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The By The Numbers recap for the Lakers 95-86 loss to the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. The Lakers are now 1-4, and next play home to Golden St. on Friday night.
The amount of turnovers the Lakers have committed during the first five games of the season. What’s really sad is they have more turnovers than bench points. Wednesday was the perfect example of this…19 turnovers and 12 bench points. It’s getting to be a scary trend.
The percentage of free throws the Jazz made Wednesday. While they only shot 18, they did make 16, including several down the stretch when the Lakers tried to make a game of it…or more correctly, Kobe tried to make a game of it.
The number of shots the Lakers missed on Wednesday from the field, for a miserable season-low 33.8% (25-74). Only one player who took more than two shots hit 50% of them…Dwight Howard…going 7-11.
One of the more-positive numbers of the night…the number foul shots the Lakers attempted, as they continue to get to the line a lot, courtesy of everyone fouling Dwight Howard. Kobe Bryant hit 15-17 and has made 33-36 (91.7%) to start the season. The negative on Wednesday? They only hit 32 of the 46 attempts.
The point differential between the Jazz bench and the Laker bench Wednesday…36-12 was the final tally. No Laker reserve hit more than one basket, although Jordan Hill did have 12 rebounds. Yay for hustle!
The percentage the Lakers shot from the three-point line on Wednesday, going an abysmal 4-23. Before Wednesday, the Lakers actually were shooting a very solid 40.6% from beyond the arc. Steve Blake, Kobe Bryant, and Metta World Peace combined to shoot 4-18 from distance though in Utah.
The total team assists for the Lakers. Other than Kobe Bryant, no player had more than two, as the team looked completely out of synch offensively all night, and struggled with any consistent ball movement. The game became “stand around and watch Kobe,” which is a terrible habit the team has always had when they find themselves down.
The amount of baskets the entire Lakers’ bench made in Utah. Nothing more needs to be said about that. Oh, keep in mind Randy Foye off the Jazz bench had five three-point baskets himself.
Here’s to better luck at home at Staples Center on Friday against Golden St., where the Lakers play their next six games.
The Lakers just keep rolling right along towards the playoffs, as they took care of the New Orleans Hornets 102-84 at Staples Center on Sunday night.
Kobe Bryant, who scored 79 points in his previous two games, poured in a game-high 30 points to go along with five assists, as the Lakers won their seventh straight game, and have gone 15-1 since the All-Star break.
Los Angeles jumped on the David West-less Hornets early, and led 30-19 after the first quarter. After getting up by as many as 18 points in the first half, the Lakers settled for a halftime lead of 57-41.
The Hornets played much better in the second half, and were able to rally back behind the inspired play of Carl Landry, who is starting in place of West. New Orleans got to within six points in the fourth quarter at 78-72, before the Lakers went on a 24-12 run to close the game, and win going away by 18.
Pau Gasol had a big night with 23 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocked shots. Andrew Bynum battled foul trouble all game long, and played just over 21 minutes, but he did have 13 points and five boards in his limited action. Ron Artest was the only other Laker in double figures with 11 points on 4-6 shooting from the field.
For the game, the Lakers shot 41-85 (48.2%) from the field, 17-21 (81.0%) from the foul line, but only 3-17 (17.6%) from beyond the arc, with Bryant hitting just 1-6 from deep. The Lakers won the rebound battle 44-43 and committed just nine turnovers.
New Orleans struggled shooting the ball all night, finishing at 40.2% on 35-87 from the floor. They were also a miserable 3-17 (17.6%) from the three-point line, with Marco Belinelli convering just 1-7 from long range.
Landry led the Hornets with 24 points and 10 rebounds playing almost 44 minutes. Emeka Okafor had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Chris Paul had an off night scoring just 10 points on 4-9 shooting, but he did have nine assists. No other Hornet scored in double figures.
The win put the Lakers’ record at 53-20, and they are one game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for second place in the Western Conference. The two teams will get together on Thursday night for a battle at Staples Center. San Antonio dropped their third straight and are now 57-16, just four games ahead of the Lakers for the conference lead with nine games remaining.
The champs will get three days off before they take on Dallas, and will try to complete a 7-0 homestand. Sometimes long layoffs can be a bad thing for a team playing well, but the Lakers know they have to be at their best in what will surely be a playoff-like atmosphere on Thursday. The Mavericks and Lakers have split their first two games this season, with the Lakers beating the Mavericks 96-91 in their last meeting in Dallas.
Box Score: Lakers vs. Hornets Box Score
There is little doubt who the MVP of the Lakers has been the first two weeks of the season. Pau Gasol continues to dominate all opponents, notching his fourth career triple-double, as the Lakers blasted the Portland Trail Blazers 121-96 at Staples Center on Sunday night.
Gasol scored 20 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and had 10 assists as the defending NBA champions stayed undefeated and moved to 7-0 on the season. For the big Spaniard, it was his first triple-double since February 17, 2009 against the Atlanta Hawks.
It was also the Lakers’ second triple-double in three games, as Kobe Bryant got his 17th last Tuesday in Sacramento.
Lamar Odom also kept his All-Star-caliber play going, with 21 points and 12 rebounds, hitting 10-15 from the field. Kobe Bryant had another extended night of rest, playing less than 25 minutes and scoring just 12 points.
Bryant wasn’t needed on this night, as the Lakers took control of the game from the opening tip, led by 13 after one quarter, and opened it up to 58-36 at halftime. The Blazers never got back into the game in the second half and shot just 42.7% from the field, to the Lakers’ season-high 54.9%.
The game was quite a switch from Friday night, when the Lakers struggled to put away the lowly Toronto Raptors, and expected an even tougher effort from a quality Portland team that always gives them a bad time.
The Lakers spread the offense around on this night, with seven players in double-figures. Shannon Brown hit 3-6 from beyond the arc en route to 15 points off the bench. Matt Barnes had 13 points and six rebounds off the bench, Derek Fisher scored 12, and Ron Artest had 11, also shutting down Blazer star Brandon Roy in the process.
Roy was hounded by Artest all night, scoring just eight points on 1-6 from the field. His only field goal came midway through the third quarter. Andre Miller led the visitors with 20 points, Nicolas Batum had 17, and Rudy Fernandez put in 13 off the bench.
The Lakers next play host to the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. They can match the second-best start in franchise history at 8-0 with a win in that game. Phil Jackson’s best start as a coach is 12-0, when his Chicago Bulls accomplished the feat in the 1996-97 season. That team went on to a 69-13 record and an NBA Championship.
It was close for the first half, but the Lakers’ bench flexed their muscle and dominated the second, beating the Phoenix Suns easily 105-92 in Phoenix on Thursday.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 24 points, but shot only 8-23 from the field. That was no matter, as the Lakers’ bench piled up 43 points and were led by Lamar Odom‘s 13 points, Jordan Farmar‘s 11, and Trevor Ariza‘s 10.
The Lakers led 50-44 at the half, but turned up the defensive intensity in the second half. They led by as many as 18 points and cruised to the victory. The Suns shot only 44.2% from the floor, and committed 15 turnovers, to the Lakers 7.
Former Laker, Shaquille O’Neal, had a solid game, scoring 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds, but he didn’t get much help. Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 21 points, but missed several lay-ups and was mostly relegated to being a spot-up jump shooter.
There were few remnants of the Suns’ former quick-strike offense, as new coach Terry Porter has insisted the team pound the ball into Shaq first. As a result, Steve Nash, who looks very pedestrian in this new offense, scored just 8 points, none until the middle of third quarter.
The Lakers play host to Denver on Friday, as part of a back-to-back. It will be the first chance to see the Nuggets with Chauncey Billups running the point.