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The By The Numbers recap for the Lakers’ 103-90 win over the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on Sunday night. The Lakers are now 3-4, and next play home to San Antonio on Tuesday night.
The number of free tacos Jack in the Box will have to give out after the Lakers held yet another opponent under 100 points on Sunday in the win.
The number of rebounds Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard have grabbed combined this season. Just looked like a nice number to mention. That is of course over 10 per game, and is sure to improve as Howard gets his legs back. He had his Laker career-high with 18 boards Sunday.
To keep in the rebounding mode, the number offensive rebounds the Lakers have grabbed this year through the first seven games. That’s nearly 15 a night…impressive. Jordan Hill grabs 3.5 off the bench alone.
The combined number of points the Lakers starting five scored minus Steve Blake scored. Even more impressive was they shot 27-54 (50%) from the floor as well. Dwight Howard led all scorers with 23 points, to go along with his 18 rebounds and three blocks.
The percentage of shots the Kings missed on Sunday, hitting only 36-90 from the floor, including a miserable 1-10 from Marcus Thornton. Laker opponents are shooting just 42.4% from the field for the season.
The number of minutes it took Jason Thompson to foul out against Dwight Howard. I know that’s a lot minutes, but so what, it’s a fun stat to mention.
In one of the poorer stats of the night, the amount of points the Lakers bench scored. They struggled again except for Jordan Hill and Darius Morris, who continue to lead the reserves with solid play. Antawn Jamison had another tough night…no points and only two shot attempts.
The number of minutes it took the Kings’ Jimmer Fredette to score 18 points…wow! He went 7-9 from the floor, 3-5 from beyond the arc, and 1-1 from the line. Pretty impressive stat line.
The Lakers current winning streak. Hey it’s better than a two-game losing streak.
More numbers after San Antonio on Tuesday!
For the first 24 minutes of Friday night’s game in Utah, it seemed like the Lakers were destined to give back the game they gained from Thursday’s nights hard-fought victory against Dallas.
But these Lakers are just playing at a whole other level. The champs rallied from 17 points down, overwhelming the undermanned Utah Jazz in the second half, and scored a 96-85 at EnergySolutions Arena, their ninth straight win, and 17th in the last 18 games.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 21 points and Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol each had 16. Gasol also added a team-high nine rebounds in the win.
Utah jumped on the Lakers early, led 26-13 in the first quarter, and then put together an 11-0 run in the second quarter to build a 41-24 lead. But that’s when the tide began to shift. Los Angeles fought back with an 18-7 run to close the half, and trailed just 48-42 at the break.
The second half was all Lakers, as Derek Fisher’s three-pointer finally got the Lakers even at 62 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter. Moments later they took the lead for good when Kyrylo Fesenko was called for goaltending on a Shannon Brown shot. The Lakers led 71-64 after three.
The lead stretched to 83-65 early in the fourth, and the Lakers held off the Jazz the rest of the way for what turned out to be a fairly easy victory. Los Angeles outscored Utah 52-35 in the second half.
Utah played without three of their key players, as Andrei Kirilenko, Devin Harris, and Raja Bell all missed the game with injuries. The Lakers played without Matt Barnes, who was suspended by the NBA for his role in Thursday night’s melee with Dallas.
C.J. Miles, who had been in a shooting slump, scored 13 points in the first half for the Jazz, and finished with a game-high 24. Al Jefferson added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul Milsap chipped in with 16 points.
The Lakers shot just 39.4% from the field in the first half, but finished the game at 47.9% (34-71). They also held the Jazz to 41.5% (34-82) from the floor, and 2-10 (20.0%) from the three-point line. The Jazz did outrebound the Lakers 44-39, including 15-6 on the offensive end, but held a much bigger advantage (28-18) at the end of the first half.
The win, combined with San Antonio’s sixth straight loss at Houston on Friday, brought the Lakers to within 1.5 games for first place in the Western Conference, with seven remaining. The Lakers’ current 17-1 record is the highest post-All-Star break winning percentage (.944) in league history. The Jazz are second, going 31-4 (.885) after the All-Star break back in 1997.
The loss eliminated Utah from the Western Conference playoff race, marking the first time a team started 15-5 and 27-13 and didn’t make the playoffs.
