The LA Lakers are a very weak team on the road. Their 5-10 record away for the season is quite revealing. Now, at 16-12 overall for the season, the LA Lakers are doing quite well in the Eastern Conference, and with a 94-92 win over the motivated Toronto Raptors, they finished their 6 game on road trip with a 3-3 record. Not too bad, but there is certainly a lot of room for improving the Lakers performance when the squad is not playing at the Staples Center.
The Lakers head coach, Mike Brown, knows well that he's got to find a way to get his man playing more efficiently this year. Then again, he knows very well that having a guy like Kobe Bryant in the rooster really improves a team's chances to successfully close a game. Let's consider that for a moment there, the Lakers were able to build an 18-point lead in the first half. That was until the Toronto Raptors guard, José Calderon got things moving for the home team. Calderon finished the night with 30-points, 2 rebounds and 6 assists. But it wasn't enough to hold off the Lakers' final push. A brilliant play by Metta World Peace and Kobe made it a win when Bryant hit a baseline jump shot with 4.2 seconds to go in the fourth quarter.
Even Los Angeles star, Kobe Bryant, had a thing or two to say about their road numbers. "We're a poor road team, and that's what we need to turn around," Bryant said in the postgame conference after finishing the night with 27 points. "If we could figure out a way to win games on the road, our record would be much, much better." That didn't keep him from making the winning shot, and helping the Lakers go back with 3 wins and 3 losses in their most recent road trip. "I just noticed a spot open on the baseline," Bryant said about the last play of the game. "Everything was set for me to try and catch it down there because I knew I could catch and shoot. If I go to the top of the floor the defense can kind of key on me and I'm far away from the basket. Once I noticed that space open it was just a matter of me trying to shake DeRozan and get to that spot."
On the other hand, we have to give some credit to the Raptors who managed to close the gap. The Raptors had some motivation after delivering an humiliating lost to the Boston Celtics earlier this week. Still the Raptors failed to finish the Lakers off in the last minute of the game. Toronto had its best chance to win the game when they were 93-92 and Rasual Butler had the ball in his hands. But somehow, he just couldn't inbound the ball and would later fail to call a timeout before five seconds had elapsed. Bryant made one of two from the line to put the Lakers up by two with 3.7 seconds left, and after that it was all over.
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