Lin

A win is a win, even if it is over the third worst team in the league. Beggars can’t be choosers, especially when you’re the Lakers, the FOURTH worst team in the league. Notching their 18th win of the season isn’t the most honorable of milestones, but with victories so few and far between, it’s nothing to scoff at completely.

Tonight, the Lakers saved their best for last. Instead of jumping ahead and running out of gas in the end, they kept the game as close as they could and played one of their best second halves of the season, led by the offense of Jeremy Lin and the defense of Ed Davis. The home crowd even got their tacos, thanks to a final score of 101-87.

 


What Went Right

  • Jeremy Lin – He crept up on the Sixers, increasing his productivity incrementally as the night went on. Two points in the first quarter, six points in the second, nine points in the third and 12 huge points in the fourth. Lin finished with a season-high 29 points on 10-16 shooting, grabbed five rebounds, handed out five assists and committed just a pair of turnovers. He scored 21 of the Lakers’ 60 second-half points.
  • Ed Davis – Davis may have only scored eight points, but his game-leading 11 rebounds and four fourth quarter blocks made all the difference. He’s a quiet, but constantly mobile force on the floor. In one sequence, he blocked a shot by Philadelphia’s Isaiah Canaan, and then ran down the court in time to receive a pass from Lin for a layup.
  • Bench – It was another productive night for the reserves. Led by Lin’s 29 points, they scored 59 of the Lakers’ 101 points. Worth mentioning that every Laker who hit the floor scored.
  • Second Half Close-Out – The Lakers didn’t play a terrible first half. In fact, they shot better from the field than the Sixers, collected more rebounds and were down just six points at halftime. The final two quarters, however, were when they really threw their punch. They shot 53% for 60 points, and defended Philly into just 31% shooting. They also forced seven turnovers, which resulted in 10 points, 18 fast break points after scoring zero in the first half, hit 18-21 free throws and handed out more assists. They led by as much as 15 points, and won by 14.

What Went Wrong

  • Bad Shooting Nights – A few Lakers couldn’t put the ball in the hole, but it wasn’t for lack of trying and some contributed in other ways. Ryan Kelly, in general, has had a tough time getting into a scoring groove since his return from injury. Tonight he went just 1-5 for four points, going 0-4 from three. Tarik Black only had two points to show for his almost 26 minutes of playing time, but he had six rebounds and two blocks. Jordan Clarkson, who has played a starring role since his insertion into the starting lineup, had a 2-8 shooting night, but eight points, four rebounds and three assists helped even though his four turnovers didn’t.

There are 14 games left, with the next five to be played over the next seven days. It’s the Lakers’ last long road trip before the season’s end. It’ll be interesting to see how they decide to finish.

Box Score

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