Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota T-Wolves: A Perfect Road Trip, a Perfect Barnes

“Oh, my God. He’s playing like Tim Duncan right now.”

A random bystander catches me off-guard, and I nearly fall off the sofa. I decided to get out of the house for once, and headed over to Chapman’s Law School building. I’m catching the game in the school lounge, getting a little too comfortable on the couch. These students seem desperate for a breath of fresh air, as one by one, they stop by and catch a few brief moments of the game. This particular one was referring to Darko Milicic. And he’s right. Darko’s playing like Tim Duncan with his defensive stance and a huge block on Pau and Lamar. First quarter is over.

Why, oh, why do bad teams play so well against us? I get the feeling Kurt Rambis is handing out strategy guides on how to exploit the triangle offense.

Without warning, Barnes passes to Odom for a slam dunk and Kobe hits a three-pointer to extend the lead to 13. A cute Asian girl behind me chimes in, “The problem isn’t our offense.” She’s also right, because three minutes later, the lead is back down to single digits. Darko goes on a rampage and blocks Odom, Pau then Kobe to kick up the swat count to 6, and the Lakers end the first half off of Kobe’s miss. Law students make for very good observers. I should hang around them more.

But the Lakers start to pick it up in the third. Kobe goes in for a driving dunk off a bullet pass from Fisher, and proceeds to return the favor by assisting Fisher on a 22-footer. After trading baskets with the Wolves, the Lakers substitute in Barnes for Ron Artest. From here on out, it’s Barnes’s show. Matt Barnes drops three consecutive 3-pointers with the third one counting for an And-One. He’s unusually in the zone tonight, making a 4-point play with ease. The Lakers fans in the stadium roar in excitement but suddenly I have nobody to celebrate with. Sneaky law students.


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