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Lakers snap four-game losing streak with win over Wizards

Dec 14, 2012, 10:19 PM EST

Los Angeles Lakers v Washington Wizards Getty Images

It’s been an ugly stretch for the Lakers recently. With the team losing four straight and six of its last seven, a win by any means necessary would be welcome in Los Angeles — even against the team with the league’s worst record, the Washington Wizards.

Thursday night’s destruction at the hands of the Knicks was a low point, but heading into Washington presented its own set of challenges.

The Lakers were playing the second night of a back-to-back, and playing a Wizards team that starts the likes of Chris Singleton and Martell Webster isn’t exactly as exciting as facing Carmelo Anthony in Madison Square Garden.

But the Lakers can’t afford to be overlooking any opponent these days, and to their credit, managed to get out to the strong start that eluded them the night before against the Knicks. L.A. forced nine first-quarter turnovers and led by as many as nine early, before Washington closed the gap.

The Wizards got out to a nine-point lead of their own before halftime, behind 12 second-quarter points from Cartier Martin. Jodie Meeks had 12 in the period for the Lakers, and seven points late from Metta World Peace helped L.A. get the lead back by halftime.

This game was won in the third quarter — or, perhaps more appropriately, it was lost there. Washington shot a dismal 20.8 percent from the field in the period, making five of its 24 shot attempts while scoring just 14 points.

The Lakers didn’t make it easy on themselves, and Kobe Bryant was the main reason why.

Bryant finished with 30 points, but it took him 29 shot attempts to get there — as many as Dwight Howard (8), Devin Ebanks (10) and Metta World Peace (11) combined. By all accounts he was shooting way too much, especially when you consider he was playing through back spasms for the second consecutive game.

Bryant did manage seven assists, but when dominating the ball in that way, it’s almost impossible not to. He made just nine field goals, and finished just 1-of-8 from three-point distance.

Meeks was a bright spot off the bench for the Lakers, and finished with 24 points in 30 minutes, on an efficient 9-of-14 shooting. Ebanks proved to be a better option defensively in the starting lineup given his activity level, and Mike D’Antoni went nine deep into his bench, with Robert Sacre and Darius Morris each chipping in limited contributions in about 15 minutes apiece.

This is no way to get the team’s offense back on track, however, with Bryant in full-blown chucker mode, and with his teammates largely uninvolved — especially when he continues to force up shots when they simply aren’t falling. But for the Lakers, falling to this Wizards team would have been unacceptable even by their vastly lowered standards, so they’ll gladly take this win no matter how questionable the means were to that end.

  1. buffalo65 - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Laker luver…..will he resurface

  2. askyeshua - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Kobe asked for the Washington Generals, he got the next best thing, the Washington Wizards

  3. badintent - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Coach Phil:”Glad you could make my barbeque tonight Mike !”
    Coach Mike:” I wouldn’t miss it for the world ! Smells great ”
    Coach Phil :” Yeah , these Wagyu steaks are from Japan , cost $165 a pound ! I got 5 pounds for all of us. ”
    Coach Mike :’ Hey, but We’re worth it ! Every penny .” I brought your favorite wine too, the Heinz Cellars 1981 Cabernet Sauvignon , got a case for $1900.
    Coach Phil:” Nice, and with Buss’s money paying this freight, I propose a toast to Jimmy.
    Coach Mike :”Fuc* that ! hahahah !
    Coach Phil:”Lakers play tonight ?”
    Coach Mike:” An exhibition against some college team.”

    • philtration - Dec 15, 2012 at 1:34 AM

      I can just picture you typing that up and thinking….
      “Man! This is going to kill!”

      Don;t quit your day job… when you finally get one.

      • michaeljordanseviltwin - Dec 15, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        He had good intent

      • badintent - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        @philtration
        Is that handle a pun or a noun ?
        I don’t have a job, I own 2 companies and as an owner, I have lots of time to give joy to the world …here. ya’ll..Go root for the Clippers, At least they play D. and Lob City.

      • slowclyde86 - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM

        Good to know that badintent’s, um, genius was not limited to single a post. Comedic gold, they are.

  4. manchestermiracle - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    It’s a wonder the Lakers ever get into an offensive rhythm with Kobe jacking up all those unnecessary threes. Long misses equal long rebounds and just give the opposition another fast break opportunity. Does D’Antoni have the balls to tell him to knock it off?

  5. jerdogthompson - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Who here saw the foul called on Kobe when he jacked up the 3 with about 4 min in the 4th? Lakers up by 3 and he’s fouled. Replay shows defender caught him with “air”. It wasn’t even remotely close to a foul. Guy was a foot away, Kobe hits all 3 foul shots and the game was pretty much put away

    That ref should be banned altogether after a call like that. Nothing short of shameful. Nonetheless Lakers pick up a much needed win BARELY.

    Don’t think they have many more of the these “easy” games left. They already played them early on. Best of luck ladies, best of luck.

    • slowclyde86 - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      “Did anyone see that one play, where that guy, the really good one, got that call? ” Seriously, dude? You ought write your congressman to hold public hearings. People need to know about this!

    • miamatt - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      The are missed calls in every game, on both sides. Yes, stars get more benefit of the doubt with regards to those. It’s not why games are won and lost.

  6. magicbucs - Dec 15, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Lakers still suck…generals would beat them

  7. themagicfanguy - Dec 15, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Wonder if Bozo will switch over to his l
    slightly less trolling name lakerluver now…?

    • bozosforall - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:27 AM

      Gotta love the conspiiracy theorists on here. No idea who lakerluver is or why he isn’t posting, but I love how you no life losers obsess over both of us.

