Friday, February 8, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Lakers 100, Bobcats 93
By Dave McMenamin
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mike D'Antoni still wasn't over the Lakers' blowout loss to Boston before their game against the Bobcats Friday.
"It just didn’t seem like there was a commitment there of, no matter what, we got to win this game," D'Antoni said, thinking back at the way the Lakers trailed by as many as 32 points in an embarrassing loss to the Celtics. "We’ve been doing that -- play good, play bad, it doesn’t really matter if you play with your head and heart and everybody for everybody. It didn’t seem like it was there [Thursday] night, so hopefully something’s changed in 24 hours and we can get it."
For the first 2½ quarters against the Bobcats, nothing seemed to change.
The Lakers were lackadaisical on defense. They turned the ball over on offense. Their flow and cohesion were pretty much nonexistent.
But they kept at it in Charlotte, which they didn't do in Boston, and cut a 20-point deficit down to nine heading into the fourth quarter.
By the end of the game, they had a seven-point lead and one of their most balanced box scores of the season, with six Lakers players scoring in double digits and the shots evenly distributed throughout the lineup.
How it happened: L.A. completed a remarkable turnaround thanks to sharing the ball and clamping down on defense, holding Charlotte to 15 points in the fourth.
What it means: Don't put a fork in them just yet. If they can bottle the chemistry they showed in the fourth quarter, they will still make some noise in the race for the Western Conference playoffs.
Hits:Jodie Meeks scored 14 points off the bench on 5-for-7 shooting, including 4-for-4 from 3.
Antawn Jamison scored nine off the bench, including five in the fourth quarter, playing where he makes his offseason home in North Carolina.
The Bobcats outscored the Lakers 24-11 in fast-break points.
Stat of the night:Kobe Bryant was scoreless in the first half for the first time since March 31, 2012, going just 0-for-2 from the field. The second half was a completely different story as he went 6-for-13 from the field and scored all 20 of his team-high total after intermission and received "MVP" chants in a road arena for the second time in three games.
What's next: The Lakers finish off their seven-game "Grammy" road trip Sunday in Miami, with a chance to go 5-2 on the jaunt. Considering all that has happened from Pau Gasol's foot, to Dwight Howard's shoulder, to the blown lead in Phoenix and the blowout in Boston, a win over the Heat would be a pretty spectacular finish to the trip.