Notebook: Lakers 99, Pacers 93



Posted Mar 15, 2013 11:10 PM

Conrad Brunner, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Kobe Bryant started but couldn't finish, but it mattered little to the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite a scoreless 12 minutes from Bryant, the Lakers rode a combined 35 points and 9-for-14 shooting from the 3-point line from reserves Steve Blake and Antawn Jamison, 20 points from Dwight Howard and 19 from Metta World Peace to a 99-93 victory over the Pacers Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Producing just their third road win against a team with a winning record, the Lakers (35-32) recorded their 15th win in 21 games. They also pushed one full game ahead of Utah in the race for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference. Indiana (40-25) was led by George Hill with 27 and Paul George with 20 but shot just 37.4 percent.

QUOTABLE: "We played hard and we played very well defensively. I thought Steve Blake and Metta on the defensive end were unbelievable. And Antawn was huge and Dwight was huge the whole game, able to stay out of foul trouble."
-- Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni

THE STAT: Bryant did not score for the 15th time in his career, the first time since March 5, 2004, when he played just one minute in Seattle.

TURNING POINT: The teams traded the lead five times and were tied thrice in the fourth quarter, with Hill's jumper tying it at 87-all with 2:38 remaining. While Indiana came up empty on its next three possessions, Howard converted a three-point play and Jamison followed with a 3-pointer and a free throw to push the L.A. lead to 94-87 with 43.7 seconds left.

QUOTABLE II: "Really stiff, continued to swell, couldn't put weight on it so I called it a night. ... I just couldn't move, it's as simple as that. I just couldn't put any pressure on it."
-- Bryant on his sprained left ankle.

HOT: Jamison shot 6-for-10 overall, 4-for-7 from the arc, adding seven rebounds, while Blake shot 5-for-8 overall, 5-for-7 from the arc, adding seven rebounds and six assists. Howard added 12 rebounds and four blocks and made shot 6-for-11 from the free-throw line. Indiana's Hill shot 11-for-19 overall and scored 20 of his 27 in the second half.

NOT: Besides Hill, Indiana's other four starters combined to shoot 18-for-57 (.316). ... Indiana's bench was outscored 37-19 as the reserves combined to shoot 8-for-23 (.348). ... Bryant was 0-for-4 and his backup, Jodie Meeks, was 0-for-7.

QUOTABLE III: "Definitely, it was our best win of the season. It's been an up and down year, not to our fans' liking as far as our record is concerned. But I would say it's our best win of the season."
-- World Peace

NOTABLE: Bryant was originally listed as "out indefinitely" after sustaining a severe ankle sprain in Wednesday's loss in Atlanta, but recovered enough to start the game. He did not return after playing the full first quarter. ... The Lakers shot 3-for-17 to start the game but were 30-for-61 (.492) thereafter . ... This was the Lakers' third road win of the season against a team with a winning record. ... Indiana jumped out to a 19-8 start but the Lakers answered with a 31-9 run, holding the Pacers to 4-for-25 shooting in a span of more than 12 minutes, while taking a 39-28 lead late in the second quarter. ... Roy Hibbert made his first 3-pointer since the 2009-10 season in the third period, improving his career mark to 4-for-15. ... Jamison picked up a Type 1 Flagrant Foul for pulling Sam Young down from behind in transition with 10:21 left in the game. ... After winning 20 of their first 23 home games, the Pacers have gone 6-5 in their last 11. ... Lance Stephenson had the second double-double of his career with 12 points and 11 rebounds, the latter tying a career high. ... The game had a delay of several minutes at the end of the first half as officials twice went to instant replay reviews to determine possible timing errors in the final two seconds. ... Indiana's Danny Granger missed his fifth consecutive game and 60th of the season due to a chronic left knee condition. He will miss at least one more game before being re-evaluated.

UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Saturday at Philadelphia, Monday at Cleveland, Tuesday vs. Orlando. For the Lakers, Sunday vs. Sacramento, Monday at Phoenix, Friday at Phoenix.