- Despite the win, the Lakers sets down the stretch were still very much a problem. There was very little movement off the ball, and even less ball movement. Of the Lakers eight made shots in the fourth quarter, four of them were assisted. Of the six missed shots that I was able to watch live (and I’ll have to officially go back and check film later), five of them came out of isolation sets. Much of this has to do with the players on the floor. To close things out, Bryant, Williams, Clarkson, and Randle shared the floor with Bass. Four guys who are shoot-first and a guy who isn’t on the floor to create for others. This is nit-picky considering the win, but problematic nonetheless considering it’s a trend we’ve seen all season.
- Speaking of Brandon Bass, he came up with a huge block with just under 90 seconds left to play. Kobe extended the lead to five after knocking down a pair of free throws, and Bass prevented the Nuggets to cutting things back down to a single-possession game. The Lakers would maintain at least a five-point lead for the remainder of the game until Darrell Arthur put in a meaningless 3-pointer with the clock expiring and the game already on ice.
- I suppose we can jump into the highlights by beginning with the end. Kobe reached his season high on a bucket that put the Lakers up seven with 30 seconds left to play. The free-throw game would ensue, but this is essentially the shot that sealed the win.
Larry Nance got up for a filthy dunk over Nuggets center Joffrey Lauvergne
This D’Angelo Russell pass tho
Kobe also dropped a few dimes
Kobe’s old man trot was pretty hilarious
But he was able to turn back the clock with this classic baseline jumper. Looks the same way it did 10 years ago.
While the win was fun, the Lakers won’t have much time for celebration. They’re back on the road tonight as they head out to Oklahoma City for a rematch with the Thunder for their second game of this back-to-back.
[Vine videos courtesy of Basketball Breakdown, Silver Screen and Roll, Lakers Nation and the Lakers official account.]