Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his basket and foul with Metta World Peace #15, Kobe Bryant #24 and Earl Clark #6 during a 104-88 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Los Angeles Lakers Lakers finally played like a team of stars on Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The “triple threat” of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard combined for 70 points, 18 rebounds and 17 assists. In a game where the bench was not able to contribute effectively, the Lakers’ superstars finally played the way everyone expected them to at the start of the season.
Since Coach Mike D’Antoni was not around on opening day, the team apparently never knew the season had started. D’Antoni told his guys that the season started last Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Lakers have gone 2-0 since.
On Tuesday night, the Lakers were carried offensively by a combined 26-37 shooting night from Bryant and Howard. Having the top two scorers combine for 62 points on 70 percent shooting was a worthy achievement, but that is not all the Lakers did well on Tuesday night.
The Lakers passed the ball effectively all night long, and they did not turn the ball over. The Lakers started off by assisting 21 of their 23 field goals in the first half. To go along with the great ball movement, the team only had two turnovers at the break.
Ultimately, the Lakers finished the game with 42 field goals on 30 assists. Steve Nash led the team with 11 assists, and the Canadian point guard performed exactly the way everyone expected him to.
Entering the night, Milwaukee had a winning record on the road and on the season, so the Lakers beat a team that was hardly a bottom-feeder.
The Lakers still gave up too many offensive rebounds—21—and shot a few too many 3-pointers—29—but the defense and effort was present. Bryant and company held the backcourt of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings to a combined 29 on 33 percent shooting. The Bucks walked out of Staples Center held to 88 points on 36 percent shooting.
After all was said and done, the Lakers finally resembled the three-headed monster most everyone expected at the start of the season.
With Lebron James and Miami coming to visit on Thursday, the Lakers face their first big test of the "D’Antoni season."
…and Pau Gasol hasn’t even played this season.