Lakers finally get one in the win column
“I guarantee they’re not going to go 0-82,” said Detroit Pistons Coach Lawrence Frank before his team was destroyed by the Lakers 108-79 on Sunday night.
The Lakers gave what was easily their best performance this season (and preseason), notching the team’s first win since May 18.
“We set the tone early,” said Pau Gasol. “We composed ourselves.”
Detroit wasn’t much competition, but that’s about what the Lakers needed to finally break through.
The key was a reduction in turnovers. The Lakers finished with 15, but many were late with the game already decided.
The Lakers shot 51.9% from the field, putting the team at a strong 50.3% for the season, second only to the Miami Heat.
Whether Coach Mike Brown’s offense is a boon or a bust long term, the Lakers have been hitting shots all season.
“It feels good to see what we’ve been working on come into fruition out there during the game,” said Kobe Bryant.
The issue in losses has been turnovers. After Sunday’s improved showing, the Lakers are at 18.5 a game for the year, third worst in the league.
“I think our turnovers were key tonight,” said Dwight Howard. “We didn’t turn the ball over as much as we did and that’s what caused us to get the big win.”
It’s difficult to play defense when coughing up the ball leads to points in transition.
The Lakers will face bigger challenges when they play strong teams, especially with Steve Nash out between one to four weeks with a non-displaced leg fracture.
Brown was happy to live in the moment after the team’s first victory.
“It gives us a little belief,” he said. “Every win that we get gives us a little bit more belief on both ends of the floor.”
The job will get tougher for Brown and the Lakers on Wednesday as they visit the Utah Jazz.
You can email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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