The same arena that rocked to "M-V-P! " for Kobe Bryant in the first half was bellowing "Beat L. A.! " in the final minute. It's amazing the fans...
WASHINGTON — The same arena that rocked to “M-V-P!” for Kobe Bryant in the first half was bellowing “Beat L.A.!” in the final minute.
It’s amazing the fans weren’t speechless over what they were witnessing. It wasn’t merely that the Los Angeles Lakers had blown a 21-point, second-half lead to the lowly Washington Wizards — it was the fact the Lakers had essentially lost the game to a bunch of Wizards second-stringers.
It truly is almost surreal what happened in the fourth quarter of the Wizards’ 106-101 victory Wednesday. Kevin Seraphin scored 10 of his career-high 14 points. Roger Mason hit three huge three-pointers. Nick Young, who usually passes the ball only with great reluctance, had four of his career-high six assists. Trevor Booker, the only starter to see significant minutes, grabbed eight of his career-high 17 rebounds.
Also, Bryant, who seemingly could do whatever he wanted in the first half, went 1 for 10 in the final period to finish with an unfulfilling 30 points.
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Conclusion: It’s safe to say that the Lakers thought they had it won when they were leading 76-55 in the third quarter.
“I was out there kind of loafing around and having a good time,” said Andrew Bynum, who scored 19 points but committed seven turnovers. “They played up, got the home crowd into it and they were able to hit shots.”
The Wizards hadn’t beaten the Lakers since 2006, a streak of nine straight losses. The same team that was called “unprofessional” by coach Randy Wittman after a 20-point loss to Golden State on Monday somehow pulled off a minor miracle.
Notes and highlights
• LeBron James had 31 points and 11 rebounds, Dwyane Wade added 18 points and set up Udonis Haslem for an alley-oop dunk with 12 seconds left as the Miami Heat won its 11th straight at home, 89-86 over Atlanta.
• Wes Johnson scored 19 points to back Kevin Love’s 29 points and 16 rebounds as the host Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Portland Trail Blazers 106-94. Luke Ridnour added 22 points for the Timberwolves (21-19), who moved into the eighth spot in the West playoff race. Portland has lost four of its past five games.
• Russell Westbrook scored 31 points, James Harden added a career-high 30 off the bench and the Oklahoma City Thunder roared back for its 14th straight home win, 115-104 over the Phoenix Suns.
• Tony Parker scored 32 points and the host San Antonio Spurs dealt the sliding New York Knicks a third consecutive loss, 118-105. The Knicks have lost six of nine. They bear little resemblance to their Jeremy Lin-inspired resurgence before the All-Star break. Lin scored 20 points.
• The NBA fined Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd $25,000 for criticizing the officiating in a game earlier this week.