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Baseline to Baseline recaps: Lakers keep it simple and win. Finally.

Nov 5, 2012, 2:55 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant, Jason Maxiell AP

Our nightly recap of every game around the NBA. We catch you up on what you missed while thinking that a 14-year-old is a whole lot better at golf than you….

Lakers 108, Pistons 79: The Lakers had a 23-5 run in the second half of the first quarter, and that was pretty much it for this game. This looked like the Lakers we all expected this season.

What happened? Well, a lot of things, all interconnected. The Lakers really simplified what they did on offense. They pushed the ball at nearly every opportunity and tried to get easy baskets in transition. And while they only scored 11 fast break points, the speed at which they got up court allowed them to get into their offense faster and take advantage of a porous Piston defense.

Once in the half court, the Lakers really did a good job at focusing on getting their big men involved, as evidenced by their 56 points in the paint. Pau Gasol started the game as the offensive focal point scoring 8 first quarter points. Dwight Howard was a presence all game long carving out space on the block and finished with 28 points on only 14 shots. The work they did down low also created tons of room on the perimeter for the Lakers’ wings to take advantage. It’s no coincidence that Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, and Steve Blake were all able to shoot so well from distance (combined 8-14 from three) as they got countless spot up chances simply due to ball movement and the play of the big men drawing defensive attention.

Defensively the Lakers were also much improved. They moved on a string more than in another game this season, helping each other when the ball penetrated and then recovering back to shooters when the ball got kicked out. Howard was also tracking the ball from the back line better than he has, allowing him to block 3 shots and contest several others.

For Pistons fans… um… there was a Jonas Jerebko sighting, he led the team with 18. Aside that, burn the tape.

Before Lakers fans start to go “The Lakers have arrived, count the ringzzzzz,” remember this was one game and it was against the Pistons (who stink). But for a team that looked to be losing some confidence this is a positive step. They looked together, for longer stretches, on both sides of the ball and that is what they need to do to win games.
—Darius Soriano

Knicks 100, 76ers 84: Two impressive games in a row for the Knicks, and coincidentally Carmelo Anthony is plying the four. Or, not so coincidentally. Our own Brett Pollakoff broke this game down for PBT.

Hawks 105, Thunder 95: The good news for the Thunder is Kevin Martin showed up gunning — 29 points including 6-of-8 from three. The bad news was he hit the last of those three pointers with 4 minutes to go in the game (a shot that got the Thunder within two) and the Thunder didn’t get him a shot the rest of the way. The Thunder went away from the hottest hand in the building. The Thunder shot 35.3 percent in the fourth

The ugly news for the Thunder was their defense, which gave up 57 points in the second half. The Hawks, without Josh Smith, completely out worked the Thunder inside all night. Al Horford had 23 points and 12 boards, Lou Williams added 19 for the Hawks off the bench. The Hawks have guys who can shoot and they found space to do it Sunday.

Durant has the ball in his hands a lot more this season, playing more point forward, and he is trying to set guys up more. He’s getting assists but has not scored more than 25 in a game this season. He’s the best scorer on the planet, he needs to shoot the rock.

Raptors 105, Timberwolves 96: Some teams just have another teams number — this is 9 straight Raptors wins at home over Minnesota, 15 of the last 16 meetings total. This time it might have been the 24 Timberwolves turnovers, but this was close until the start of the fourth quarter when a 13-6 Raptors run and they never looked back. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan had 22 for the Raptors (Lowry has been impressive so far this season). Andrei Kirilenko‘s 17 points led the Timberwolves.

Magic 115, Suns 94: Dwight who? The Magic are 2-0.

Phoenix led most of the first half and was up by 11 midway through the third quarter, then Orlando went 37-9 run over and that was it. The Suns lived (and built their lead) by the jumper and died by it when it stopped falling. Nice win for a Magic team without Jameer Nelson and Hedo TurkogluJ.J. Redick had 24 (non in the third quarter during the run, however), Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo each had 22.

  1. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Just 4 games into the season. Too early to judge.

    But a win is a win, and I like what I saw.

  2. 00maltliquor - Nov 5, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    When things are going wrong, play the Pistons! lol

    That felt good, everything was clicking, shots were falling, Steve Blake actually looked good (!!!!!!!). It only took 12-13 games for me to see the Lakers actually win another game, but I’ll take it.

    D12 is surprising the sh!t out of me with his post moves. He’s actually got more then a few. Scary thing is he is beasting on offense and he ain’t even 90% right yet. He’s still slower then normal and he’s not getting up as high. Kobe so far this year is about as efficient as I’ve ever seen him in my life, that fools freaking immortal, I swear.

    Thanks for the win guys, I’m going to sleep good tonight! lol

    • camnellum12 - Nov 5, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      I obviously didn’t watch the game, but Dwight Howard looked finesse in the post? I’m not here to knock Dwight, but all the games I’ve seen him play, he tried barrel into his defender and out muscle him with his strength. Some times that worked for him, but when he played against DeAndre Jordan, not so much. Maybe he had a lot of breathing room against Detroit?

      • 00maltliquor - Nov 6, 2012 at 1:37 AM

        Yeah, he did. I must say I was very impressed. I hope this is going to be what to expect but this game in particular he was pulling off all kinds of moves. I love his teardrop hook shot, plus he’s ambidextrious and can use that left just as good as his right. If you live locally I pray you have Time Warner, otherwise I feel for you. That new cable deal sucks for everyone else, I’m just glad I already had TWC.

  3. magicbucs - Nov 5, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Omg you beat the pistons lmao. It only took 12 games to get a win at home vs the pistons. Ge real laker fans. Yea you guys will be in the playoffs but there’s very little chance for a title with only the starting 5. Your bench is horrible.
    all but Blake would be 11-12th man on most teams. The magic have a better offense and defense than you and they have no superstar(s) or Allstar(s).

    • spthegr8 - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      @magicbucs
      I don’t know WHAT YOU ARE SMOKING, but send some my way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#GTFOH!!!!!!!!!!

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      You’re just BITTER coz your team doesn’t stand a chance of getting into the playoffs — much even less of getting into the finals… and winning your first banner. So yeah, keep on hating. That’s the best thing you can do for a change. Hohummmmm…

  4. albertmn - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Not a huge deal, since most people don’t care about these two teams, but you have the wrong score for Raptors/Wolves. It was 105-86. And, the link takes you to the wrong game. But, again, few people are likely concerned with that game in particular.

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