Steve Blake’s big three-pointers help Lakers turn back Bulls
It was only two baskets, but it was two big baskets, two baskets that pushed the Lakers forward and put the Chicago Bulls on their heels.
Steve Blake made just two field goals, but both were three-pointers and both were back-breakers for the Lakers during their 98-91 victory over the Bulls Tuesday night at Staples Center.
“He was good, wasn’t he?” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said about Blake, smiling.
Blake finished the game with six points on two-for-three shooting. But he made both of his three-pointers and he made them both in the crucial fourth quarter.
“He’s a kid who doesn’t look to shoot it, but he’ll shoot it if it’s available and if it’s the right opportunity,” Jackson said. “Both of them were. They were big plays.”
The Lakers’ lead was down to three points when Blake struck.
He made a three-pointer off a pass from Shannon Brown for an 89-83 Lakers lead.
“When Shannon swung me that first [pass], as I caught it, I could see that there was five seconds on the shot clock,” Blake said. “So that’s a time, even if the defender is there, I’ve got to get into a shot.”
The Bulls called a timeout after Blake’s shot to regroup.
After Matt Barnes made a three-pointer, Blake came up big again.
He made a three-pointer off a pass from Brown again for a 95-83 Lakers lead that forced the Bulls to call yet another timeout with 4:58 left.
All the Lakers on the bench came over to high-five and chest-bump with Blake after that dagger of a three-pointer.
“The second one was just in transition, and Shannon found me and I knocked it down,” Blake said. “It’s all about the opportunities.
If it’s up to Jackson, Blake would take advantage of more of his opportunities.
Jackson has faith in the 6-3 reserve guard to shoot threes at any time.
“I thought he turned one three-pointer down at the top of the key,” Jackson said. “He was open about a minute before his first three-pointer, and I kind of yelled at him, ‘Take the shot if you’re open.’ He’s a really good shooter.”
Blake doesn’t want to rush anything.
He has confidence in his shooting ability, but he would rather take his shots in the context of the triangle offense.
“I kind of wait for my opportunities,” Blake said. “We have so much talent, I don’t think it’s good for the team for me to be rushing things and taking quick shots in the offense. Now, if I’m open wide in the shot clock, I’m going to take it.”