Lakers Almost Blow 27-Point Lead To Nets But Hang On, 99-94
Jason Kidd caught saying ‘Hit Me’ to force timeout
NEW YORK (CBSLA.com/AP) — Wesley Johnson made the tiebreaking basket on a steal and dunk with 1:35 left, and the Los Angeles Lakers blew a 27-point lead before beating the Brooklyn Nets 99-94 on Wednesday night.
Nick Young scored a season-high 26 points to spark a huge effort from the league’s most productive bench. Pau Gasol added 21 points for the Lakers, moving into second place on the NBA’s career list for points by a European player.
Wearing new black uniforms and hearing “Let’s go Lakers!” chants, the Lakers jumped on the Nets right from the start and were ahead 48-21 early in the second quarter. But the Nets fought all the way back, also behind their bench.
Joe Johnson scored 18 points for the Nets, who failed in their bid to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
Mirza Teletovic had a career-best 17 for the Nets and Andray Blatche added 14, but Paul Pierce was just 4 for 17, his final miss a 3-pointer that could’ve tied it. He scored 12.
Still without starters Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, plus key reserves Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko, the Nets fell to the Lakers for the 11th straight time.
Gasol has 15,773 points. He entered 10 behind Detlef Schrempf for No. 2 among European players, and the center from Spain now trails only Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.
Jordan Farmar scored 15 points and Jodie Meeks had 11 for the Lakers, hitting a pair of free throws with 8.3 seconds left that never would’ve seemed necessary the way the game began. Just before Meeks’ second free-throw attempt, Kidd, who had no timeouts left, told his player Tyshawn Taylor to hit him to force a timeout.
Steve Blake hit consecutive 3-pointers to open the game and the Lakers sprinted to an 11-2 lead after barely 2 minutes. The Nets were only down seven with under 2 1/2 minutes left in the opening quarter before Young ran off the final nine points to make it 34-18.
Farmar then opened the second with three straight 3-pointers to make it 43-18, capping the Lakers’ run of 18 straight points. He later added another that bounced on the rim a bunch of times before falling, pushing the lead to 48-21 with 8:30 to play in the half.
The Nets came right back with 15 in a row to trim it to 48-36, and the Lakers led 54-40 at halftime.
Brooklyn played a strong third quarter, the period that’s so often been such a big downfall for them this season, then pulled within six to open the fourth on Teletovic’s 3-pointer. He gave them their first tie at 92 with a pair of free throws with 3:57 left.
Wesley Johnson then stepped in front of Pierce’s pass for an easy two points the other way and Blake’s free throw made it 95-92.
Alan Anderson’s dunk cut it to one with 9.8 seconds left before Meeks’ free throws, and Pierce was then off from straight away on a tying attempt.
NOTES: The Nets’ last victory over the Lakers was Nov. 25, 2007, in Los Angeles behind 15 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds from Kidd, now their coach. … The Lakers made seven of their first nine 3-pointers before finishing 13 for 30.