The Lakers opened up a double-digit lead in the third quarter and held on for what has to be considered one of their most impressive wins of the year. Jordan Farmar came up with a key steal at the end of the game, Ron Artest got ejected again — for a hard foul on Pau Gasol — and Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 33 points.
Key stories from this game:
— Yao Ming was limping all through the fourth quarter and left the game in the final minute. Hopefully he’s OK, but with his history of lower leg injuries you always have to be worried.
— Artest was ejected for a hard foul on Pau Gasol, but the only people in the building who thought he deserved it were the referees. After the game, Kobe Bryant said, “I don’t think that was a flagrant. That rule is all over the place. I felt like it was a good hard foul. But I’m an 80s baby so that should’ve just been two hard shots and be done with it.”
— Jordan Farmar filled in admirably for the suspended and twitter-happy Derek Fisher (see his twitter feed during the game). On the broadcast, ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said he’d continue to start Farmar even when Fisher returned to keep Farmar’s confidence up, and “because the Lakers were getting nothing out of him off the bench.”
What did Kobe Bryant have to say about the Farmar/Fisher situation after the game?
“Jordan is confident anyway and he works really hard to back that up,” Bryant said. “He stepped in tonight … But we can’t wait to get Little Rock (Fisher) back.”