Notebook: Lakers 102, Wizards 96



Posted Dec 14, 2012 11:14 PM

By Rich Dubroff, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, Jodie Meeks had a season-high 24 points and Dwight Howard added 12 points and 14 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers broke a four-game losing streak with a 102-96 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

Bryant, the league's leading scorer, missed 20 of his 29 shots, but hit 11 of 13 free throws. He added seven rebounds and seven assists, playing 44 minutes for the Lakers (10-14) despite back spasms.

Cartier Martin led the Wizards, who are now 3-17, with 21 points -- one off his career high. Nene and Martell Webster each had 17.

QUOTABLE: "We're not close to being a good team."

-- Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni

THE STAT: Los Angeles avoided its first five-game losing streak since Apr. 3-10, 2011.

TURNING POINT: After Washington's Jordan Crawford made a floating jumper with 6:51 to go in the third quarter, D'Antoni called timeout, stomped out on the court and screamed at his team. The Lakers quickly built up a double-digit lead. "I just thought: lackadaisical and lethargic," D'Antoni said about his team's defense.

QUOTABLE II: "I told Steve [Nash] all night, I'm missing easy shots. I have no idea how that went in -- no clue. I was kind of under the rim and tipped it."

-- Kobe Bryant on tipping in Howard's missed free throw with 1:21 to play

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HOT: Meeks was 9-for-14 from the field, including 4-for-7 on 3-pointers.

NOT: Bryant had a rough night from the floor. He went just 1-for-8 on 3-pointers. "He's going to shoot the ball until his arm falls off," Wizard Bradley Beal said. "I think we got the best of him a little bit, but he still scored 30 points. That's not good on our part."

GOOD MOVE: D'Antoni kept Bryant in the game for nearly 44 minutes, just as he did on Thursday in a loss at New York. The coach was afraid Bryant's back would tighten up if he sat, and without Nash, Pau Gasol, and Jordan Hill (who was a late scratch with back spasms) the Lakers had just 10 healthy players.

BAD MOVE: Beal and Crawford, Washington's starting backcourt kept shooting. They were just 7-for-24 combined.

NOTABLE: Bryant passed John Havlicek for ninth place on the all-time field goal list. He has 10,520.

IN THE ARENA: The Wizards drew their second sellout crowd of the season at 20,308. Most of them were rooting for Los Angeles. Ten days ago, Washington's game against the Heat was more than 2,000 short of a sellout.

NEXT: For the Lakers, Sunday @ Sixers, Tuesday vs. Hornets Dec. 22 @ Warriors. For the Wizards, Saturday @ Heat, Tuesday vs. Hawks, Wednesday @ Magic.