(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers finally picked up their first road
victory of the season.
Up next is a return to the Staples Center, where Los Angeles hopes to find
some lost magic against the Indiana Pacers, who try to win their third
straight on the Lakers' home floor.
The Lakers dropped their first four road games of the 2012-13 campaign,
including setbacks at Sacramento and Memphis on Nov. 21 and 23, respectively,
in the club's first road tests under head coach Mike D'Antoni.
D'Antoni had captured a win over Brooklyn in his official debut as Los
Angeles' head coach last Tuesday and his new system finally paid off on the
road with a 115-89 win over the hosting Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
The Lakers scored 36 points in the first quarter -- 16 by Metta World Peace --
and had six players in double figures by game's end. World Peace, Antawn
Jamison and Kobe Bryant all posted 19 points, with Jamison adding 15 rebounds
off the bench.
Los Angeles owned a lopsided 61-39 rebounding advantage, limited the Mavericks
to 37-percent shooting and led by as many as 37 points.
"We came out with a lot of energy tonight on both ends. Everybody was active
and we really ran the floor well tonight. We played great defense and were
able to score," said Dwight Howard, who finished with 15 points, seven
rebounds and five steals in the victory.
D'Antoni's next challenge is getting his club to play that well versus the
Pacers. Indiana had lost 11 in a row at Los Angeles versus the Lakers spanning
the 1999-2000 season through 2009-10, but has won its last two as the guest in
That includes a win in the lone meeting last season, with Roy Hibbert
recording 18 points in the win -- all after taking an accidental elbow from
Bryant in the first quarter that resulted in a broken nose during that Jan. 22
Indiana, which has won just three times on the road versus the Lakers since
1992, had six players reach double-figures in the win, while Bryant paced
all scorers with 33 points on 14-of-30 shooting.
The Pacers were denied a third straight victory this season due to Friday's
104-97 defeat at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. Indiana led by 17 in the
third quarter and was still up by 11 in the fourth, but missed its final 14
shots of the game to fall in defeat.
David West led the Pacers with 22 points and also grabbed eight rebounds,
while Paul George had 15 points. Hibbert ended with 10.
"It just slipped away from us," West said. "Not being able to contain their
three main guns, we didn't make them go to those other guys and force those
other guys to beat us. We allowed their three main guys to beat us."
Tuesday's game begins a four-game road trip for the Pacers, including three
straight on the West Coast. Indiana will also play games at Sacramento and
Golden State before wrapping the trek in Chicago.
Indiana will also have the benefit of playing a Lakers team that is still
without two of its point guards in Steve Nash and Steve Blake. Nash has missed
the past 12 games due to a fractured left fibula, while Blake remains day-to-
day with a strained lower abdominal that will keep him out of his eighth game
in a row on Tuesday night.
The Sports Network