Lakers fall to Pacers, 79-77
Pacers 79 - Lakers 77 (final)
George Hill’s layup left just 0.1 on the clock and staved off a Lakers comeback in what was a painful game for both teams, giving the Pacers a 79-77 win at Staples Center.
In a brutal shooting night for both teams, the Lakers hitting 31.6% and the Pacers 36.7%, Hill eluded Metta World Peace off a screen and curled around Pau Gasol to bank in the game-winner.
Hill finished with 19 for the Pacers. Kobe Bryant was the game’s leading scorer with 40, overcoming a cold to bring the Lakers to a 77-77 tie with a clutch three-pointer before Hill’s dagger.
The Lakers also got 17 points from Dwight Howard and 10 from Pau Gasol. Howard and Bryant didn’t get much shooting support as their teammates shot a collective 13.2% from the field. The team also missed 20 free throws in a two-point loss, including four down the stretch (Metta World Peace and Howard).
Both teams finish the night with matching 7-8 records.
Pacers 61 - Lakers 57 (end of third quarter)
The game didn’t get much prettier for the Lakers in the third, as they would fall behind 13 to the Pacers in a desolate stretch of shooting.
Kobe Bryant went on a late scoring jag with eight-straight points to get his team back in the game.
The Pacers 38.7% shooting from the field gave them a four-point lead despite the Lakers shooting only 31.1% with 19 turnovers. The Lakers made up some of the difference on the boards with a 44-36 advantage.
Bryant led all scorers with 29. The Pacers got 13 from George Hill.
Pacers 38 - Lakers 33 (halftime)
The game ground to a halt for a little over seven minutes, with the Lakers (4) and Pacers (2) combining for a measly six points. Until finally, David West hit a jump shot and scoring resumed.
The Lakers continued to hurt themselves with turnovers (11) although the Pacers have only scored six points off of the Lakers’ miscues. Both teams either played defense exceptionally well or neither team could buy a shot. The Lakers hit just 4-18 (22.2%) in the second; Indiana was just slightly better (29.2%).
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 16 points. David West put in 12 for the Pacers.
Pacers 25 - Lakers 21 (end of first quarter)
After a slow start, falling behind by 12 to the Indiana Pacers, the Lakers charged back late in the first to close within four.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 13, scoring the last six of the period, leading an 8-0 run. The Pacers shot 45.5% from the field but had initial advantage on the boards to take a lead. The Lakers shot 40.9% but had five turnovers in the period.
Jordan Hill and Antawn Jamison gave the Lakers an advantage off the bench, grabbing seven rebounds between them in short time.
David West and Roy Hibbert led the Pacers with six apiece.
The Lakers host the Indiana Pacers (6-8) on Tuesday night, but will Kobe Bryant be able to play? According to his Facebook page, Bryant is “under the weather.”
An hour and a half before the game, Coach Mike D’Antoni noted that he “thinks” Bryant will play.
It wasn’t until about 45 minutes before tip-off before Bryant emerged in uniform, willing to play through his ailment.
The Pacers have struggled thus far on the road, losing six of eight. Forward Danny Granger is out (knee) but then so is Steve Nash (leg) and Steve Blake (abdominal strain) for the Lakers.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Pacers.
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