The hoop, the harm and the smooch. (Noah Graham/NBA/Getty Images)
Make a steal, make a fast-break dunk, get the and-one, kiss the girl — it sounds like something of a fairy-tale sequence for a basketball player. When you're dealing with Metta World Peace, though, every fairy tale must have its fracture; on Sunday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Lakers forward didn't exactly throw it down with authority:
Still, World Peace got the lucky bounce, then went looking for a Lady Luck to thank for the kind roll — just as he did back in October, when he strolled into the stands to smooch a fan's hand after making a nice defensive play during a preseason game against the Utah Jazz.
The rip, the basket and the extracurricular activity all added a bit of lighthearted spectacle to a desperately needed victory, as L.A. topped Cleveland 113-93 to snap a six-game losing streak and win for the first time in more than two weeks.
Dwight Howard returned from a weeklong absence resting a torn labrum in his right shoulder to score 22 points on 9 for 11 shooting, grab 14 rebounds and help anchor a Laker defense that held Cleveland to 41 percent shooting in the loss. in his return to the lineup after being sidelined for a week with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, helping L.A. break a six-game losing streak with a 113-93 win over Cleveland at Staples Center.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 23 points on 9 for 14 shooting and six assists, point guard Steve Nash added 10 points on 3 for 4 shooting with nine assists, and reserves Antawn Jamison (16 points, four rebounds, two steals), Darius Morris (14 points on 5 for 9 shooting) and Chris Duhon (seven assists against just one turnover in nearly 20 minutes) all chipped in off the Laker bench. L.A. shot a scorching 58 percent from the floor and 52 percent from 3-point land in dispatching the lowly Cavs, who fell to 9-30 on the season, the NBA's second-worst record. The win improves the Lakers' mark to 16-21; Mike D'Antoni's team remains four games out of the West's eighth and final playoff spot.
After the game, World Peace noted the importance of a fun little play like this to break up what's been a dour few weeks in L.A.
"I think fans have been suffering a little bit so I guess it was cool to see something like that," World Peace said, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
Especially for one lucky female fan.
If the clip above isn't rocking for you, please feel free to check it out elsewhere, thanks to our friends at the National Basketball Association.