2 February 1997. Los Angeles Lakers 129, Washington Bullets 99 (record: 22-23)
Game leaders: Strickland (23 points), Webber, Grant (7 rebounds), Strickland (8 assists)
Plain and simple, the Bullets never came to play in this game. They were down 46-22 at the end of the first quarter, and never got closer than 20 points the rest of the game. They were down 78-52 at halftime. The 46 points in the first quarter and 78 points at halftime were the most the Bullets have given up this season.
Talk about flat play - the Lakers were virtually scoring at will. The Bullets were crushed on the boards 55-38. They commited 14 turnovers, but the Lakers turned them into 25 points. Generally, any points-off-turnovers to turnovers ratio over 1.0 is a bad sign toward winning a game; a nearly 2-to-1 ratio is extremely hard to overcome.
Mel Proctor's Replacements Named
The second part of this column, titled "FURTHERMORE," talks about the triumvirate that will temporarily replace departing HTS' Bullets play-by-play announcer Mel Proctor during the regular season. A permanent replacement will be named in the off-season.
Some bad news for the Lakers, however. Shaq's left knee collided with Big Gheorghe's knee late in the third quarter. Shaq had to leave the game with a sprained knee. He's essentially day-to-day (he was forced to miss the All Star game because of the injury).