  8. rabbdogg - Dec 15, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    hate on kobe much? what happened to being objective?

    • eventhorizon04 - Dec 15, 2012 at 3:18 AM

      ….There’s no objective way to explain Kobe taking 3 times as many shots as Dwight Howard on a night when Kobe was 9 of 29 (31%), compared to Dwight’s 4 of 8 (50%), without calling out Kobe.

      None.

      • sdrinozancan - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:37 PM

        Were we watching the same game? Or better yet, did you actually watch the game? In the first half, Dwight Howard played only 13 minutes because he was in foul trouble, and Jordan Hill had back spasms before the game. What does that mean? It means that Kobe had to share the floor with our 3rd string point guard (Duhon), our 4th string power forward (Ebanks, who is actually a small forward) and Robert Sacre, who is more of a cheerleader than a player. Kobe tried to facilitate but everyone was missing everything. Even Jodie Meeks, who missed a wide-open layup. Kobe HAD to take over, and not being 100% healthy himself he missed a lot. As for Dwight Howard shooting only 8 times, you should count three throws as well, so that means he attempted a shot 12 times (8 FTA). Something else the stats won’t tell you is what type of shots Kobe had to take, and why. The team offense was completely off, and the Lakers would waste 20 seconds to then give Kobe the ball the last second behind the 3 point line. That’s one of the main reasons Kobe shot too much. I’m not trying to say he had a flawless night, because he was obviously cold the whole night, but at least, you should acknowledge why he shot that much.
        And on a side note, Howard is a horrible post player compared to Bynum or Gasol, and back in Orlando he qould only score on dunks and putbacks. He was double-teamed all the time tonight (and many other nights), so he couldn’t shoot.
        You should watch the game before commenting, not the box score.

      • bozosforall - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:32 AM

        Given that Kobe is shooting his highest % in FGs, 3 pointers and free throws, all higher than his career averages, he can be excused for having an off night, particularly since the Lakers still won the game. Bugger off, eventhorizon.

  9. thelakeshow562 - Dec 15, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    let the haters talk all they want but there still over here reading Laker articles just cuz deep down Laker fans who jumped ship LAKERS #1 (FAH)

  10. 00maltliquor - Dec 15, 2012 at 3:57 AM

    Is a win over the freakin’ Wiz still considersd a win? This feels like a stupid “moral victory” to me.

    • loungefly74 - Dec 15, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      i hear ya Malt. I feel like sending them a copy of “Rudy” to watch…

      • bozosforall - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:34 AM

        The Puh C’s fans have no problem counting two early close wins vs the Wiz, do why shouldn’t the Lakers do the same.

      • loungefly74 - Dec 17, 2012 at 8:30 AM

        oh…you are correct, sir. the spotlight is on us though…but yeah, the C’s are hurting as well.

      • bozosforall - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:34 PM

        The Puh C’s are a .500 team even with their stars in, while the Lakers are still missing two of their stars and thir top backup at Nash’s position.

  11. abchome - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:37 AM

    Congrads to the Lakers, and Kobe. Now the “funny stat” is improved to 2-10, Lakers’ record when Kobe scores 30 points or more this season.

    • davidly - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      Last night was the first game they won with Bryant taking more shots than the team has assists.

      Bryant shots attempts greater than Laker assists: 1-10
      Laker assists greater than Bryant shot attempts::: 9-4

      But let’s be honest: If we had the level of talent at anything that Kobe Bryant does basketball, we wouldn’t be caught nerding-out about the NBA here on the Web.

  12. scottheis82 - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:38 AM

    Ummm the obvious objective way to explain it would be because DH was in foul trouble and played about 12 minutes less than KB tonight, but hey don’t let that get in the way of hating on Kobe…

  13. fotydaze - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:56 AM

    Looking forward to the summer when D12 tells the lakers the only way he’ll resign is if they trade Kobe. Karma’s a bi#+h Kobe

    • loungefly74 - Dec 15, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      ehhh…i think all things considered…Karma has been great to Kobe…personally and professionally.

  14. omniusprime - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Nice to see the Lakers win, but it was against the current worst team in the NBA and it wasn’t impressive. I’m not getting excited yet until the Lakers string together ten or more victories. Kobe shot too much, yet again the proof that Dumbtoni is a monumental failure as a coach. The Lakers got off to a good start finally, but they slacked off during the game and kept letting the pathetic Wizards team back into the lead.

    Jodie Meeks has been a bright spot for the Lakers so far this season, at times he looks like Mini Kobe. MWP put in an excellent game, he needs to play like that every game. Howard seemed like a lame duck last night, he should have torn that small Wizards team apart.

    One win does not a season make, the Lakers have to show a sense of urgency that they have been lacking the whole season because they have had the two worst coaches in the NBA misleading them to losses. The Lakers can’t wait for things to come together at some time in the future, if they do in the future their chances for getting into the playoffs will be waiting for them next season.

    I can’t wait for Pau Gasol to heal up and start playing again, he is far more important than Ancient Nash to the team. It was painful watching the Lakers try to play small ball.

    Go Lakers!!! Go Kobe!!! Go MWP!!! Fire Dumbtoni!!! We Want Phil!!!

  15. samonelastains - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    How you have a whole article about a team winning the game with no final score anywhere in the article?

  16. discostu1233 - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    A win is always a win even more in this outrageous reallity that lakers fans are we living.. But lets be honest we have won to nobody.. This wizards team doesn t exist.. They suck even worse than we.. And we won by miracle… Playing horrible basketball… I dont see Nash fixing this disaster.. The year is over.. Fire Dantoni hire another coach pray to Dwight to stay in LA and best wishes next year

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