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The Nets went hack-a-Howard quite often.
Many fans will jump the gun and claim that it was Mike D'Antoni's fault that the Los Angeles Lakers did not score as well as they should have. But it was not D'Antoni who held the Lakers back on that end of the floor.
It was the Lakers' free-throw shooting.
For the game, they shot just 19-of-37 from the charity stripe. That's 51.4 percent, which is the primary reason the Lakers struggled to put up points.
Not D'Antoni's offense.
Dwight Howard was an unacceptable 7-of-19 from the free-throw line, a problem exacerbated by Brooklyn's hack-a-Howard approach.
Again, not D'Antoni's fault.
Kobe Bryant, who entered the game shooting 89.4 percent from the line, missed two of his first three attempts. Even Pau Gasol was only 3-of-6 from the line.
Fortunately, Bryant hit his final six attempts to secure the win.
D'Antoni had the Lakers functioning well from a schematic standpoint. There were high-percentage shots, well-timed motion and the proper scoring opportunities to placate all involved.
Unfortunately, the Lakers' problems handling the Nets' late-game press and their own free-throw shooting limited the grade D'Antoni receives.