Game Report: 76ers defeat Lakers: 103-99
The Lakers shot just 39% from the field, including a miserable three of 22 (14%) from beyond the arc, and converted on a lacklustre 22 of 33 (67%) free throw attempts.
The poor shooting was most conspicuous with the Lakers twin towers of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. Howard shot only one of seven (14%) from the field, and Gasol was only two of 12 (17%). Those two were supposed to provide the Lakers with a big advantage in their match-ups tonight, but they clearly did not.
The Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant (36 points and six boards), Steve Nash (12 points and 10 assists) and Jordan Hill (10 points and 8 boards and a +7 in limited minutes), but it wasn’t enough to overcome the poor performances from Howard and Gasol.
Given that the Lakers had not played in four days, the poor play from their bigs was particularly surprising.
There is surely a connection between the Lakers poor shooting and a lack of ball movement tonight. For the game, the Lakers assisted on only 17 of their 37 baskets (46%). In their previous four games, they had assisted on 67% of their field goals.
It should also be noted that Darius Morris played poorly tonight, contributing only three points and a recording a team-worst plus-minus of -18 in 20 minutes of playing time.
On a positive note, the Lakers recent trend of keeping care of the basketball continued, as they committed only seven turnovers on the night.
Lakers’ Player of the Game
Kobe’s performance was muted by some poor shot selection in the second half, and Nash’s game was efficient but modest, and so I’m awarding tonight’s player of the game to Jordan Hill, who scored 10 points on 5 of 8 shooting, grabbed eight boards, and was a +7 in only 19 minutes of play.
Hill brought lots of energy with him when he was on the floor, and it could easily be argued that he deserved some of the minutes given to Howard and Gasol tonight.
Tonight’s Top Two Tweets in my Twitter Feed
“Lakers with just 7 turnovers. 25 fast break points. 52 points in the paint. Why did they lose? 3-for-22 from deep and 22-for-33 from the line.” – @Lakerholicz, post-game tweet
“Dwight and Pau. It’s like they didn’t exist tonight.” – @Kbookid, post-game tweet
Friday, January 4 at the Los Angeles Clippers, 7:30 p.m. PST