The Los Angeles Lakers rebounded from their worst offensive performance of the season with an all out blitz from the bench against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, prevailing 122-103 at the Staples Center.
Three nights after their last second loss to the Indiana Pacers in the same building, where they managed to score just 77 points, 40 of which were Kobe Bryant’s, the Lakers were on fire offensively across the board as they converted a franchise record-equalling 17 three-pointers.
Dwight Howard played up to his big money reputation with 20 rebounds and 28 points, 16 of which came in the first quarter, with Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks coming off the bench to find their range.
Jamison top-scored with 33 points and added 12 rebounds while Meeks added 21 points from seven successful three-point bombs to help the Lakers improve to 8-8 for the season and drop the Nuggets to 8-9.
“I was able to get a couple of easy baskets in the first quarter and then just got into the flow of things,” Jamison told reporters.
“I didn’t expect to lead the team in shot attempts and points, I don’t think there will be too many of those opportunities, but my teammates just did a great job looking for me and getting me involved,” he said.
The bench duo were the first Lakers reserves to score at least 20 points each since Bryant, who played a support role on Friday with 14 points and eight assists, and Nick van Exel in 1998.
“Antawn has been a scoring machine for his whole career and we bring out the best in each other,” Meeks, 25, told reporters.
“If he gets going I want to get going as well. I am trying to learn on the fly, I am a young guy in this league, but I think I’m doing a pretty good job of learning from these guys,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Orlando, Florida, the Brooklyn Nets won their fifth-straight game by beating the Orlando Magic 98-86 on Friday night behind the hot hand of Joe Johnson who scored a game-high 22 points.
Johnson shot 10-of-16 from the field while Gerald Wallace nailed five three pointers for the streaking Nets at Amway Center arena.
Wallace finished with 20 points and Andray Blatche added 14 points and nine rebounds in the win. Deron Williams had 11 points and seven assists, while Kris Humphries had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Glen Davis scored a team-high 16 points and E’Tuwan Moore added 13 points for the Magic, who have lost three in a row.
Moore shot six-of-10 from the field while Andrew Nicholson and Nikola Vucevic had 12 points each in the loss.
Brooklyn led 25-21 at the end of a tightly played first quarter.
C.J. Watson buried a deep three-pointer early in the second quarter to give Brooklyn a five-point cushion at 32-27.
Orlando rallied to tie the game on three different occasions and stayed within one possession for the duration of the quarter. Moore hit a running jumper at the horn to cut the Nets’ lead to 45-44 at halftime.
However, Brooklyn poured it on in the fourth quarter, leading by as many as 20 en route to a convincing victory.
In other NBA games it was:
‧ 76ers 104, Bobcats 98
‧ Raptors 101, Suns 97
‧ Cavaliers 113, Hawks 111
‧ Celtics 96, Trail Blazers 78
‧ Knicks 108, Wizards 87
‧ Grizzlies 90, Pistons 78
‧ Timberwolves 95, Bucks 85
‧ Thunder 106, Jazz 94
‧ Pacers 97, Kings 92