In exactly one day, the Lakers' issues apparently vanished.
Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol cracked double digits again. Kobe Bryant found his shooting stroke after a rare off night. The Lakers actually showed up on defense.
Suddenly, the effort to pick up their first road win of the season hardly seemed daunting. The Lakers' 115-89 victory Saturday over the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Arena became all but official right from the beginning, a well needed win to improve the Lakers' 1-4 road record and avoid their worst road start since the Lakers went 0-6 in the 1993-94 season.
"Back home, probably everybody was tripping out and panicking and things like that," Bryant said. "But this is what happens. It's about figuring those things out."
This marks a case of the Lakers, for better or worse, always staying unpredictable. Bryant scored 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting, but he took exactly zero field-goal attempts in the first quarter in hopes of improving team balance.
Metta World Peace largely benefited from such an approach. He scored 16 of his 19 points in the first quarter and suddenly became the team's most lethal outside shooter by going 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
"We didn't put all the pressure on Kobe to take on the opponent," World Peace said. "He didn't put the pressure on himself. We have a really good team. So when we play together, we can wear other teams out."
Howard, Gasol break personal slumps, and L.A. gets first win away from Staples Center
L.A. Daily News | Nov 25