The Los Angeles Lakers finish their Midwest road trip 3-0. With the most challenging game being the first one against the Milwaukee Bucks, and that turned into a double-digit win (118-107). We all know this time away from home was more about the ability to bounce back from losing two-straight games (after winning their first eight ball games) than the strength of their actual opponents.
Tuesday’s contest was a bit interesting as the Bucks gave the champs all they could handle before reality set in, and that The Mamba was not going to allow three straight losses. Bryant finished with 31 points, while Pau Gasol had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Brown’s older Shannon made a cameo off the bench scoring 21 points, going 4-5 from 3 point land to bring it home for the Lakeshow. Next stop Motown.
Back to back games normally pose interesting questions for the road team, but on Wednesday night the Lakers had all the answers. In recent years prior to L. A.’s championship run, the Palace was a not so friendly working environment. Clearly, thats not an issue anymore. Once again The Mamba set the tone, scoring 24 points in the first half. He ended up with 33 points without playing in the 4th quarter, talk about productivity. Gasol finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Lamar Odom had his usual double-double of 15 points and 14 boards as the Lakers won easily 103-90. Last stop Wolves’ country.
Friday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves was the second time these teams have faced off in less than two weeks. This time around the Lakers did not take the Timberwolves for granted as they won 112-95. If there was a re-occurring theme for this road trip, it was The Mamba being the tone setter, rather than his normal role of closer. Bryant and the Lakers wasted no time with the Timberwolves as he ended up with 23 points. Pau Gasol had a solid game of 16 points and 14 boards, but it was the play of Matt Barnes off the bench that gave the starters the rest of the night off in the second half scoring 24 points to lead the efforts off the bench.
There’s nothing like a road trip against sub par teams to quiet any speculation of nonsense, kind of like the chatter that is taking place in South Beach, but that’s another story. The champs end off the week tonight with a match-up against their division rival, the Golden State Warriors. Expect this contest to be an exciting track meet to say the least, as they Lakers must contain the back court of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. Even though Week 4 is not officially over, we learned that the champs will do champion like things, and take care of teams they are suppose to take care of no matter the circumstances.
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Written by Arthur Kai