The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Portland Trailblazers by a final score of 103-96 in Staples Center despite off nights from Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. How off were they? Until some end game free throws bumped up Kobe's scoring numbers, the two points of the Lakers All-NBA triangle managed just 24 points and 10 assists combined (though Pau Gasol was huge on the glass with 16 boards). Good thing, then, that triangle is looking more and more like a square every game. Ramon Sessions, in his first start as a Laker, nearly out did the Mamba and the Spaniard all by himself.
Sessions scored 20 points on 10 shots, dished out 11 assists, and even managed six rebounds. Playing the entire 4th quarter, he had a role in 21 of the Lakers 32 4th quarter points, with 8 points and six assists in the final quarter alone. He was not alone in excellence; Andrew Bynum was dominant again, adding nine boards to a team leading 28 points. Metta World Peace was awesome, scoring 14 points on 8 shots, including a jaw rattling dunk in the 2nd quarter. And, while he wasn't quite as effective shooting the ball (4-9 on the night), Matt Barnes' overall line of 9 points, 5 boards, 5 assists, 3 blocks and a steal was hugely effective off of an otherwise sub-par bench effort tonight.
But the night, and this town, belong to Ramon Sessions right now. The city of Los Angeles is his oyster. Jack Nicholsen is whispering sweet nothings into his ear. There's no way Sessions can continue to improve night after night like this, but until he slows down, the hype surrounding him will soon become a runaway freight train.