(Photo: Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Lakers played the Washington Wizards a lot closer than the final 111-95 score would indicate. Nick Young hit two free throws with 5:56 remaining in the game to get the Lakers within 4 points, but the Wizards went on a 21-9 run to put the game out of reach.
Kobe Bryant started on fire, scoring 15 first quarter points and ending the half with 20 points; however, he cooled off in the 2nd half, going 0-7 from the field and finishing with 29 points on the night.
“We just tried to make it difficult on him, give him different looks every now and then, just try and keep him off-balance,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal said after the game.
Paul Pierce got the assignment of guarding Bryant in the 2nd half and the long time rival did a tremendous job making him take tough shots.
“I want to make him work,” Pierce said. “You’re never going to stop him all the way.”
Pierce and Bryant appeared to do a bit of good spirited trash talking during the game.
Kobe on exchange with Paul Pierce: "We come from the same generation, we are probably like the only ones in the league that can trash talk.”
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) December 4, 2014
Nick Young did his best to keep the Lakers in the game, scoring a season high 21 points which included 5 for 8 from 3.
The biggest disparity on the night between the two teams was easily the points in the paint which were dominated by the Wizards who scored 56 to the Lakers meager 20 points.
When the Lakers weren’t giving up points in the paint they were watching Bradley Beal knock down jumpers from the outside. Beal led the Wizards in scoring on the night, finishing with 27 points on 11 for 19 from the field.
Kris Humphries, who filled in for an injured Nene, had a team high 20 rebounds. The Wizards other front court starter, Marcin Gortat, had a productive night, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
The Lakers struggled to get production from players outside of Young and Bryant. Boozer finished the night with 10 points and 8 rebounds and Ronnie Price came off the bench to score 11 points on a perfect 4 for 4 from the field including 3 three-pointers. The Lakers had just 4 players score in double figures on the night.
Jeremy Lin had a terrible shooting night, finishing with 0 points on 0-10 from the field. Due to Lin’s ineffectiveness, back up Price finished the game.
The loss puts the Lakers record at 5-14 which is good for 14th in the Western Conference, only ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Lakers close out their 3 game road trip in Boston as they take on their long time rivals Celtics on Friday.