On a three game winning streak, the Lakers were due for a little regression to the mean and tonight it came with a vengeance. This game got ugly fast, with LA starting out 3-20 (15%) while allowing a parade to the rim on the other end, narrowly avoiding the franchise record for fewest points in a quarter (12). The team only made four more shots in the first half, to go an almost impressively terrible 7-43 and narrowly avoiding an NBA record for fewest points in a half (19).
Part of this was possibly a let down after last night's history making, other than a mini run in the third quarter, where Kobe Bryant scored 11 of his 21 points, this was a case an exhausted Lakers squad coming in against a more prepared and energized opponent, as well as some just plain atrocious shooting for the Lakers, neatly summed up by Ed Davis near the end of the first half:
The rest of the game was not much prettier, but at least Kobe made more history tonight, becoming the leading fouler in Lakers history the night after he passed Micahel Jordan for third all time in scoring. The 19-year old veteran showed admirable hustle and enthusiasm in the third quarter, with the Lakers bringing the game as close as 20, but as soon as the Pacers began making shots again this game was all over except for the clock was still running. That Bryant still led the team in minutes (30:17) in a game in which they never had a chance is as much of an indictment of Byron Scott as any, but mercifully Kobe sat the entire fourth. The only other close to a "positive" performer for the Lakers was Nick Young, who scored 18 points on 6-12 shooting off of the bench.
Rodney Stuckey had a nice outing for himself, scoring 20 points on 6-14 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing 7 assists in a near triple double. But really, most of the Pacers played very well on a night in which, especially during the first half, the Lakers did not seem particularly interested in defending or making any shots. With noted Laker-killer Russell Westbrook and the Thunder up next, this is poised to get worse before it gets better.