Perfection at STAPLES Center
It might not be on par with the perfect games - and a notable almost-perfect - we witnessed in baseball this past season, but it is still an astonishing feat in any level of basketball. Amidst the Lakers complete dismantling of the Golden State Warriors 117-89, Pau Gasol was perfect. In his 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists Gasol went 10-for-10 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
This comes on the heels of Matt Barnes’ perfect night in Minnesota Friday night - 25 points, 7-for-7 from the field, 5-for-5 behind the arc and 5-for-5 from the charity stripe.
Gasol becomes only the third player in the shot-clock era to record a perfect night scoring at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists: Charles Barkley did it with the Philadelphia 76ers against the San Antonio Spurs in Mar. 1989 and Gary Payton did it for the Seattle Supersonics against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Jan. 1995.
What makes this remarkable is that the Lakers are so dominant that both Barnes and Gasol are able to have performances like this. They don’t have the best record in the NBA, they have defensive lapses that have cost them two games, but they sure do know how to put it on their overmatched opponents and look like the two-time defending champions they are. Now that’s something you couldn’t say the last two years.