Bad idea to party outside the Lakers’ locker room.
Sure, the Indiana Pacers had never beaten the Lakers in 14 previous tries at STAPLES Center, but when it happened last month they could be heard celebrating a little too loudly for the Lakers’ taste.
It’s not like the Pacers are the Boston Celtics or San Antonio Spurs, someone the Lakers really get up to play, but there was added incentive Wednesday when the Lakers saw them again.
The final score said it all: Lakers 109, Pacers 94.
“They had a real issue about it,” Coach Phil Jackson said of the Lakers. “I think the Pacers came back and kind of celebrated in the hallways in Staples and these guys remember that. They came back with that, ‘Let’s get after them.’ “
They certainly did, taking a 29-10 lead and cruising from there.
Kobe Bryant was highly efficient, scoring 31 points on 11-for-18 shooting and Pau Gasol was equally sharp, scoring 28 points on 10-for-17 accuracy.
Gasol was thoroughly outplayed by Indiana center Roy Hibbert when the Pacers beat the Lakers on Nov. 28, 95-92, but Gasol was the easy winner in the rematch at Conseco Fieldhouse.