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Dwight Howard dominates as Lakers cruise past Nuggets

Dec 1, 2012, 1:20 AM EDT

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

The Lakers were coming off of a miserable 77-point performance against a defensive-minded Pacers team on Tuesday, and the Nuggets were coming to town after playing a wild one the night before on the road against the Warriors.

The combination of those two factors, along with Denver’s fearlessness in playing uptempo basketball, spelled disaster for them Friday night in Los Angeles.

The Lakers put up a ridiculous 71 first-half points, and behind a dominant performance from Dwight Howard and balanced production from everyone else, had little trouble in cruising to a 122-103 victory at Staples.

This one was over in the first quarter, and maybe even before it started. Reporters saw a message from Lakers coaches on the team’s whiteboard in the locker room which challenged Howard to win this game on his own, and he delivered from the very start.

Howard was featured offensively, and responded with 16 first-quarter points on 7-of-9 shooting. The activity level kept him engaged defensively, where he grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots in the game’s first 12 minutes.

Kobe Bryant, meanwhile, was happy to facilitate on this night, and only bothered to take three shot attempts in the first, while dishing out five assists in his de facto point guard role. Bryant got going offensively in the second with 10 points in the period, but that was nothing compared to the shooting performance off the bench from reserve guard Jodie Meeks.

Meeks hit his first five three-point attempts of the night, all in the second quarter for 15 points in the period. He finished 7-of-8 from three, good for 21 points in just 17 minutes.

The other stellar performance of the night belonged to Antawn Jamison, who had a throwback game scoring at will as a reserve, and finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds in 32 minutes of action. He was active around the basket and seemed to always be in a position where his teammates could locate him with ease.

Bryant finished just 5-of-15 from the field, and he, Pau Gasol, and Chris Duhon tied for the team lead in assists with eight apiece. With so many other players being prolific offensively, and with the team still in desperate need of Bryant to facilitate rather than score, a line like that from him is not only more than acceptable, but it’s welcome, and to be expected.

The night belonged to Howard, who finished with 28 points and 20 rebounds, and even drilled an open three from the corner with nine seconds left to cap his stellar performance. Some of this was on the Nuggets’ style of play and the personnel mismatch, but the majority of L.A.’s success was simply forced by the outstanding team play of the Lakers.

  1. magicbucs - Dec 1, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Lmao!!!! How come when the lakers win pbt is so fast? When they lose nothing is posted til 4-5am ET. You guys crack me up. Either way the lakers will be a .500 team maybe a few games over. In the west that usually doesn’t get you into the playoffs.

    • marcoss93 - Dec 1, 2012 at 1:59 AM

      Boohoo go cry a river XD

    • BigBeachBall - Dec 1, 2012 at 5:50 AM


    • rickeydynamite25 - Dec 1, 2012 at 8:24 AM

      The same reason why when the Lakers lose you post so fast, but when the Lakers win you don’t post until 4-5am.

    • spthegr8 - Dec 1, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      @Magicbucs a.k.a Emperor of the “TROLLS”
      Dude you have GOT 2 GET A LIFE!!!!! Do us all a favor. Go and play in traffic…….. blindfolded!!!!! I have meet some hater’s in my time, but DAMN. You are like a little “TROLL” version of Hitler. GO AWAY HATER!!!! PLEEEEEEASE GO AWAY!!!!!!!

      EVERYBODY on PBT!!!!!

  2. tomdrec42 - Dec 1, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Does ^^^ this idiot really think they lakers won’t make the play offs? Even judging off a bad start in a early season the lakers are only one game back from tied in their division. Judging by your name I think you a little soar about Howard leaving the bum magic

    • ron05342 - Dec 1, 2012 at 2:19 AM

      Obviously you are not familiar with Mr. magicbucs.

      Yes, he really believes it, and yes you are correct, he is an idiot.

  3. jerdogthompson - Dec 1, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    Agreed bus. By the way, you can sum up the game in one word Meeks. Without his out if body experience this game would not have gone their way. It’s a helluva lot easier shooting the rock up 10-15 then it is tied or down 5. Ala, Pacers. Hardly considered Dwight “dominant” as they portrayed. We shall see, their still at the bottom of the West looking up. WAY up.

