Lakers Blow 21-Point Lead, Fall To Wizards 106-101
WASHINGTON (AP) Roger Mason led a spirited fourth-quarter comeback with nine points in the period, Kobe Bryant lost his shooting touch down the stretch, and the Washington Wizards rallied from a 21-point, third-quarter deficit Wednesday night to stun the Los Angeles Lakers 106-101.
Mason hit three 3-pointers in the fourth, turning what had been a pro-Lakers scene into an unusually raucous show of home support for a team that’s 20 games below .500. The same arena that rocked to “M-V-P!” for Bryant in the first half was bellowing “Beat L.A.!” in the final minute.
Nick Young scored 19 points for the Wizards, who beat the Lakers for the first time since 2006.
Nick Young scored 19 points for the Wizards, who beat the Lakers for the first time since 2006 – a stretch of nine straight losses. Trevor Booker had 18 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, and Kevin Seraphin scored a career-high 14 points on 7-for-8 shooting.
Mason also finished with 14 points, and John Wall had nine assists to help make up for four points on 1-for-8 shooting.
Bryant scored 30, but he went 1 for 10 from the field in the fourth quarter. Pau Gasol had 19 points and 15 rebounds, and Andrew Bynum scored 19 points for the Lakers, who dropped both ends of a road back-to-back.
Mason’s 3 at the start of the quarter gave the Wizards their first lead since the early minutes of the game, and another one pushed the lead to six with 4:51 to play. Seraphin’s dunk – Washington’s 10th of the game – and Young’s jumper put the underdogs ahead 104-99 with 43 seconds left.
After a dunk by Gasol, Booker grabbed an offensive rebound on Wall’s missed jumper to keep the Lakers at bay. The Wizards made two free throws in the final 15 seconds to help seal the win.
The Wizards were their usual disjointed selves well into the third quarter, mixing dunks with misfired alley-oops and other failed attempts at flash. Jordan Crawford and Young were both 0 for 4 from 3-point range in the first half, and Wall didn’t have a point until his dunk with 3:19 remaining in the third.
Young had a classic Wizards blooper in the second quarter, going up for an uncontested dunk only to have the ball slip out of his hands and fly over the backboard and into the rows of fans seated behind the basket.
The score was 76-55 when the Wizards started on a 26-7 run that pulled them within two at the end of the third quarter. Mason started the fourth by hitting a pair of 3s, and fellow reserve Seraphin twice gave the Washington back the lead after the Lakers had rallied.
Wearing a clear mask to protect his broken nose – he switched from a black one midgame the night before because it wasn’t comfortable – Bryant put on a show in the first half. Among the highlights during a second-quarter stretch: a spot-on alley-oop pass to Josh McRoberts, a steal of a pass from Wall that led to a 3-pointer from Derek Fisher, a drive to a crowded paint in which he used his strength to create a three-point play, and a crossover move that embarrassed Crawford and drew oohs and aahs from the fans – even though Bryant then missed the open 3-pointer.
But Bryant, who said the Lakers “played a little tired” in an overtime loss at Detroit the night before, struggled down the stretch, as did his teammates. Los Angeles shot 6 for 21 in the fourth quarter.
Notes: Bryant is 12 points shy of 29,000 for his career. … The Lakers wrap up their three-game road trip at Minnesota on Friday. … Wizards F Rashard Lewis missed his fifth straight game with a sore left knee.
Joseph White can be reached at http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP