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|Game #23 – December 12, 2014 (OT)|
|AT&T Center – San Antonio, TX|
Team Leaders Lakers
Points – Young 29, Bryant 22, 3 Players with 14
Rebounds – Boozer 13, Hill 10, 2 Players with 6
Assists – Bryant 9, Lin 8, Davis 4
Team Leaders Spurs
Points – Duncan 19, Green 19, Ginobili 18
Rebounds – Duncan 18, 5 Players with 4
Assists – Joseph 5, Ginobili 4, Anderson 3
The By The Numbers recap for the Lakers’ 119-108 win over the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on Sunday night. The Lakers are now 5-5, and next play home to Brooklyn on Tuesday night.
The number of points Pau Gasol has scored in the NBA, as he passed the 15,000 point mark on Sunday, making him the 10th foreign-born player to do so. He has scored 6,039 of those points with the Lakers.
The number of points the Lakers are averaging their last two games after having their first practice with Mike D’Antoni on Thursday.
The number of points the Lakers starters scored on Sunday, with all five in double-figures, led by Dwight Howard’s 28 to go along with 13 rebounds and three blocks.
Bernie Bickerstaff’s winning percentage as head coach, as he has gone 4-1 since Mike Brown’s dismissal. If Mike D’Antoni sits on the the bench Tuesday, Bernie will go down with the best winning-percentage in Laker coaching history. And if not for the the last 60 seconds against San Antonio he’d be a perfect 5-0.
The Lakers first half scoring output, their best of the season. Seems as if the Mike D’Antoni system is really paying dividends on the offense the last two games.
The number of rebounds Dwight Howard has pulled down the last four games, 14.5 per night. In the previous four, he’d only grabbed 32, including a season-low of seven against Detroit.
The Lakers’ shooting percentage on Sunday, as they blistered the nets all night long. Every Laker starter shot better than 50% from the field, except for Kobe…and guess what he shot…yeah only 50% at 9-18. It was that kind of night.
The number of triple-doubles Kobe Bryant has accomplished in his career, and his first since 2010. His line for the night…22 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists…and throw in three steals for good measure.
The number of fouls the Lakers committed on Sunday, as they continue to play solid defense without fouling. And eight of their 15 fouls came from two players on Sunday, Kobe and Metta World Peace who each had four.
For the second straight game, the Lakers won the turnover battle and committed just 13, with an assist/turnover ratio of 2.08. Great ball movement all night and lots of guys knocking down open shots.
See you after Brooklyn, on Tuesday.
The Utah Jazz hate playing the Lakers at Staples Center, and coming in with a four-game losing streak didn’t make their prospects for a win any better on Tuesday. Behind a balanced attack, the Lakers obliterated the Jazz 120-91, dropping Utah for the 17th straight time in Los Angeles.
The Lakers, coming off an impressive win in Denver on Friday, continued their strong play against the struggling Jazz. They jumped out to a 37-22 lead after one quarter, and never looked back. The lead ballooned to 66-38 at halftime, and by early in the fourth quarter it had grown to 38. The Lakers finished the game shooting a season-high 62.0% from the floor in their league-leading eighth wire-to-wire victory.
Kobe Bryant scored 21 points to go along with six assists, and got a ton of rest in the blowout, playing just over 26 minutes for the night. He needs just 13 points to pass Hakeem Olajuwon for eighth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Pau Gasol had 20 points and seven rebounds, Andrew Bynum scored 19 points to go along with 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Lamar Odom had 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench, including a circus shot jumper from the right baseline as he was fouled, for a three-point play. It was that kind of night for the champs.
The Jazz shot just 41.9% (36-86) from the floor for the game, and the final score certainly didn’t reflect how good the Laker defense was. Utah’s shooting percentage greatly improved when the game was out of reach, and both teams cleared the benches for extended “garbage time.”
To go along with their hot shooting, the Lakers had 34 assists on their 44 baskets, with five players notching at least four assists. In fact, everyone on the team had at least one assist, except for Joe Smith who played just four minutes of the fourth quarter.