    • jedifriedchicken - Dec 1, 2012 at 2:52 AM

      And the Lakers would have crushed Indiana if they had made their free-throws. What could have happen doesn’t matter. The Lakers won. Deal with it. Howard had 28 points, 20 rebounds, and three block. If that’s not dominate, I don’t know what is. Just because you don’t like the Lakers doesn’t mean you should make outlandish claims about them. They have a lot of talent. Anyone who continues to rant about how terrible they’re going to be for the rest of the season is either ignorant of the true dynamics of the NBA, or just plain delusional.

      • eerock41 - Dec 1, 2012 at 8:39 AM

        having talent does not mean winning a championship. LA looks great on paper, but has proved that they still have to learn to play with each other every game. i see LA making the play off the 4th seed to the 8th seed. i would be very surprised if they get home court for any series this year.

    • cosanostra71 - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:01 AM

      looking at the standings right now, they aren’t last in the conference or in the division, sounds like you’re just butthurt they’re 6-4 in the last 10.

  4. onelildude - Dec 1, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Funny how people can really think the Lakers won’t put it together. They haven’t had a pg since The coaching change. Nash is a great pg and a great shooter 2 huge needs for the Lakers, Blake can also hit the 3

  5. tomdrec42 - Dec 1, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Their 8th with 68 games left and their staring pg isn’t back yet. I guess they are looking way up from the bottom

    • eerock41 - Dec 1, 2012 at 8:40 AM

      remember when the starting point gaurd gets back, the defense gets even worse than it is now. Nash is a great play, but defense has never been on his mind while on the court, never.

      • letangusespertplus - Dec 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        coke floats?

      • cosanostra71 - Dec 1, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        “the defense gets even worse than it is now”

        Thank you for letting us know that you don’t watch Lakers games. The Lakers have been a top 10 defense this year.

  6. e39er - Dec 1, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Plenty of basketball to go, nuff said

  7. themagicfanguy - Dec 1, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    It’s quite easy to agree with magicbucs, in some ways.
    I think they’ll make the playoffs, but get knocked out early. Nash is vital to what they want to accomplish, and he’s almost 40. Can he stay healthy for the season and postseason? Idk.

  8. BigBeachBall - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    54 points between two bench players…

    • tfoz5150 - Dec 1, 2012 at 8:13 AM

      Jody Meeks is a lot like that great golf shot that you hit long and straight down the fairway. The one that encourages you about your game so that you keep coming back. Nevermind the majority of your shots that you slice over to the next fairway. Enjoy the ones like this that you do get from him. Maybe he can keep it up.

  9. realtalksportsatl - Dec 1, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    Reblogged this on REAL TALK SPORTS and commented:
    Lakers back to .500 but it will take time to see what this team is really about.

  10. redstar504 - Dec 1, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    Where is Lakerluver ???

  11. paulhargis53 - Dec 1, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    With any luck, lakerluver is swinging from a beam in his attic right now.

    • omniusprime - Dec 1, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      With a disgusting comment like this you should be swinging from a beam so we’ll all be lucky not to hear your pathetic crybabying ever again.

    • letangusespertplus - Dec 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      maybe lakerluver was the gf of a chiefs player. oh sh!t swim walk.

    • lakerdownunder - Dec 2, 2012 at 2:51 AM

      And you seriously think you’re not a bully. What a friggen jerk you are.

      • broncobeta - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        Amen. Cyberbullying is a real thing and paulharis53 needs to back off.

  12. rayray5227 - Dec 1, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Look at these haters come out. We all know that the Lakers r gonna end up in the top 5.

    • tfoz5150 - Dec 1, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Try being a Philadelphia fan where the hate flows before you even get out of bed in the morning.

      • jimeejohnson - Dec 1, 2012 at 9:35 PM

        Or where Bozos and ph53 live: the hate flows 24/7. Now I get it: those guys are Satan!

