The Los Angeles Lakers answered some prayers Friday and finally won a road game in 2013, breaking an eight-game drought away from home.
Just as relieving as the win, the Lake Show played another vintage “Kobe Johnson” game. Kobe Bryant, once again, flirted with a triple-double and finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Again, the scoring was balanced with Bryant not forcing shots, even down the stretch.
The Lakers won a game on the road, they played well, and it felt good.
Sure, the Lakers fell in love with the three in the first half and had a serious problem turning her away when she just was not working out. LA clung on to the feeling of starting 9-11 from behind the arc, but the magic was gone for the last two-thirds of the relationship.
The Lakers only made three of their final 21 shots from distance to finish 12-32 from behind the arc.
Predictably, the Lakers were in a game by the time the fourth quarter came around. The Lakers found themselves up by a mere four points with less than six minutes to play, and Dwight Howard was in another state.
Pau Gasol, Howard’s replacement, stepped up.
He immediately converted a three-point play to put the Lakers up by seven. Then, he followed that up with a short jumper and a defensive rebound. Gasol finished with a team-high 22 points and his 12 rebounds were tied for a team-high with Bryant.
“We definitely finished the game much much better,” Gasol said after the game. “We moved the ball well. We felt good as a team tonight.”
The team finished with five or more players in double figures in points for the fourth game in a row. On Friday night, the Lakers actually finished with six players reaching double figures, something that has happened twice in the “Kobe Johnson” era.
In Minnesota, the Lakers broke their road curse and took another massive step forward to salvaging the season.