Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Wizards 116, Lakers 111
By Dave McMenamin
WASHINGTON -- As is usually the case with the Los Angeles Lakers, all the talk coming into Tuesday was so centered on Kobe Bryant you almost forget there was a game to be played by all the healthy guys on the roster.
L.A. had no answer for John Wall (31 points, nine assists) and Nene Hilario (a career-high 30 points) and saw its three-game win streak come to an end, falling back below .500 at 7-8.
While Bryant said he is still "probably weeks" away from a return, it doesn't get any easier for the Lakers in the immediate future either. They play in Brooklyn on Wednesday and are already 0-3 on the season on the second night of back-to-backs.
How it happened: L.A. trailed by five points heading into the fourth quarter before a couple of clutch 3-pointers by Wesley Johnson and Jordan Farmar got L.A. back to within a one-possession deficit in the final two minutes.
Gasol made a layup to put L.A. up by one, but Washington responded with a jumper by Wall and layup by Nene that gave the Wizards back a three-point edge with less than a minute to go. The Lakers would have had a chance to tie it with a 3-pointer with less than 30 seconds to go, but Steve Blake threw the ball away in transition and Wall tacked on a couple of free throws to push it to five one again.
L.A. had one last gasp after an and-1 for Gasol and Wall's lone free throw miss of the night (11-for-12), but former Wizard Nick Young missed an open 3-pointer a couple feet beyond the top of the key that could have tied it with L.A. trailing 114-111, but Washington held on.
What it means: After its strongest defensive effort of the season against Sacramento, L.A. was back to its lackadaisical ways on D, allowing the Wizards to score 116 points (including a season-high 59 in the first half) on 52.9 percent shooting.
Hits: Farmar led L.A. with 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting off the bench to go with eight assists.
Gasol neared a triple-double with 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds but had five turnovers.
All five Lakers starters scored in double digits.
Misses: L.A. had 17 turnovers leading to 28 points for Washington.
The Wizards outscored the Lakers 56-36 in points in the paint.
L.A. is now 1-5 on the road.
Stat of the game: Farmar shot 5-for-5 in the first half off the bench.
Up next: The Lakers travel to Brooklyn for the second night of a back-to-back Wednesday against the struggling Nets. They follow that up with an off day on Thanksgiving and then finish up their three-game trip in Detroit on Friday.