Lakers Win With Impressive Second Half Comeback

November 12, 2008

Many have said that the first four games of the Lakers' schedule would not provide any indication of the team's strength. Yes, the Lakers did win in huge blowouts, but they were pretty much expected to against the likes of the Blazers, Clippers, and Nuggets. Sunday's game against the Rockets was considered the first of a series of "tests" in a pretty rough four-games-in-six-days schedule. After a dismal start, the Lakers crushed the Rockets in a 29-point win.

Last night's game in Dallas added another impressive win to the Lakers' perfect start. Like the game before, the Lakers started off slow, looking scattered defensively and allowing the Mavericks to get some open looks. At the half, Dallas held a 60-54 lead.

The second half seemed to be a replay of the previous 24 minutes, as the Mavericks built a double-digit lead early in the third quarter. That lead was short-lived however, and the Lakers ended the third quarter down only three. At this point, it was anyone’s game and a Lakers loss seemed possible.

But the fourth quarter belongs to The Closer and Kobe Bryant again delivered. Bryant scored four quick baskets, one of which was an emphatic tip-in dunk after a Lamar Odom miss. The defense then began to click, and the team’s energy surged. After the dust settled, the Lakers came out on top 106-99, with a three-point play from Pau Gasol sealing the deal with 23 seconds left.

Kobe Bryant scored 27, and Pau Gasol put up a 22 and 11 effort, but the real star was Trevor Ariza. Although Ariza only scored 13 points, those points all came at crucial times and in dramatic fashion -- a tip-in here, an "and" one there, even a turnaround one-hander off the glass. Ariza also added three steals and an exclamatory rejection of Jerry Stackhouse's three-point attempt with one second to go on the shot clock. With his efforts, it's no surprise that Ariza had the highest plus-minus on the team for the night.

The Lakers remain undefeated at 6-0, but the real test comes tonight in New Orleans where the Lakers face MVP-candidate Chris Paul and former Boston nemesis James Posey.

By Kien Le
Staff Reporter for

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