Game Recap: Wizards 96 - Lakers 102



A very even first half between the Wizards and Lakers gave way to a very uneven 3rd quarter in the Lakers favor which was the difference tonight in the Lakers 102-96 victory over the Wizards.

The first half was a very tightly contested affair which ended with the Lakers up by 3 on a tough bucket by Metta World Peace to close the half. Both teams were hot in the first half shooting over 50%. Cartier Martin was scorching hot hitting his first five shots to go 5/6 from the field for 15 points in the first half. Jodie Meeks matched him shot for shot for 14 points in the first half as the two bench players dueled. The third quarter was a whole different story for Martin and for the Wizards as they would go ice cold and only score 14 points to fall behind by 14 as Bryant got hot. The fourth quarter saw the Wizards claw back into it and cut it to 3 but ultimately it would not be enough.

The game was a tale of two halves for the Wizards as they shot over 50% in the first half but ultimately would only shoot 43% for the game. The Wizards outrebounded Howard and the Lakers 48-43 and outscored the Lakers in the paint 46-44 but turned the ball over 19 times which led to 26 Lakers points. Martin scored a season high 21 points, Nene and Webster both had 17 and Seraphin had 16 to lead Washington. Bryant led all scorers with 30 points on 9/29 shooting and Jodie Meeks came off the bench for a season high 24. Howard had a double-double with 12 points and 14 boards.

The road gets no easier for the Wizards as they head to Miami to try to win their 4th straight against the Heat on Saturday night.

Martell Webster

Points: 17

Rebounds: 4

Assists: 4

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Points: Cartier Martin - 21

Rebounds: Seraphin, Nene, and Martin - 8

Assists: Jordan Crawford - 6

Blocks: 4 Tied - 1

Steals: Crawford and Martin - 2

On what stood out:

“The start of the third quarter really stood out to me. The 12 turnovers we had in the first quarter also hurt us and gave them some free opportunities. They also went 10-0 on us which caused us to have to play catch-up a little bit. But for the most part I liked the way we forced Kobe to take 29 shots for 30 points. Dwight, I think we did a good job battling him…I think we did a good job staying with them.”

On mistakes during the game:

“We have to give them [Lakers] some credit on that. We had six turnovers at the half from our bigs because they were trapping them and we couldn’t handle that very well. We had the ball stolen out of the traps a couple of times and when that happens, our big men would make long passes that would get intercepted. We shot well in the first half and then the second half we shot 34%. That’s what I think hurt us.”

On the game:

“We played a good game; unfortunately we didn’t play two strong halves of basketball. Our shots didn’t fall when we needed them too. The defense picked up, but the Lakers made tough shots. That’s something that you can live with because the intensity remained even when we were down.”

On the game:

“They got the best of us tonight. We had a great opportunity to get the win, things just didn’t fall our way at the end of the game. We had good looks at the basket, but they just didn’t fall for us. We have been through this before; although it’s frustrating it’s a learning curve. The defensive intensity was good late in the game, but we need four solid quarters of that same intensity.”

On playing against Kobe:

“He was simply the aggressor pretty much the whole night. He slowed the game down and played at his own pace. Kobe (Bryant) made tough shots, and when he didn’t connect from the field he made his free throws. That’s what the greats do, and at this point of his career he can still put the ball in the basket.”

On the end of the game:

“In order for us to take the next step we have to understand time, score, and situation. You can’t force opportunities; opportunities are things that will present themselves. We did that a couple of times tonight. We have to go focus on Miami, got them tomorrow. Go focus and get a win.”

On Kobe Bryant:

“The goal with a high-caliber player like that who gets a lot of repetitions up is to contain him and hope that he takes a bad contested jump shot. He (Kobe Bryant) didn’t score 30,000 points for nothing. You know that’s one of those things, you have to come in focused on keeping him front of you and try to have him shoot over a hand every time he shoots the ball.”