Posts tagged Derek Fisher
It wasn’t a blowout, but the Lakers led wire-to-wire as they held off the Clippers 112-104 Friday night at Staples Center, to push their post-All-Star game record to 14-1.
Kobe Bryant had a game-high 37 points, coming off his season-high 42 points against Phoenix on Tuesday. He hit 11-21 shots from the field, and went to the line 17 times, connecting on 14 of them. He also had six and assists and four rebounds, and scored 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Pau Gasol, who scored 26 points and had eight rebounds, raised $26,000 for Japan relief as he donated $1,000 for every point he scored in the game. Ron Artest had 15 points, five rebounds, three blocks, three steals, and played superb defense all night on the Clippers’ leading-scorer Eric Gordon, holding him to seven points on 3-14 from the field.
The Lakers jumped out fast on the Clips, taking a 30-14 lead late the in the first quarter. The Clippers rallied in the second quarter and closed to 37-35, but never did get any closer in the first half. The champs led at the break 57-48.
In the second half, the Lakers continued to maintain a healthy lead, pulling ahead by 12 on several occasions, only to see their hallway neighbors continue to battle back. After three the Lakers only led 85-80.
The Clippers kept it close in the fourth, closing the gap to two on several possessions. With Lakers leading by four with 40 seconds left, Artest made a great defensive play in the open court, taking the ball away from rookie sensation Blake Griffin who was heading in for a dunk. The game was sealed when Andrew Bynum tipped in a missed Derek Fisher free throw with under 20 seconds left.
Tempers flared again for the two teams, as Fisher and Clipper center got into a yelling match when Fisher threw out his elbow after a hard screen set on him by Kaman, in the final seconds. Kaman appeared to tell Fisher he’d meet him in the parking lot after the game, as he was being ejected with two technical fouls. Fisher was also assessed a technical.
Both teams shot the ball well from the floor. The Lakers hit 50.0% (39-78) and the Clippers also hit half of their shots (42-84). Neither team shot the three ball well, the Lakers went 6-18 (33.3%) and the Clips 5-17 (29.4%) One of the big differences in the game was the Lakers going to the line 39 times, hitting 28, while the Clippers went 15-18 from the charity stripe. The Lakers won the rebound battle, 41-34, and committed two less turnovers at 16-14.
For the Clippers, Mo Williams had a season-high 30 points and six assists, hitting 11-16 from the floor and 4-7 from the three-point line. Griffin had a fairly quiet 22 points and only six rebounds, but did have a few highlight dunks, which as become the norm for him nightly. Randy Foye had 12 off the bench, and Al-Farouq Aminu scored 11 points off the bench as well.
The Lakers moved their record to 52-20 as they won their sixth straight, and now lead the Dallas Mavericks by 1.5 games for second place in the Western Conference standings. They also only trail the San Antonio Spurs by 5.0 games with 10 left to play. They won their eighth straight game at Staples, and took the season series against the Clippers 3-1.
Los Angeles tries to continue their undefeated homestand against the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday. The Hornets lost their leading-scorer David West to a torn ACL this week, so they will rely much more on All-Star point guard Chris Paul to pick up the scoring slack, as they battle for playoff position in the West. The Hornets are currently in seventh place in the conference.
If Andrew Bynum continues to play defense and rebound the way he has since the All-Star break, the Lakers will be a very difficult team to beat yet again come playoff time.
Bynum scored 10 points, grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds, and blocked four shots, as the Lakers overcame a five-point halftime deficit and pushed their way easily past the Orlando Magic 97-84 at Staples Center on Monday night.
The Lakers are 10-1 since the All-Star game, and continue to play well against the league’s elite teams. The win on Monday pulled the champs (48-20) virtually even with the Dallas Mavericks (47-19) for second in the Western Conference standings. Both teams are 6.5 games behind the San Antonio Spurs.
Kobe Bryant, playing despite a sore right ankle, scored 16 points, but struggled shooting just 7-19 from the field. He only needed to play a little over 30 minutes on this night however. Pau Gasol scored a game-high 23 points, Lamar Odom had 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and Derek Fisher chipped in 15 points. The Lakers had five players score in double figures.
The Magic were able to stay ahead early thanks to some hot shooting from the three-point line, and the Lakers’ inability to put the ball in the basket. In fact, the Lakers shot just 27% in the first quarter, but trailed only by six (25-19) thanks to the second efforts on the boards by Bynum, who had nine offensive rebounds for the game.
The Lakers trailed 46-41 at the half, but took over defensively in the second half. The game was still close after three quarters with Los Angeles nursing a 71-66 lead, until the Lakers’ reserves put together an 18-5 run against the Orlando starters to push the game to 85-69 with just over seven minutes left. The Magic were never able to get closer than 11 points the rest of the way as the two-time defending champs cruised to the victory.
Dwight Howard had 22 points and 15 rebounds, but did most of his damage with the game out of reach, and Bynum on the bench. He also turned the ball over a horrific nine times. He was also nowhere near as dominant as the first time the two teams met in Orlando, and was rejected near the rim twice by Bynum, a sign that this would be no easy night for the All-Star.
Jameer Nelson and Ryan Anderson each scored 13 points, and Hedo Turkoglu added 12. Orlando got just 13 points from their bench, including an 0-6 performance from the field from Gilbert Arenas, who continues to have a disastrous season since being traded from Washington earlier this year.
For the game, the Magic did out shoot the Lakers from the field, 47.1% to 43.8%, but the Lakers’ shooting woes were mostly in the first half. They shot over 50% in the second half. Los Angeles outrebounded Orlando 41-39, including 14-6 at the offensive end. The Magic as a team turned the ball over 18 times to the Lakers’ five giveaways. Orlando did make 10-23 (43.5%) from beyond the arc, but struggled after a hot start.
Monday’s win was the first of seven straight home games for the Lakers, as they continue their strong push towards the playoffs. They now get four days off until they host Minnesota on Friday night.
When examining the composition of the team from last season, the Lakers weakest position may have been at point guard. Thus, the Laker’s most important free agent signing in the off-season may prove to be that of Steve Blake. This 6’3″ 30 year old point guard will be playing for his 6th team in his 8th NBA season. My hope is that Blake will be seeing a lot of minutes as the back-up to Derek Fisher, with them playing a fairly equal amount of minutes. Or Blake could start and Fisher could come off the bench. Interestingly enough, both took pay cuts this season. He should be a better fit in the triangle offense than Jordan Farmar, with better 3-point shooting, a pass-first mentality, and a greater commitment to playing defense. Blake averaged 8.5 points and 5 assists in 80 games last season. Farmar averaged 7 points and 1.5 assists in 82 games last season. I read how Blake is not as athletic or as young as Farmar, but I expect him to be more consistent and make fewer turnovers. He was born in Hollywood, Florida. Miami High, Blake’s high school, won back-to-back championships and he won a NCAA championship with Maryland in 2002, where his jersey was retired a few years later. The only thing missing from his accomplishments is an NBA championship, so he should be hungry for his first. He follows the Miami Dolphins and University of Miami and golfs in his spare time.
Here is a good article on Blake http://www.ocregister.com/articles/steve-257796-blake-deceived.html