason we seem to play our best on these long road trips, hunkering down and finding what we need to get the job done night after night. Who needs home court? (Side note: with this win, we clinched home court advantage throughout the Western Conference Finals. Yay.)
As for that storyline, it was another exciting one which – no surprises here – saw a few good swings of momentum put the outcome in doubt enough to raise my blood pressure. Okay, that’s not entirely true, because I saw a guy in Vons with a Lakers shirt on and asked him if we had won, and he reported that we almost blew another big lead but held on in the end. So I knew the outcome going in, but it was still frustrating watching us piss away another lead. It wasn’t nearly as dramatic or infuriating as our tumultuous game in Detroit last night, but it was another one we should have had out of reach long before the Nets even had a chance to THINK about coming back.
Like the Pistons game, we let the Nets mount a run sufficient enough to shock us into playing seriously before going on a ridiculous run of our own to close the door on them. After Carter tied it up at 57 in the third quarter, we responded with a 24-2 run to open up a 22 point lead that New Jersey was never able to recover from. They pulled to within 3 a couple times, but it wasn’t enough to really make us nervous, and every time it got close Pau just made something difficult look way too easy to give us some more breathing room.
This was entirely Pau’s game tonight. He had 36 points on a disgusting 14-of-19 shooting clip, adding 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Kobe had an underwhelming performance (5-of-19 for 14 points) but made up for it with 9 assists and 4 steals. He also had the oh-my-god-hold-your-breath moment of the night when he sprained his right ankle at the end of the first half and left the court early. He appeared to be favoring it a little early in the third but shook it off enough to nail a few three’s and help the team on its way to that short-lived 22-point lead. Fisher had another good night with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. In fact, the whole starting line-up was in double-figures again. The downside of that is that the bench was correspondingly disappointing. Interesting, possibly useless statistic: every single starter had a plus/minus in the positive double-digits, while every single bench player was in the negative. The Nets couldn’t hurt us enough with that, but I’m a little worried about whether or not other, better teams will. Please, Bynum, get well soon.