After the Lakers’ 105-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, everyone from the coach down to the last fan sitting at the top of the 300 section at Staples Center walked away talking about the Lakers’ transformation from a group of individuals into a team.
“In order for us to win, we have to take a little bit of ourselves out of the picture and play for the front of our jerseys, not the back,” Dwight Howard proclaimed in the locker room after the win.
“When we win as a team, all those individual goals we have, will happen,” he preached. “We have to do it together. All of us want to accomplish great things. If we win, we will accomplish everything that we want to accomplish.”
Howard was then asked about the support the Los Angeles crowd showed him while he was struggling from the free-throw line. Even as he labored to only convert two of 10 foul shots on Sunday afternoon, Los Angeles cheered on their star center and supported him with a standing ovation as he walked up to the foul line.
Dwight felt the love.
“I’m happy they did what they did tonight,” Howard said about the crowd’s support amid the struggles. “That was amazing. I’m just happy I didn’t air-ball it.”
“That would have been bad.”
Dwight was feeling positive because the Lakers won 105-96 over the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team with the best record in the NBA this season. Considering the Lakers won by nine points with their star center missing eight free throws, it pains to imagine how great this team could become if Dwight was able to shoot between 60 and 70 percent from the foul line.
However, let’s not get greedy.
The Lakers just beat the defending Western Conference Champions, and that already offers enough to satisfy the imagination.