Wizards 103 - Lakers 100 (final)
Once up by 18 points, the Lakers lost to the Washington Wizards, 103-100, on Friday night at Staples Center.
The Lakers got Kobe Bryant (ankle) and Pau Gasol back (foot) from injury but after a strong first half, the Lakers looked fatigued (despite three days off) against the younger, energetic Wizards.
Washington was led by Trevor Ariza, who hit 7-of-12 from three-point range. The former Lakers forward seemed to be open all game in the corners — often ignored by Bryant defensively.
John Wall scored 24 points with 16 assists for the Wizards (with just one turnover). Washington had just nine turnovers in the game. The Lakers had 17.
Bryant missed an open turnaround three-point attempt at the buzzer that would have forced overtime. After sitting two full games, Bryant scored 21 points in 38 minutes. He shot 8-of-18 from the field, dished 11 assists but also turned the ball over six times.
Dwight Howard scored 21 points 15 rebounds. Antawn Jamison had 11 but left the game early with a wrist injury.
Gasol's return was less productive, scoring just four points on 2-of-10 shooting.
The Lakers fall to 36-34 with the loss. Despite playing without Bradley Beal, Emeka Okafor and A.J. Price, the Wizards improve to 25-43.
Lakers 74 - Wizards 72 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers stumbled both offensively and defensively in the third quarter. The Wizards out-scored the Lakers by 14 (31-17).
John Wall led Washington with 14 points along with 10 assists and just one turnover. Six Wizards scored in double figures as the team improved to 42.9% from the field after a slow start.
The Lakers had 16 turnovers while forcing Washington into just six.
Dwight Howard led the Lakers with 20 points and 12 rebounds. The Lakers, who were on fire for the first half, saw their field goal percentage dip to 49.2% from the field by the end of the third.
Kobe Bryant scored just eight points but dished 11 assists. He was also responsible for six turnovers. Pau Gasol had just four points on 2-10 shooting.
Lakers 57 - Wizards 41 (halftime)
The Lakers and Wizards both scored 22 points in the second quarter, and the Lakers take a 16-point lead into the half.
Dwight Howard led the Lakers with 12 points and eight rebounds. Pau Gasol also had eight boards but just two points on 1-of-6 shooting.
Kobe dished a game-high six assists (with just four points) as the Lakers shot 53.7% from the field.
The Wizards were led by Martell Webster with 10 points, shooting just 36.2% from the field as a team.
Lakers 35 - Wizards 19 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers shot a blistering 68.4% from the field in the first quarter against the Washington Wizards to take a 35-19 lead.
Coach Mike D'Antoni finally had a nearly full roster (no Jordan Hill), with Pau Gasol (foot) and Kobe Bryant (Ankle) returning to the lineup. Gasol got the start in place of Earl Clark, who didn't play in the first quarter.
It was Antawn Jamison who led the Lakers with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting. Former Lakers forward Trevor Ariza led the Wizards with six points.
Washington, playing without Emeka Okafor, Bradley Beal and A.J. Price, shot 30.4% from the field.
The Lakers (36-33) finally get Pau Gasol (foot) and Kobe Bryant (ankle) back from injury as they host the Washington Wizards (24-43) on Friday night at Staples Center.
The Wizards have a poor record but point guard John Wall missed 33 games to start the year. Wall makes them a much more competitive squad.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Wizards.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.