INDIANAPOLIS: It didn’t take long for the Los Angeles Lakers to come down from their high of watching Kobe Bryant pass Michael Jordan for third place on the all-time NBA scoring list.
Just 24 hours after Bryant hit a pair of free throws against Minnesota to pass Jordan, the Indiana Pacers compiled a 33 point halftime lead en route to a 110-91 thrashing of Los Angeles on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) night.
“We were just embarrassed with the way we played in the first half,” said Lakers coach Byron Scott. “We can’t afford to do that. We have got to come out and be desperate as well.”
The Lakers trailed 60-27 at the half as Bryant shot three-for-13 and the bench was two-for-19. The Lakers stumbled to a 16.3 percent shooting in the first 24 minutes.
The halftime score would have been much worse if the Lakers hadn’t scored the final six points of the half.
Rodney Stuckey posted his second straight double-double for the Pacers, who snapped the Lakers’ modest three-game win streak.
C.J. Miles’ layup at 2:22 of the first quarter gave the Pacers a 26-4 lead. Los Angeles scored 11 points in the final two minutes of the period but still trailed 34-15.
The second quarter was a repeat of the first as the Pacers went on a 14-2 run to push their lead to 48-17 five minutes before halftime.
The Pacers led by almost 40 points before Bryant and Wesley Johnson hit back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to send the two teams into halftime.
Stuckey tallied 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and Miles came off the bench to score 20 for Indiana, who hadn’t won a game since November 28.
Bryant finished with 21 points on eight-for-26 shooting. Nick Young finished with 18 points on 12 shots and Carlos Boozer had 13 and 10 rebounds. AFP