No Metta World Peace, no Dwight Howard and no problem for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night in Brooklyn. The Lakers became only the second team in 2013 to win at the Barclay’s center (the other team was the Miami Heat).
Kobe Bryant carried the injury-plagued team late on, but Tuesday’s first-ever Lakers win in Brooklyn was a complete team effort. Earl Clark recorded another double-double -- his fourth in the past five games. Antawn Jamison, who started in place of the suspended World Peace, shot 50 percent from the field and pulled down eight rebounds.
Pau Gasol did not have the best shooting night of his career, but he ended the night with 15 points. Unfortunately, the Spaniard was injured late in the game and was a non-factor for the last four minutes of a close contest.
Gasol said he was "worried" about the injury and that he would undergo an MRI on Wednesday. The initial thought is that Gasol is likely out of Thursday’s game in Boston, seeing as he departed the arena on crutches.
"I tweaked my fascia in the first half," Gasol said. "Just as I took off, I felt a pop in the bottom of my foot, in my fascia. I couldn’t get up."
However, Tuesday night was all about Kobe.
With the Lakers down by two points late in the game and Gasol back in the locker room, the Black Mamba drove down the middle of the lane and threw down a thunderous slam over Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries.
He tied the game and changed the energy in the building.
It not only energized the Lakers' bench, but the entire Barclay’s Center could not help but voice their awe at how the 34 year old got up and threw one down with the game on the line.
"I think that everybody’s been drinking the Kobe-pass kool-aid," Bryant said of the memorable play after the game. The lane "just parted like the Red Sea. So, I felt a little like Moses."
For an encore, Bryant drove and made a difficult layup to put the Lakers up by three minutes with less than two minutes remaining.
Bryant finished with 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals against the Nets. However, the Lakers finished with a win, and that seemed like the only statistic Bryant and the Lakers cared about at the end of the game.
The Lakers have now won six of their last seven games and travel to face the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.