Right from the get-go, it looked like Kobe was in for a vintage Kobe Night. Bryant hit three of his first four three-point attempts just minutes into the game, and the Wizards found themselves down 16-4.
John Wall was the only Wizards player who looked interested in playing. Wall took matters into his own hands, as he’d score the Wizards‘ next 12 points on 5-5 shooting to claw away at the Lakers’ lead.
Once Wall started going, the Wizards’ fast break offense started to click. The team scored 19 points in transition in the first half, which allowed them to take a 50-44 lead into halftime.
Otto Porter was invisible in the first half but morphed into “Third Quarter Otto” knocking down his first four shots of the third quarter as the Wizards extended their lead in the fourth quarter.
J.J. Hickson also had a nice night off the bench. He played over 19 minutes tonight doing most of his damage towards the end of the third quarter and early in the fourth. Hickson had some nice finishes at the rim and showed off some of his post moves.
The Wizards lead got stretched out to 24 but the Lakers had one last run in them. Larry Nance Jr. capped it off with a thunderous dunk over Hickson with 4:55 to play to cut the Wizards lead to 13, 90-77. The Wizards responded with another Otto Porter three-pointer and a John Wall – Marcin Gortat alley-oop to ice this one and pick up a 101-88 win.
Third quarter Otto shows up: If you watched the first half of this game, you would have though Otto missed the flight to L.A. Otto was nonexistent in the first half but that all changed after the intermission. Otto hit his first four shots after the break and went 4-6 from the field in the third quarter for nine points and three rebounds.
Otto finished the game scoring 12 of his 14 points after halftime. The Wizards need more consistency from Porter during these next nine games. He played terrific and had a disappearing act in the same game.
J.J. Hickson turns in best game as a Wizard: J.J. Hickson scored 14 points on a perfect 5-5 shooting tonight. Hickson and Wall had some nice chemistry going as the two connected on a nice alley-oop midway through the third quarter:
Hickson was also effective in the post and had some nice finishes around the rim. The ugly? He shot 4-12 from the free throw line.
Free throw shooting: The Wizards shot 16-29 (55 percent) from the free throw line tonight. Insert rant here_______________________.