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Overall Grade: A
The first quarter was all about Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace. Together, the trio scored 31 first-quarter points on 12-of-18 shooting.
MWP had 11 of those points, including three key three-pointers to counter an intense Suns push.
During the second quarter, MWP put an end to a streak by the Suns which put them ahead, 55-54. World Peace made a great move to the basket and dropped in two points, thus weathering the storm and providing the Lakers with a lead they would keep for the remainder of the second quarter.
But how about the defense?
World Peace continues to get better with age on defense, allowing his mental fortitude to make up for his decline in athleticism. A perfect display of such improvements came as MWP ran to southpaw Michael Beasley's left shoulder on a pocket three.
This forced Beasley to adjust in midair and push the shot well to the right.
As we entered the third quarter, World Peace drained his fourth three-pointer of the game. Minutes later, he hit his fifth three of the evening, bringing his point total to a season-high 21.
MWP added a free throw and continued to pad his stat line defensively, wrapping up a beautiful performance. You can say what you will about his being the fourth star on the team, but tonight, he played like a leader.
Twenty-two points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block from Metta World Peace.