The Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors put on a stunning game in Staples Center, but eventually the Lakers pulled away in a 118-116 overtime victory.
The Lakers lived, and nearly died, by the hand of Kobe Bryant. While he was scoring and pouring assists to his teammates, he was also coughing up the orange nine times. His 41 points and 12 assists, fueled the Lakers back into the game down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Post-game he stated that all he wanted was a chance to make up for being irresponsible with the ball. Boy, he definitely got that chance.
Kobe made one of the most ridiculous three-point field goals of the season with the shot clock racing against him in the fourth. A double pump-fake fall-away three to inch the Lakers closer.
Oh, wait, then a turnaround three-point shot out of an inbounds play.
Wait, you mean to tell me Kobe topped all of those? Yes. Yes he did. With only seconds left on the clock in the fouth quarter and the Lakers down three, Kobe broke free from two defenders and drained ANOTHER three out of an inbounds play to force overtime. This one man's will is frightening, awe-inspiring, and makes all of those words in the dictionary mean very little as he leaves us speechless. And that was all before overtime even began.
How did overtime go? This game was equivalent to taking a row of tequila shots for every huge bucket made, and by the time overtime hit the drunken haze started to set in. It went something like this:
- The Raptors took the lead
- Steve Nash tied it with a huge three-point field goal
- The Lakers got a stop
- Kobe Bryant was flown through the paint and to the rim while hanging onto the landing rails of the Mamba Chopper for a huge slam to give the Lakers the lead.
- Dwight Howard rotated and fouled Alan Anderson before he could get an easy layup. Anderson missed one of his free-throws. Three point game.
- Steve Nash was fouled, and went 1 for 2, making it a two-point game
- Rudy Gay missed a buzzer-beater to push the game to a double overtime.
Dwight Howard was also instrumental late in the game providing help defense, and he ended the night with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks. He rotated to help his teammates often in the pick and roll, which often came back to bite the Lakers as no one rotated back to the rim to help him, causing a handful of easy buckets for the Raptors.
Nash made big plays, in particular a huge three-point shot mentioned above during overtime that tied the game. Nash had 22 points while going 4-for-6 from downtown.
The Lakers spent the majority of the game playing catch-up. The stellar defense they played in the final quarter against the New Orleans Hornets didn't make the trip back to California. Even when the Lakers would seemingly play perfect defense against the Raptors they would still hit the shot. Outstretched arms of Earl Clark ? No problem. Off-balance off the dribble shot? Net baby. The Raptors were shooting flames out of their hands as if they picked up a flower and were Super Mario. The combination of poor team defense while Toronto was busy seeking Princess Peach created a dreadful night that highlighted the Lakers lack of possession defenders.
DeMar DeRozan was like a feline in a cat nip factory as he took the Lakers defense into his claws and took to shredding it apart. DeRozan had 28 points on 12-of-18 shooting. Kyle Lowry had a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists.
Tag the poor defense, King Koopa fighting, DeRozan having a field day, Kobe's turning the ball over like he microwaved his Hot Pocket too long and didn't wait for it to cool down, and the Raptors feasting on the Lakers shortcomings and it was a recipe for disaster that somehow, someway, Kobe and the Lakers were able to still rescue.
What a game. The Lakers escaped another close one and left Lakers fans watching in shock as they walked off the court with another victory.
The Utah Jazz lost in a tight game to the Chicago Bulls Earlier in the night, and with the victory over the Raptors, the Lakers are now only ,5 games out of the eighth seed in the playoffs.The Houston Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors, inching the Warriors a bit down and pushing the Rocket ahead just a bit more as they separate from the Jazz. This is also the first time since November 20th that the Lakers are above the .500 mark on the season.
- Follow this author on Twitter @DrewGarrisonSBN
- Raptors HQ is probably pretty bummed out, but they have Rudy Gay so there's that.
|Final - 3.8.2013||1||2||3||4||OT 1||Total|
|Los Angeles Lakers||25||28||26||30||9||118|
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