After Mike D’Antoni took over as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and the team still struggled, the mantra in LA has been ‘everything will be fine once Steve Nash returns’. On Saturday night, the Canadian
savior sensation returned to the lineup for the first time since Halloween. He did everything he was expected to do, leading the Lakers to a 118-115 overtime victory over Golden State.
The Warriors controlled the game pace a majority of the night. The youth and speed of Golden State sent the Lakers defense into a tailspin going into halftime. Despite being down by as much as 14, the Lakers found a way to battle back and trade lead changes with the Warriors with minutes to go in the fourth quarter. The game was tied and the final seconds were ticking off the clock, who else but Kobe Bryant received the ball for the final shot. Bryant held on to the ball before attempting – and missing – a fadeaway jumper as time expired.
The two teams traded leads again in overtime. Stephen Curry hit a three-pointer, cutting the score to 116-115 with 30 seconds to go. It would be none other than the man of the night, Nash, sinking the a shot that put the Lakers up by 3 with just 16 seconds left, however
Nash played 41 minutes in his return, scoring 12 points and dishing nine assists.
Bryant added another double-double to his career record. He lead the Lakers in scoring with 30 points, despite shooting an abysmal 16-for-41, and tied with Pau Gasol for the team lead in rebounding at 10. Nash held the team-high in assists at nine and added 12 points. Off the bench, Metta World Peace was second on the team in points with 20.
Even though Golden State lost, Jarrett Jack was a pain in the rear to the Lakers the entire night. With a double-double, he scored 29 points and had 11 assists coming off the bench. David Lee tied with Curry for second in scoring with 20 points. Lee added 11 rebounds where Curry contributed eight rebounds and seven assists.
The Lakers extend their win streak to four games, bringing their record within one game of .500. They play again on Christmas Day against the really, really good New York Knicks. Golden State stays well above LA in the standings at 18-10. The Warriors hit the court again on Dec. 26 at Utah.