It was a very complete game for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday as they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 104-88. Unlike the win against the Cavs on Sunday night, this win was against a team that has beaten the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat.
The Lakers’ only smudge on the night was allowing a 16-6 run in the first quarter to wipe away a 12-point lead. Other than that it was a solid game in so many areas that were “suspect” early on in the season.
Looking at the box score, a few things jump out at you.
As a team, the Lakers only gave up 8 turnovers, a far cry from the 22 given up in their last game. The Bucks only averaged 22 points a quarter.
And Dwight Howard “only” had the best night of his career as a Laker, as Superman was flying all over the place as he racked up 31 points and 16 rebounds.
“He keeps getting stronger, he keeps getting better, it’s obviously what we were missing,” said Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni.
The coach also mentioned how one of Howard’s best attributes is his presence under goal on defense. While he only had four blocks Tuesday night, he altered a lot of the Bucks shots, an important part of the game that doesn’t show up in the box score.
“He’s being extremely active. He’s not concerning himself with criticism, what people may say about his play or his injury or whatever the case may be. He’s just going out there and making us a better ball club at both ends of the floor,” Kobe Bryant said.
Steve Nash chimed in as well: “Dwight’s going to be the anchor of our defense. He’s incredibly talented and the more and more comfortable he gets the more and more active he gets. This should be average for him. This is nothing for him considering how good he could be.”
“I did feel a lot better tonight. I’ve just got to continue to play hard,” Howard said.
Other than his effort improving, Dwight’s teammates are also a big reason for him getting better.
“We have to play inside out. We have to have a balance and when we do I think it’s hard for teams to guard that,” Howard continued. “We [have] four shooters out there for the most part, so when I screen and roll they [have] to pick their poison.”
I, for one, think the Lakers can continue to be dominant and make a run for the playoffs. We’ll know more for sure Thursday night as the Lakers go heads up against the Miami Heat, last year’s NBA Champs.
You can follow JD Carrere on Twitter at @SportsNetJunkie.