Denton: Magic-Lakers Postgame Analysis
By John Denton
March 14, 2011
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Joked Howard: ``Who do they look for now when the shot clock is running down? Me!’’
Bymnum had good reason to back up after Howard torched the Lakers for 31 points, 13 rebounds and five rebounds. Howard made 13 of 16 shots that night and before Monday’s game Van Gundy called it ``easily Dwight’s best game of the year.’’
Howard finished eight of 14 from the floor and six of 11 from the free throw line, but he was unhappy at how the Magic stopped going inside in the third quarter.
``In the first half, we were running, swinging the ball around, playing inside-out and getting good shots,’’ Howard said. But in the third quarter we started taking a lot of quick shots and got away from what we do. We have to be more consistent.’’
WHAT WENT WRONG
The Magic turned the ball over six times in the third quarter, four of them coming from Howard. That ignited the Lakers offense and Bryant made the Magic pay for the miscues with 12 third-quarter points.
``Everything we did in the first half we just let it go in the third quarter,’’ said Ryan Anderson, who started at power forward, scored 13 points, made four 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds. ``They had a huge run in the third quarter and it was a really quick turnaround. We weren’t taking care of the ball and we were taking tough shots.’’
Bryant made just two of 10 shots in the first half, while Gasol made only five of 11. Andrew Bynum had 11 rebounds in the first quarter and 12 in the first half, but he struggled to convert those chances by missing five of seven shots early.
The Lakers shot just 35.4 percent in the first half and missed six of their seven 3-point attempts.
``Andrew is doing a great job of protecting our basket and playing defense, giving us a force inside that’s hard to come by,’’ Odom said of Bynum. ``He’s doing it without even scoring sometimes, which not many players in this league can do.’’
Howard said Bryant’s encouragement has helped him improve his intensity and killer instinct when on the court.
``I always take up for Kobe when people say Kobe’s a certain way,’’ Howard said. ``But he can be the nicest guy in the world and then when he gets on the court he just wants to win and nothing else. It’s like he has that switch. He’s so focused.’’