Numbers will best describe tonight's victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets - LAL 122, DEN 103. Very impressive numbers at that. Let's just go straight to the bare bones of the stand out stats. We apologize for the glorified box score.
Dwight Howard - Howard has a Lakers [early] career high. He shoots 12-16 (75% FG) for 28 points and pulls down 20 rebounds (8 OREBS). This is his first 20/20 game in a Lakers uniform. Eerily enough, his previous 20/20 game happened in his last game in a Magic uniform back on April 4th.
Howard also nailed a momentum driven 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the game. Only his second career 3-pointer in eight years. His long bomb tied the Lakers record of 17 made 3-pointers in a regular season game. Howard also had 3 blocks.
Kobe Bryant - Team captain had a very quiet 14 points and 8 assists.
Antawn Jamison - Jamison followed suit and decided to have his best game as a Laker too. He shot 13-19 (68% FG) for 33 points and crashed the glass for 12 rebounds. This is his second double double in three 25+ minute games. The winning
formula for Antawn and the team seems pretty simple...just give him minutes.
Jamison also went 5-10 in 3-pointers.
Jodie Meeks - Meeks broke out of his Lakers shell and caught fire like fans knew he eventually would once he wasn't so, well, meek. He shot 7-9 (all 7 splashes were from beyond the arc) and scored a Lakers career high 21 points in just 17 minutes.
Meeks and Jamison scored a combined 54 points coming off the bench. Their production alone outscore the Nuggets bench by 5.
Chris Duhon - Duhon gets the green light from D'Antoni to play 31 minutes tonight. Although the box score won't look as impressive as his fellow bench dwellers, Duhon did facilitate well having dished the ball for a game high 8 assists (Kobe T-8).
Duhon's point differential was the highest of the game too. The Lakers scored +27 when he was on the floor.
It's clear to see that D'Antoni is entrusting in his bench players and they are returning the favor by not disappointing. I should say that the only downfall with Jamison playing well off the bench is that Jordan Hill will most likely see his minutes significantly decrease. D'Antoni is favoring Antawn playing alongside Howard/Gasol at the 4.
Let's just hope that the Lakers find a way to carry this momentum into another victory against Howard's former team this Sunday and not into a devastating loss like the George Hill incident. Shh, lets not speak of it again.