Posts tagged win
Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher have 10 championship rings between the two of them. On Sunday night they provided a glimpse as to why, as they both hit several big buckets late, rallying the Lakers to an 84-80 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center.
The Lakers played the game without center Andrew Bynum, who was suspended two games by the NBA for his flagrant foul on Friday night. Without Bynum patrolling the paint, the Blazers were able to dominate the Lakers on the glass, and led the game for most of the night despite very poor shooting. In fact, neither team looked good on offense.
Bryant led the Lakers with 22 points, but scored 10 of them in the fourth quarter with the game very much in doubt. His short jumper in the lane with just over a minute left gave the Lakers an 80-76. Thirty seconds later, he hit a picture-perfect fallaway baseline jumper over Brandon Roy that gave the Lakers an 82-77 lead. That seemingly was the dagger for the champs.
However Portland wouldn’t quit. After they got to within two at 82-80, Fisher stuck a 17-foot jumper with 10 seconds left and the shot clock running out to seal the victory the Lakers. Fisher also had two sensational defensive plays in the final minutes, and scored a layup with just under two left to put the Lakers up 78-76, a lead they would never relinquish.
The win pushed the surging champs to 12-1 since the All-Star game, and clinched their fourth straight Pacific Division crown. They also stayed one game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for the second place in the Western Conference standings. Los Angeles is now 3-0 against Blazers this year, marking the first time since the 2004-05 season the Lakers will win the season series.
Lamar Odom, starting for Bynum, scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Pau Gasol had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Ron Artest chipped in with 10 points.
For the game, the Lakers held Portland to a miserable 38.6% (32-83) from the field and just 6-25 (24.0%) from the three-point line. Neither team shot the ball particularly well. The Lakers did finish at 44.9% (35-78) from the floor, but just 3-17 (17.6%) from beyond the arc. The one bright spot was they hit 11 of their 12 free throws. Portland won the rebound battle easily 45-35, including 17-9 at the offensive end, certainly a sign the Lakers missed Bynum’s presence in the middle.
Nicolas Batum led the Blazers with 25 points, scoring 22 of them in the first three quarters. He did make 4-9 from long range. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 points to go along with six rebounds, and Rudy Fernandez was the only other Portland player in double figures. He had 10 points, but hit just 3-10 shots. At one point the Portland went on 15-0 scoring run in the game, spanning halftime.
The Trail Blazers did lose forward/center Marcus Camby late in the game as he appeared to injure his ankle. A big loss for a team trying to make a push towards the playoffs, and with a tough schedule coming up.
The Lakers are now 3-0 on their seven-game homestand, and will take on the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night at Staples Center. The last time the Suns were in Los Angeles, they hit 22-40 three-pointers on their way to a shocking 121-116 win back on November 14. The Lakers have won both games in Phoenix this season.
In another lackadaisical second-half effort, the Lakers were blitzed by the San Antonio Spurs and dropped their third straight by 15+ points, 97-82 at the AT&T Center on Tuesday.
It was a game that started off well for the Lakers. They kept it close early on, erasing a nine-point first quarter deficit, and taking a 44-42 lead into halftime. After briefly getting up by four in the third quarter, that’s when the wheels came off, and the Spurs took over.
Led by the hustle and inside play of undersized center DeJuan Blair, and Tony Parker’s relentless attacking of the basket, the Spurs turned the game in their favor and took over in the third quarter, outscoring the Lakers 29-18 in the period. The Lakers never could recover, and never got the game close again, as the Spurs cruised to the win.
Kobe Bryant had another off shooting night, scoring a team-high 21 points, but hitting only 8-27 from the floor. He also picked up another technical foul, his fourth in the three games, after getting into a spat with George Hill in the second quarter. These technicals surely are a sign of the Lakers’ frustration on the court, as they continue having trouble beating good teams.
It was another miserable night offensively for the Lakers, as only Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest scored in double-figures, and they both had 10. Pau Gasol took only eight shots, scoring nine points, to go along with nine rebounds. For the game, the Lakers shot a season-low 35.4% from the field. They did outrebound the Spurs 51-50.
During this three-game losing streak, the Lakers are also averaging just 80.3 points per game, and have shot under 41% in two of the three games. They also are turning the ball over far too much as well, over 15 per game during the streak.
The Spurs were led by Tony Parker’s 23 points on 10-18 from the field. DeJuan Blair had a dominant second half, and scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the game. Richard Jefferson had 15 points and seven rebounds
The blowout win was even more impressive for the Spurs, when you consider that Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili scored only 11 points combined on 4-19 from the floor. In fact Duncan only grabbed four rebounds in 30 minutes of action, yet the Spurs won convincingly.
