THREE STEPS BACK, 12 STEPS FORWARD
Over in the nation's capital, Kobe Bryant was fouled on a three-point try. He missed it. Then he stepped to the line, and missed the free throw. Then he stepped to the line again, and missed the free throw again. Then he stepped to the line again, and missed the free throw again. "Never happened to me," he said of the 0-fer. "Never." And so he silenced the laughing and taunting crowd by running off 12 straight points in a 17-2 run in the third quarter to put away the John Wall-less Wizards. (Maybe that will teach them.) And since Kobe dropped 24 on 7-for-13 shooting (from the field), the Lakers improved to 11-0 when he attempts less than 20 shots. (Maybe that will teach him.)
Meanwhile, Andrew Bynum added 7 points and 4 rebounds in his 17-minute season-debut.
Meanwhile the Lakers traded Sasha Vujacic to the Nets in a three-team deal that landed them Joe Smith. You might remember Joe Smith from such teams as: the Warriors, or the Sixers, or the Timberwolves, or the Pistons, or the Timberwolves again, or the Bucks, or the Nuggets, or the Sixers again, or the Bulls, or the Cavs, or the Thunder, or the Cavs again, or the Hawks, or the Nets. (Your choice.)