Behind monster performances from Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers have won their second consecutive game. Both players scored 31 points and Howard grabbed an additional 16 rebounds as the Lakers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks by a score of 104-88.
The Lakers are now 17-21. So, what's the mood in Tinseltown?
Chances are, the Lakers are wary of this newfound wave of success. After all, the Lakers are in danger of hitting the midway mark with a record below .500.
Defeating the teams you're supposed to beat is a good way to end those woes.
Fortunately for the Lakers, there are people who are not so skeptical of their success, that is, there are fans who believe wholeheartedly in the Lakers' ability to succeed and what it means for Laker Nation.
Those who attended the game.
Any fan who attends a home game receives free tacos from Jack in the Box if the Lakers win and hold an opponent to less than 100 points. In a rare occurrence, the Lakers achieved that feat against the Bucks.
Free tacos. Who wouldn't like that?
I know what you're thinking: It's time to start attending more games.
On a more serious note, many are in disbelief that this turnaround is actually happening. This isn't just their second straight victory, but the Lakers' second consecutive blowout.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles had the tweet that said it all:
The Lakers are up by 20 in the fourth quarter for the 2nd straight game #notatypo— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 16, 2013
Believe it or not, that tweet is not a typo.
The key to this progression is the theory of "no pain, no gain." For those that don't quite understand, allow Kobe Bryant to offer up the following words of wisdom.
You know, as only Kobe can:
Kobe to @medinalakersnba: ”When you accept physically that you’re going to be hurting after the game…it makes it easier to push through it.”— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 16, 2013
It may not be orthodox, but it works.
There is no doubt about the fact that the Lakers need to take this game by game. They're four games below .500 and three games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for eighth in the Western Conference.
At this point, any loss could be a season-ending defeat.
Fortunately, the Lakers believe that they can turn their season around. With the overwhelming amount of All-NBA-caliber talent on their roster, they have no reason to believe otherwise.
If any fans are in need of further convincing, allow Dwight Howard to provide you with just that:
Dwight Howard: "When we play the way we played the last two games, I don't see anybody beating us." #lakers— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) January 16, 2013
Whether you agree or not, the Lakers needed a boost in morale and confidence. This second consecutive victory provides just that.
If that's not enough for you, how about the fact that Pau Gasol has yet to return from injury? If not Gasol, how about Earl Clark's fifth consecutive game with at least nine rebounds?
There are reasons for optimism, folks. More than one might be inclined to believe.
Mark down January 15, 2013, on your calendar, folks. It's the day the Lakers defeated the Bucks 104-88 and re-discovered their confidence.
In the words of every Lakers fan across the globe: It's about time.