Rapid Reaction: Lakers 99, Nets 94
November, 27, 2013
By Dave McMenamin
NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Lakers had been a road weary bunch so far this season, starting this season just 1-5 away from Staples Center, including an 0-3 mark on the second night of back-to-backs.
Sometimes all it takes to break a slump is to find an opponent that's in an even sadder state.
That's what the Lakers found in the Brooklyn Nets, who were missing Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko on Wednesday.
"They've got enough [that] we've got to worry about," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said before the game. "They got all the pride and they're fighting for their lives like we are."
The Lakers managed to come out of the game with a pulse, barely, staving off a late Brooklyn rally for a much-needed 99-94 win to even their record at 8-8.
As bleak as this Lakers season has felt at times, especially with Steve Nash going down and Kobe Bryant yet to make his debut, they have one thing to take with them after Wednesday night: It could be worse. At least they're not in the pickle the 4-11 Nets are in right now.
How it happened: Mirza Teletovic erased L.A.'s once 27-point lead with a personal 6-0 run midway through in the fourth quarter that tied the score at 92-92, capping a furious comeback by Brooklyn led by Paul Pierce (two 3-pointers), Alan Anderson (three 3s) and Teletovic (four triples). After a couple of minutes of wasted possessions for both teams, Wesley Johnson's steal and breakaway dunk with just more than a minute to go put L.A. back up by two at 94-92. Joe Johnson missed a layup on the Nets' ensuing possession, but Brooklyn got another chance at tying the game with a long Kevin Garnett jump shot that missed after Pau Gasol was blocked on the other end.
L.A. grabbed the rebound off Garnett's miss and Steve Blake was fouled, making one of two free throws to put the Lakers ahead 95-92 with 17.2 seconds left. Anderson drove in for a dunk with 9.8 seconds left to bring the Nets to within 95-94, causing a Lakers timeout. Jodie Meeks made two free throws to put L.A. back up by three once again and Pierce missed a good look from the top of the arc that would have tied it, letting the Lakers escape with the win.
What it means: The Lakers get to enjoy their off day on Thanksgiving without kicking themselves for blowing what was a sure win.
Hits: Nick Young led L.A. with 26 points off the bench, including 10 in the third quarter.
Gasol finished with 21 points and eight rebounds, moving past Detlef Schrempf as the second-highest scoring European player in NBA history.
Jordan Farmar had his second straight nice game with 15 points, punctuated by three straight 3s to start the second quarter.
Misses: L.A. blew a 27-point lead, and that can't be ignored.
Jordan Hill shot 1-for-9, Shawne Williams shot 1-for-7.
Stat of the game: After opening the night with a 15-4 lead, L.A. went on an 18-0 run through the close of the first quarter and start of the second quarter to break open the game in the early going.
Up next: L.A. closes out its three-game trip against Detroit (6-8) on Friday. The Lakers beat the Pistons by 15 the last times the two teams met, but Detroit has rallied to win three of its five games since then.