You know that when you see Dwight Howard shoot a 3, then it possibly is All – Star Weekend. But when you see him actually hit a 3, then something is happening. Last night and with only 10 seconds left to the game, Howard caught the ball at the corner and with a cool sharpshooter style got his 2nd career 3 pointer to go. Of course the well expected return of Steve Nash didn’t occur last night at the Staples Center. However the Lakers kept rolling, hitting a tremendous 17-33 from downtown and thus the Lakers topping the Nuggets to improve their record to 8-8 and put an end to the critics’ mouths.
LA never really put the victory in jeopardy but instead finished the first half with a 14 point lead. The young and energetic Nuggets tried to comeback at the third quarter and trimmed the lead to just 7 with a basket from Kenneth Faried, but at the end broke down to their opponents’ great performance. The bench finally stepped up and after a 5 game point at the loss against Indiana they found their rhythm scoring 61. Antawn Jamison finished with 33, season high for him hitting 5-10 from beyond the arc. Jodie Meeks had also a season high 21 points, tying his career high 7 made from 3 point range in 8 attempts. “Give me some minutes and I can make things happen” ,said Jamison after the game. Lakers’ coach Mike D’Antoni stated “They can spread the floor, they’re smart. … They’re not so bad defensively because you have Dwight in the back.”
Surprisingly Kobe Bryant didn’t have a great game, only 5-15 from the field and finished with 14 points, but after all he didn’t have to. Howard had a monster night with 28 points and 20 rebounds. As for the Nuggets they didn’t get a great game from anyone rather than Gallinari who finished with 19 points. Iguadala had 14 and had a highlight miss at the break when he slammed the basketball out. Denver was outrebounded 38-46 but not only that. The team’s bigs seemed they couldn’t handle the enormous force of Howard in the paint.
Pau Gasol had another low night, scoring just 6 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. It was Jamison who substituted him that showed up mostly in this game. The Lakers adopted a great fast paced rhythm from newly hired coach Mike D’Antoni that really helped them and it quite seems to match to this team. Also, with the teams’ role players hitting well from beyond the line, they can spread the floor and leave more space for Howard to do the job he knows well insight.
Next up for the Lakers Sunday vs Orlando Magic and for the Nuggets Monday vs Toronto, who just acquired ex-Celtic Michael Pietrus.