Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The Lakers pulled out a surprisingly tough 103-98 win over the host Sacramento Kings on Saturday, and the contest was so full of notable moments that there's no thorough way to chronicle all of them. So until someone finds a way to program a slideshow within a slideshow, we'll have to improvise.
Here, in no particular order, are the key Lakers takeaways from a busy night:
Dwight Howard Looked Fantastic
Piling up 24 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks, the Lakers big man looked as good as he has all season. His effort was terrific, and he got off the floor multiple times in his pursuit of rebounds. If this is how he's going to play down the stretch, L.A. is going to be in fine shape.
Kobe Bryant Overtook Wilt Chamberlain
Though he's probably got a ways to go before eclipsing the Dipper's infamous "20,000 women" claim, Bryant did move past Chamberlain on the NBA's all-time scoring list. With a foul-line jumper in the second quarter, No. 24 increased his career total to 31,421 points.
Oh, and he flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 19 points, a career-high-tying 14 assists and nine boards in a 48-minute effort—despite struggling with bone spurs in his ankle. Nice little night for Kobe.
Steve Nash Played Two Minutes
This is not a good sign for the Lakers, as Nash looked visibly uncomfortable and even a little disgusted as he left the floor in the first quarter. If he can't get right in a hurry, Steve Blake is going to see plenty of minutes.
The Lakers Still Can't Defend
Even though Howard played some of his most active basketball of the season, L.A.'s help defense was still frightfully porous. The Kings—and Tyreke Evans in particular—had an easy time getting to the rim in the half court and in transition.
Until the Lakers show some consistent stopping power, they'll continue to be vulnerable against even the league's weakest teams.