Ryan Kelly of the Los Angeles Lakers. (Instagram/@Lakers)
Goliath came to town as the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Indiana Pacers Tuesday night at Staples Center. In this David and Goliath story, Goliath smashed David before he could load his sling shot.
The Pacers defeated the Lakers 104-92, handing L.A. their fifth straight loss. Despite being tied at the half, the third quarter was once again the downfall for L.A., as they were outscored 30-20.
The Lakers were also outscored in the paint, 58-44.
However, rebounds continue to cripple the Lakers. L.A. was outrebounded 63-50, which included 17 offensive rebounds for the Pacers.
“Those 50-50 balls that’s what’s really hurting us,” said Wesley Johnson, who finished with 10 boards. “It’s a correctable problem I just think everyone needs to take emphasis on it…we have to secure the ball first.”
Pacers Paul George struggled in the game and finished 4-of-21 for 14 points. Despite George’s drought, all five starters ended in double figures. The Pacers were led by David West who finished with 19 points and eight rebounds.
The Lakers have allowed 100+ points in 13 straight games.
The Lakers struggled from the 3-point line shooting only 20 percent (5-of-24), and didn’t get much production from their bench. The Lakers were led by Pau Gasol, who finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds – his 9th game in a row with at least 20 points
With the win, the Pacers continue to hold the best record in the NBA at 35-9, while the Lakers drop to 16-30 on the season.
And just when you think the Lakers fortune couldn’t get worse it does.
Steve Nash was reevaluated and is deemed out for Friday’s game versus the Charlotte Bobcats. Nash said he will practice with the team on Thursday and could be back for Tuesday’s game. Gasol tweaked his groin versus the Pacers and will be evaluated on Wednesday, while Jodie Meeks stated the pain in his foot shouldn’t be a problem going forward.
And now for the Granddaddy of them all, Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, who suffered a left knee injury six weeks ago, was reevaluated on Tuesday. Team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo said Bryant still has pain and swelling in his left knee and was deemed out for 3-5 weeks.
“At this point there’s no use forcing him back,” said Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni, “So when he’s ready, he’ll play.”
Bryant will continue with a program of non-weight bearing exercise, consisting of working out on a stationary bike. He will be examined again in approximately three weeks. With this injury update Bryant will not play in the NBA All-Star game.