Lowly Wizards Stun Lakers with 106-101 win

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A 21-point lead was fumbled away by the Los Angeles Lakers during a devastating 106-101 loss against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

And it seemed that the disappointing game was just the start of the Lakers’ 2011-12 season.

For example, Andrew Bynum confessed to having loafed around on the court, and Coach Mike Brown made critiques of Kobe Bryant’s selection of shots, with Bryant not seemingly thrilled by the comments.

The Lakers won against Miami on Sunday on what was expected to be a turning point for the team, but they turned two thumbs down from two lame defeats to two lowly teams.

Again, Bryant was not able to find his shot against the Wizards, completing only 9 out of 31 attempts, and ending the game with only 30 points.

Brown described Bryant as having taken some hard shots, which let the other team respond with long rebounds, pushing the ball down the court and making some quick baskets. He said that Bryant did not seem to have taken good shots during the second half.

Bryant reportedly paused a few seconds just before responding, “OK,” one of the many answers he gave to reporters which only comprised of a single word. For follow-up questions on the topic, he did not make any response at all, and simply pursed his lips.

Just the previous day, Brown had stuck up for Bryant in a mighty way, describing the 33-year-old player as one of those who should be in the mix of contenders for the Most Valuable Player award of the league. Interestingly, one day later, he wound up criticizing Bryant.

After one more pause, Bryant finally conceded that it was fine.

Even without the critique from Brown, it seemed that Bryant himself was irritated with his game that he actually briefly thought about working on his shot on the practice court of the Wizards inside Verizon Center. But he wound up leaving the arena after talking for a few minutes with his former teammates Laron Profit and Ronny Turiaf, in a locker room that was just about empty.

It had been close to thirty minutes since the departure of Bynum, who had taken six rebounds in a little over half an hour. The downtrodden Wizards outperformed the Lakers in terms of rebounds, taking a dramatic 17 offensive rebounds over the nine that the Lakers made.

Bynum described himself as just having a good time and “kind of loafing around,” and said that it apparently had an effect on the game.

Reserve forward Matt Barnes did not exactly appreciate Bynum’s comment, saying that he was an All-Star player and one of their best players. Afterward, though, he added that it was all about a collective effort, that other players needed to pick up on Bynum’s possible tiredness.

The recap of the game on Wednesday was also messy for the team, with a 76-55 lead that was relatively safe after two free throws made by Derek Fisher, at 7:23 left for the third quarter.

From there, the Wizards made a 32-7 run and had a lead of four with consecutive three-pointers made by Roger Mason early in the fourth quarter.

Interestingly, before Wednesday, the Wizards held the second-worst record (9-29) in the NBA.

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