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Lakers 112, Pacers 96: Lakers Run Past Pacers

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The Indiana Pacers couldn't keep pace with the Los Angeles Lakers, losing the first game on a dreaded West Coast roadie, 112-96. This was a game of offensive runs, as both teams traded strong spurts back and forth. The difference being that the Laker runs lasted a little longer and they had the final and deciding run to close out the game.

The Pacers began the game with a 9-0 run and were up 14-4, but the Lakers finished the first quarter up, 33-23.

A 16-5 second quarter run by the Pacers tied the score at 44-44, leading to a 55-53 score at the half.
The Lakers came out in the third quarter with Lamar Odom and Kobe Bryant forcing the action. At one point a 19-5 run put the Lakers up 81-64 as the Pacers just couldn't answer the shot making. By the end of the third the score was 90-72 and appeared on ice for the Lakers.

After both teams dug deeper into their bench, the Pacers managed one more 14-2 run in the fourth quarter drawing to 92-85. After Phil Jackson brought back his starters, Mike Dunleavy missed an open 3-ball that would've cut the lead to four. This turned out to be the last gasp for the Pacers as Kobe jump-started a 16-0 run that Derek Fisher finished off with consecutive 3-balls. Ballgame.

Despite the final deficit, the Pacers gave a pretty strong effort. This Laker team is strong with Andrew Bynum holding down the middle and, you know, Kobe Bryant just being on the court. Bryant did a nice job in the first half of getting his teammates the ball, especially Bynum. The young fella was a beast with four "and 1s" in the first half leaving J.O. on the bench with foul trouble and a non-factor throughout the game.

The Pacers also hurt themselves by leaving points out on the court. Seemed like several guys left their shots unpacked back at the hotel which helped fuel the Laker runs. Now it is on to Utah and another challenging game against a talented Jazz team that has struggled lately.

Key links:
Game recap
Boxscore
Mike Wells'story
L.A. Times story