Sunday’s game against the Blazers was about as up-and-down as any game for the Lakers not just this season but in a long, long time. Maybe ever. A red-hot start, one of the worst quarters in league history, and one of the best comebacks in franchise history all were packed neatly inside 48 minutes.
It ultimately ended in a victory and it was one filled with some absolutely insane stats. Here’s a look at some of the best ones from the night.
A comeback for the ages
After leading by double digits in the opening minutes, the Lakers imploded in truly dramatic fashion in the second quarter, being outscored 45-13. As a result of coming back and winning, they became just the second team in league history to be outscored by 30 points in a quarter and still earn the victory.
Lakers are the 12th team in NBA history to overcome a halftime deficit of at least 25 points and win. They’re the first since the Clippers on Jan. 25, 2022. The 9-point win by the Lakers is the largest margin of victory after trailing by 25+ at halftime. Previous high was 8.— (@FlyByKnite) January 23, 2023
In true Lakers fashion, they one-upped the Celtics in doing so.
A near franchise record
In being outscored by 32 points in the second period, the Lakers headed into the locker room down 25 points. And as a result of overturning that deficit, they earned the second-biggest comeback in franchise history.
Per the Lakers: the 25-point halftime deficit is tied for second-largest halftime deficit overcome to win in Lakers history. Second only to a 28-point deficit on 12/6/02 vs Dallas.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 23, 2023
The Mavericks game that featured the largest comeback is also one of the many iconic moments of Kobe Bryant’s career and one of the most memorable games of the three-peat Lakers.
After giving up a 70-point first half along with their 45-point second quarter, the Lakers completely flipped the script on the Trail Blazers. The purple and gold had their own 40-point quarter in the third period and closed out the win with a 35-point fourth quarter.
The Blazers led the Lakers 71-46 at halftime.— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 23, 2023
LA outscored Portland 75-41 in the second half pic.twitter.com/PGWQKWRgxr
Seeing it laid out like that with the first half score graphic and the final score graphic really drives home how absolutely absurd that game was.
Highs and lows
Before giving up that insane second quarter, the Lakers had a big lead of their own. Behind LeBron James and Thomas Bryant, the visitors built up a 14-point first quarter lead before trailing by 25 at the half. Then, they turned it around and nearly won by double digits at the final horn, two seismic swings in the same game.
39 point turnaround in the first half. 34 point turnaround in the second half. one of the craziest games of basketball i can remember.— Lakers Outsiders (@LakersOutsiders) January 23, 2023
If you take out the second quarter, the Lakers outscored the Blazers 108-67, which truly drives home how bad that second quarter was.
One of the biggest catalysts in the win was the aforementioned Bryant. The big man tied his career high in points with 31, grabbed 14 rebounds, and hit 12 of his 15 field goal attempts, putting him in rarefied company in franchise history.
Thomas Bryant is only the 3rd Laker in the last 40 years to record 30+ PTS and 14+ REB on 80% FG shooting in a game. pic.twitter.com/kXqtTYeWeR— NBA History (@NBAHistory) January 23, 2023
Bryant joins Andrew Bynum and Shaq as the only two Lakers in the last four decades to achieve that stat line. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it twice in 1976, more than 40 years ago for those keeping track at home.
That group accounts for six instances of it happening in Lakers history. Wilt Chamberlain did it five times on his own in purple and gold, because of course he had. His best line from one of those games was his 66-point, 27-rebound game in which he shot 29-35 from the field.
There was only one Wilt.