  13. omniusprime - Dec 1, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    It’s about time that Howard showed up big in a game and carried the burden instead of Kobe. This is how the Lakers should be doing things. Great shooting by Meeks shows just how fortunate the team is to have Steve Flake riding the pine injured. Now the Lakers are forced to give the other guards more playing time which is important in helping develop them for the postseason when Nash fails to play defense. Pau was great facilitating, which is most useful.

    One great game a season does not make; now we have to see some consistency from the Lakers as they need to go on a winning streak that proves they are true contenders, not just overpaid overhyped pretenders. A good game but only one, I’m waiting to see a string before I get excited about the post season.

    Go Lakers!!!

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 1, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      It’s November. Getting “excited about the postseason” should wait for about four or five months.

    • lakerfan4life - Dec 1, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      A great game against a team playing on the 2nd night of a back to back. And against a team that is almost as well known for not playing defense, as is a typical D’Antoni team. (as the great Charles Barkley says “there’s no ‘D’ in ‘Enver”)

      And the next few games will not be any indication of anything either (Orlando? Houston??). Just good practice games for them to get better at the D’Antoni offense. We won’t have any indication of how well this team is progressing until they play OKC in a couple of weeks.

  14. jimeejohnson - Dec 1, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    Only someone with a very low basketball IQ thinks Dwight Howard sucks. Throw in Kobe, or the second coming of MJ, Pau Gasol and Metta World War, along with a healthy Steve Nash, and you’ve got the potential for a championship run. I’m no Laker fan or hater, just someone who has, for 30 years, witnessed them at the top of the basketball world along with those Boston Celtics and now, Miami Heat. Here’s hoping one of those NY clubs gets into the action, and Memphis and OKC are sure to contend, along with the Spurs. It’s a good time to be a fan of this great game, and could get better if Chancellor David Corporate Shill Stern retires.

  15. paulhargis53 - Dec 2, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Still crying lakerdownunder?

    Here’s the same hint I keep giving you.

    If you don’t like what I write, STOP READING, when you see my name!!!

    God, you’re whining is pathetic. Why are you such a big baby? Besides, its not directed at you, why are you concerned?
    Lakerluver, in his very weak way, kind of fights back. GFY, okay?!

    • lakerdownunder - Dec 2, 2012 at 7:45 PM

      Crying? LL, I don’t think so. I’m simply stating what is obvious and that is that you are a pathetic little wimp who seems to find it self gratifying to constantly bully others…or at least one person. And then don’t even have the guts to admit that’s what you’re doing.

      I don’t know Lakerluver, nor do I have an opinion about him/her either way, but people like you are typical weak bullies who have to put others down to feel big. It’s sad really…you think you’re such a hero online. Add delusional to the list of your attributes.

      Standing by and watching it happen (or the online equivalent of “ignoring what you write”) is the same as condoning it.

      You hide at home in the dark playing with yourself (clearly you can type with one hand) while you knock out another disgusting comment about someone on line….

      Tough? I don’t think so…just a scared little boy who would never have the balls to say any of those things face to face.


      • manchestermiracle - Dec 2, 2012 at 10:53 PM

        You’re quite right, mate, but do as the rest of us do, and as he suggests (the only time I can recall him being right about anything): Notice the name, scroll down far enough to click on the thumbs-down so he knows you were there, and then just move on to the next comment.

        He puts up the childish trash he does in order to inflame people and to get them to respond to him. You know, like a 5-year old does when it isn’t getting the attention it thinks it deserves. He says he doesn’t care what others think, but clearly he does and considers it a badge of honor to make as many people as possible uncomfortable. The only way he wins is if you try and reason with him. It’s a waste of your time, so don’t even bother.

  16. paulhargis53 - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    I can’t believe what candy a**es you people are. Cyberbullying?!

    Yeah, those thumbs down will really show me!(like they mean anything, condolences about a person’s death get thumbed down).
    If you can’t handle being put down a little bit, you don’t belong on a sports blog. You also don’t belong in a sports conversation.

    It’s funny that all you psychoanalysts think you have me “all figured out.”

    downunder, you call me a bully, then go on to ridicule me, in effect, bullying me- nice job idiot.

    Manchester, you’re a little twirp that can’t hang in a debate. You were smart to walk away and mind your own business.

    Good dog.

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