The Lakers will try to avoid their second four-game losing of the season when they play tomorrow night in New Orleans against the Hornets. The Hornets, after starting the year 11-1, have gone only 7-12 since, as they have encountered their own problems the last month.
Link: Lakers @ Spurs Box Score
Things were looking in good Utah. Kobe Bryant had scored 14 points over a two-minute stretch in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers had a five-point lead with just over two-minutes left. That’s where the fun ended in Salt Lake City on Friday night.
The Utah Jazz scored the last 11 points of the game, withstanding Bryant’s late scoring barrage, and defeated the Lakers 102-96. They also trailed the world champs by 19 points early in the game, but erased that deficit to take a 75-72 lead after three quarters.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 31 points, playing just under 34 minutes. Pau Gasol scored 21 and grabbed 11 rebounds, bouncing back from a sub-par game against Chicago on Tuesday. Lamar Odom had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
It looked like the game would be a laugher early, as the Lakers led 33-17 after one quarter, and still held a double-digit lead midway through the second. That’s when the Jazz’ bench, led by Ronnie Price, came in and sparked a rally that got them back in the game before halftime.
After the break, the game was a dogfight, as the lead changed hand several times, with no team leading by more than five points until the final score. The play of the game turned out to be Bryant losing the ball out front, and Raja Bell scoring an uncontested layup to put the Jazz up 98-96. Ron Artest then missed a wide-open three-pointer, and the Jazz made all their free throws down the stretch for the win.
Deron Williams led the Jazz with 29 points (10-14 from the field), and 12 assists. Al Jefferson, who hadn’t played on a team that had beaten the Lakers since 2005, scored 20 points, and grabbed eight rebounds. Paul Milsap had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Jazz, who moved to 12-5 on the season.
It was the second straight poor-shooting game for the Lakers, as they managed to hit just 41.8% from the field, and just 4-15 (26.7%) from the three-point line. In fact, Steve Blake and Derek Fisher alone combined to shoot 0-6 from beyond the arc. It was also the Lakers’ second straight game under 100 points, the first time that’s happened all year.
The loss dropped the Lakers to 13-3, and left them still 1/2 game behind San Antonio for first place in the Western Conference. Their next game is home on Sunday against the Indiana Pacers, who earlier this week knocked off the Miami Heat 93-77 in Miami. The Lakers head out for a quick two-game road trip after Sunday’s game.
Link: Lakers @ Jazz Box Score
The Los Angeles Lakers matched the second-best start in franchise history at 8-0, with a sloppy 99-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on Tuesday.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 33 points, including 23 of them in the first half. He hit only 3-13 from the field in the second half, as the Lakers were never able to put the pesky Timberwolves away until the final minute of the game. Bryant bounced back from a sub-par game on Sunday against the Trail Blazers when he scored just 12 points on 3-11 shooting.
Pau Gasol had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Lamar Odom shook off a foul-plagued evening, scoring 15 points and grabbing eight rebounds in just under 27 minutes of play. Ron Artest added 13 points.
The biggest star of the night though was former UCLA standout Kevin Love, who scored 23 points and grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds for the Timberwolves. It was the second 20/20 game of Love’s career. Michael Beasley scored 17 points, and Sebastian Telfair added 13 points and 9 assists for the visitors, who lost to the Lakers for the 12th straight time.
The young Timberwolves, led by former Laker coach and player Kurt Rambis, fought the defending champs all game long, and even cut a seemingly-secure 11-point Laker lead to eight in the final seconds of the third quarter on a half-court heavy by Maurice Ager. The Wolves closed to within two late in the fourth, before Lamar Odom hit a 3-pointer and then a driving layup to give the Lakers an 94-87 lead, as they hung on for the win.
It was a lethargic performance by the Lakers, who were coming off a strong win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, and may have very well looking past the young Timberwolves towards their Thursday night battle in Denver. The game was marred by sloppy play as the Wolves turned the ball over 27 times, and the Lakers had 18.
The Lakers were also dominated on the glass for the second time in three games, as the Timberwolves held a 54-42 rebounding edge, including 26 on the offensive end. The second chances helped the visitors hang in a game where they shot just 38.0% from the field.
The Lakers try to move to 9-0 on Thursday, facing their toughest test of the young season against the Nuggets in Denver. The Lakers best start in franchise history is 11-0, accomplished by the 1997-98 team that went on to win 61 games.