The Lakers now return home for a Sunday afternoon battle at Staples Center against the new-look Denver Nuggets, who have been playing very well since trading their superstar forward Carmelo Anthony last month. The two teams have split their two meetings this year, with the Lakers winning the last game 107-97 in Denver back on January 21.
Link: Lakers @ Jazz Box Score
In a game the Lakers never trailed, they also were never able to put away the resilient Philadelphia 76ers, and needed some late points by Kobe Bryant to get a 102-98 win at Staples Center on New Year’s Eve.
Bryant, who was held to a season-low nine points in a win in Philadelphia earlier this month, scored a game-high 33 points, including the tiebreaking jumper with just over 90 seconds left, as the Lakers hung on to get the victory. The win snapped a two-game home losing streak for the Lakers.
The Sixers did have chances to win the game at the end, but UCLA-product Jrue Holiday missed a three-pointer late, and guard Lou Williams followed with the same with four seconds left. Bryant then hit two free throws to seal the victory.
Pau Gasol had 20 points and eight rebounds, bouncing back from some recent sub-part scoring games. Lamar Odom had 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and Andrew Bynum scored eight points and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds.
The Lakers led the game the entire way, and by as many as 12 at one point, but the young Philadelphia squad kept hanging around. They trailed 52-44 at halftime, and 82-73 after three quarters, but managed to fight back and tie the game at 98 with just over a minute left. They never did score again however, as Bryant scored the game’s final four points for the world champs.
For the second straight game, the Lakers shot over 50% from the field, hitting 42-82 (51.2%) against Philadelphia. The also dominated on the glass, 45-35, including 11 at the offensive end. However, they did only hit 4-14 (28.6%) from beyond the arc, as they continue to struggle from long range in recent games.
The Sixers, who played without Andre Iguodala for the third straight game, were led by Holiday’s 19 points and 11 assists. Off the bench, Lou Williams scored 18, and Thaddeus Young had 14. In fact, the 76ers’ bench scored 44 of the team’s 98 points.
The Lakers are in the middle of a three-game homestand that will continue on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies, who have already beaten the Lakers once this season, 98-96 back on November 13th at the FedEx Forum.
The Lakers will play six of their next eight games at home, with only two of the games against teams with winning records (New Orleans and New York). With the schedule getting increasingly harder in the middle of the month, the Lakers need to take advantage and get wins against the weaker teams to climb back closer to the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Lakers’ longest losing streak in 2 1/2 years is over. Back at home on Friday, the Lakers made short work of the Sacramento Kings in their easiest win of the season, 113-80, ending a four-game skid.
The champs came out focused from the start, and played strong defense from the opening tip to the final horn. They shot 56.6% from the field, and held the Kings to just 40.3%, including 5-16 (31.3%) from the three-point line. All stats were a vast improvement over what had been happening at both ends of the court during the losing streak.
Kobe Bryant was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points, and got to be a spectator the entire fourth quarter during the Lakers’ largest blow out of the season. He played a little over 26 minutes for the night.
Pau Gasol, playing despite a sore left hamstring, scored 16 points, with five rebounds, five assists, and three blocks in under 27 minutes. It was also a welcomed, short evening for Gasol, who has logged heavy minutes in recent games as the Lakers continue to try to get by without Andrew Bynum and Theo Ratliff.
Lamar Odom added 16 points and seven rebounds, and the Lakers’ bench, led by Shannon Brown’s 14 points, outscored the Sacramento bench 52-37.
The Kings kept the game close for most of the first quarter and trailed only 21-16 after the first 12 minutes. But the Lakers took over from there, leading 52-35 at the break, and by as much as 35 in the fourth quarter en route to the 33-point win. The 80 points were also a season-low for a Laker opponent.
Jason Thompson led the Kings with 19 points and 10 rebounds, although most of his damage was done when the game was well out of hand in the second half. Tyreke Evans had 15 points, but continues to struggle with his shot, hitting just 5-15 from the field.
A game against the struggling Kings was just what the doctor ordered for the Lakers, as they will head out on a six game road trip beginning next week, and are in desperate need of a positive swing of momentum before the two-week marathon.
The Lakers next game is Tuesday night at Staples Center against another stuggling team, the Washington Wizards, who do boast one of the league’s most-exciting rookies, and the number one pick in the draft, John Wall.