Deron Williams led the Jazz with 17 points and eight assists, but didn’t get much help from anyone else. He also turned the ball over five times as the Lakers were aggressive against him on the perimeter. C.J. Miles had 14 points, Paul Milsap scored 11, and Al Jefferson was the only other Jazz player in double-figures with 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Jazz are now 3-19 all-time against the Lakers at Staples Center, including the playoffs. The last time the Jazz won at on the road against the Lakers was New Year’s Day in 2006, 98-94.
The Lakers have also won 12 of their last 15 overall, including three of four against Western Conference playoff teams. They’re now sitting at 33-13, 5.5 games behind the conference-leading Spurs. They also have the NBA’s third best record behind San Antonio (38-7) and Boston (33-10).
The Lakers’ next game is Friday night against the last place Sacramento Kings, who they have beaten 14 of the last 16 times the teams have faced each other, including two easy wins this season. The Lakers will look to avoid a letdown before Sunday’s huge match up against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center. That game will be the first between two teams since the Lakers 83-79 win in Game 7 of the NBA Finals last June.
Kobe Bryant has the reputation of being the game’s best closer. On Wednesday night he didn’t disappoint, taking over the game in the final six minutes, and rallying the Lakers past the pesky Golden St. Warriors 115-110 at Oracle Arena.
Bryant scored 17 of his game-high 39 points in the final 5:49, as the Lakers overcame an early 14-point deficit. He also had a crucial assist on a Ron Artest three-pointer with under two minutes left, that gave the Lakers a five point cushion. Bryant grabbed six rebounds, dished out four assists, and hit 13-21 from the field.
But it wasn’t just the heroics of #24 that saved the Lakers on this night. Lamar Odom came off the bench to score 20 points, to go along with nine rebounds, and single-handedly kept the world champs in the game early in the fourth quarter, before Bryant came in and closed it out.
Pau Gasol had another solid game with 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Andrew Bynum scored 11 points to go along with a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Warriors led most of the game. They jumped out to a 37-23 lead in the second quarter, behind the sizzling shooing of Monta Ellis, who scored 21 of his 38 points in the first half. After the Lakers went ahead briefly at 43-42, the Warriors went on an 11-2 run to close the half and take a 53-45 to the break.
In the third quarter quarter, the Warriors kept the pressure on the Lakers, keeping the lead between 6-8 points most the quarter. Ellis hit a buzzer-beating jumper that gave Golden St. a 75-69 lead after three.
The fourth quarter turned into a duel between Ellis and Bryant, with the reigning 2-time NBA Finals MVP finally getting the better of his shooting guard counterpart down the stretch, hitting big shot after big shot, including a dagger three-pointer to put the Lakers up 105-99 with just over 30 seconds left. The Warriors hit several threes down the stretch, but the Lakers made all the foul shots for the win.
Ellis for the game hit 15-26 from the field, and 4-5 from three-point line, playing all 48 minutes of the game. Dorell Wright also played the entire game, scoring 27 points to go along with seven rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocked shots. Stephen Curry had 15 points and 10 assists.
Both teams shot the ball well, the Lakers hit 51.2% (42-82) from the field and 26-29 (89.7%) from the foul line. The Warriors shot 50.6% (44-87) from the field and a ridiculous 13-30 (43.3%) from beyond the arc. Los Angeles dominated on the glass 47-27, including 18 at the offensive end, which gave them a lot of second-chance opportunities, offsetting the massive three-point differential.
And after turning the ball over frequently in the first half leading to 20 fastbreak points for the Warriors, the Lakers finished the game with a respectable 14 turnovers.
The Lakers have now won six straight games, and are sitting in second place in the Western Conference, 4.5 games behind the San Antonio Spurs. They’re now 14-6 on the road, and have won eight of their last nine away from Staples Center.
The champs next face the slumping New Jersey Nets on Friday night at Staples Center. The Lakers won the first meeting in New Jersey 99-92 back in early December, a game that was a lot closer than it should have been. Former Lakers Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic will make their first appearances at Staples Center in uniforms other than purple and gold. Farmar will also receive is 2009-10 NBA Championship ring.