The Lakers have taken a 64-58 halftime lead as they try to bounce back from Friday’s crushing defeat at the hands of Mark Cuban’s Mavericks. The game started out with a white hot Joe Johnson who made 7 of his first 8 from the field for 18 quick points in the first 9 minutes. Then inexplicably, Hawks coach Mike Woodson yanked Johnson for 8 minutes. Dumb. Dumber than dumb. Atlanta had the lead and the hottest player on the floor and the lead, and Woodson found a way to screw it up.
Kobe started out shooting 5-12 from the field in the 1st quarter, then went 3-5 in the 2nd. He’s got 19pts, 2 rebounds and 0 assists. Andrew Bynum started slow, but he hot 2-3 in the 2nd quarter for 10pts at the half. After shooting 44% as a team in the 1st quarter, the Lakers (respectable), then improved to 7-14 (67%) in the second 12. Overall, the Lakers are shooting a sizzling 54% from the field.
One important note for Laker fans. Pau Gasol is still out with that strained hamstring, but Phil Jackson says that he will make the quick Tuesday-Wednesday roadtrip. That’s no guarantee that he will play, but he may indicate that he’s getting closer to game-ready.