What A Night in indiana For the LA Lakers!

I was criticized up and down on facebook and ESPN.com following my last post about the Lakers, but as critical as I was about the horrid Lakers’ team when I wrote that yesterday, I still said that they would win tonight in Indiana, when they played a bad Pacers’ team that, like the Timberwolves, is missing three key players. But, the three Pacers out of action, Paul George, George Hill, and Ian Mahinmi, are not in the same league as Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, and Nikola Pekovic. Thus, As talentless and as poorly coached as the Lakers are, I felt they would beat a bad Pacers’ squad. Wow, was I wrong.

Tonight in Indianapolis, the Lakers played possibly the worst half in their long and storied history. With one minute to go in the first half, they were down 60 to 21, a 39-point deficit. They then hit two threes in that final minute, to draw closer, making the half-time score 60-27. In that first half, the Lakers hit seven of their 43 shots, an unimaginable 16%.

You do have to give the Lakers credit for not giving up, especially Kobe Bryant, who was hit
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with a technical foul about three minutes into the third quarter, and that got him hot, in more ways that one, Kobe ended up scoring 14 points in the third, as the Lakers scored 31 in the quarter, four more points than they picked up in the entire first half. What had been at one time a 39 point deficit was narrowed to 19 at one point, though it did go back up to 31. LA scored 33 in the fourth to cut the final differential to 19, for a 110 to 91 final score.

Indiana was a sold title-contender last season, but the off-season major injury to George and the defection of Lance Stephenson started their year off poorly, and with additional injuries and a very obvious lack of cohesion and dedication, they came into tonight’s game with a 7-17 record after compiling an Eastern Conference best 56-26 a year ago. They looked to all the world to be victim number four in a continuing Lakers’ win streak.

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Now the Lakers face a much tougher part of their schedule, beginning Friday in Oklahoma City against a resurgent Thunder team, fortified with the return of both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. The Thunder have won six in a row as they race to the top of the Northwest Division and their rightful spot among the NBA's elite teams. LA could win their next outing, against Sacramento, if DeMarcus Cousins is still out, but then the
schedule provides a feast of Golden State, Chicago, Dallas and Phoenix, and 8-17 will likely be, by the evening of Sunday, Dec. 28, 8-23 and a 25.8% winning percentage, back on pace to break the franchise record low 26.4% set in the 1957-1958 season.

One other note from tonight’s embarrassment, the NBA’s least talented player, Lakers’ new starting point guard Ronnie Price, hit his first three-pointer in five games, ending his streak of missing 11 in a row.

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