I write this report in a state of shock and disbelief.
It’s a numb feeling that reminds me of the time I witnessed a car accident – I wasn’t quite sure what I had just witnessed, but I knew it was huge.
Your Los Angeles Lakers, who were down by 25 in the second quarter, and who started the fourth quarter down 18, closed the game on a 20-0 run over the final 6:42 to win by six points.
As Kobe Bryant said in his post-game interview, he led the charge on offense and Dwight Howard took control on defense.
Kobe finished with 42 points on 67% shooting, and had 12 assists and seven rebounds in 42 minutes.
Dwight scored 20 points on 56% shooting, and had 15 rebounds, four blocks, and three steals in 35 minutes – and this while playing the entire game with foul trouble.
And Jodie Meeks played an amazing game as well, scoring 19 points on 55% shooting in 26 minutes.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was a must-win game for the Lakers, but from the middle of the second quarter it looked like a can’t-win game.
But, just as they did in Charlotte on February 8 – in a game that was also considered a must-win – the Lakers mounted an enormous fourth quarter comeback. Tonight, they outscored the Hornets 33-9 in the fourth quarter.
And Lakers’ fans know those 33 points scored are not the story – the real story is allowing just nine points in the fourth quarter, with the season potentially on the line.
Making tonight’s victory even more sweet for Lakers fans was the fact that earlier in the night the Cavaliers finished their game on a 12-1 run to beat the Jazz by three points, meaning the Lakers picked up a game on the Jazz in the play-off race.
Check back in an hour for a fuller recap on tonight’s enormous win.