The Los Angeles Lakers' recent back-to-back win against legit playoff contenders may surprise people, but statistics showed that their victories are no fluke.
The Lakers captured their second straight win after pulling off a late rally to stun the Houston Rockets 98-92 on Wednesday at Toyota Center.
Bryant, who recently became the fourth NBA player to reach the 32,000 career points, was once again sensational, firing for 29 points on 10-for-28 shooting along with five rebounds and seven assists in 40 minutes of playing time.
But other than Bryant's scoring brilliance, this set of numbers showed that the Lakers are finally clicking as a unit.
45.5 - The average rebounding total the Lakers corralled in their last two games. Carlos Boozer is slowly returning to his old habits of putting up double-double game in consistent basis after a 20-points, 10-rebound game against the Hawks and a 12-point, 13-board output against the Rockets.
16.5 - the average points per game Nick Young produced in his first two games after a thumb injury. Young has been a big boost for the Lakers' bench, who desperately needed firepower through the 10 games of the season. Moreover, Young changed the dynamics in the team's offense, giving the Lakers two skillful shot-creators in tight situations.
33.5 - the average number of minutes played by Wesley Johnson for the past two games. Johnson, who made a key bucket late in the game against the Rockets, isn't know as a weapon on the offensive end but he nevertheless earned his playing time by locking up some of the best wingmen in the game. The extended playing time he got from Byron Scott is a testament that the Lakers head coach is beginning to trust him as a defensive force.
Three wins in 12 games are not enough to get out of the cellar in a very competitive Western Conference. However, these victories aren't just luck. They are products of collective hard-work and a team that's beginning to find an identity after a rough start.