2007-08 LAKERS NEWS AND NOTES
4/15: Six month after starting the season with a very uncertain future ahead, the Lakers have proved to be the best team in the tough West, and they ended their job with a victory against the Kings 124-101.
L.A. finished with a 57-25 record that's even better than the 2000-01 and 2003-04 teams that arrived to the finals. The season started with Kobe Bryant asking to be traded, the uncertainty about his presence for training camp, his bad relationship with team owner and the General Manager, but then the wins started to fall with Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar looking like stars. Later Bynum's knee injury brought some clouds again but from one day to another they suddenly looked like a championship caliber team thanks to the trade that brought Pau Gasol and all his repertory of moves and basketball IQ that made Mitch Kupchak look like a genius.
The Lakers will face the Nuggets or the Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs, and if they keep winning they will have home court advantage at least until the Western Conference Finals.
4/13: The Lakers defeated the defending champions San Antonio Spurs 106-85, in a game that was over way before its official end, and now they only need a final win against the Kings to be the best team of the West during the regular season.
Kobe Bryant had 20 points without playing in the fourth period, Lamar Odom totaled 17 points and 14 rebounds, Pau Gasol had 14 and 11 and Fisher added 14 points.
The game was tied at 53 at halftime but with 10 points from Fisher L.A. oppened the second half 17-6 and played excellent defense that killed the Spurs The best proof of it was Tony Parker who had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, but was held to just 2 points in the final 2 periods when his team was outrebounded 31-16 (51-36 overall). Tim Duncan added 16 points and 12 rebounds and Manu Ginobili watched it from the stands with an injury. If the L.A. wins on Tuesday, only the Hornets can catch them at the top of the Western Conference but the Lakers own the tie-breaker against them... Highlights...
4/11: The race for the Western Conference is still alive because the current number two Lakers woke up in time before a 30-point lead disappeared completely and defeated the current number one Hornets 107-104. With just 2 games left L.A. secured the Pacific Division and home court advantage in the first round of the Playoffs for the first time in 4 years .
Kobe Bryant made his case for MVP, putting a show with 29 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists and the highlights of the game with a tremendous dunk and a no-look pass to a driving Gasol. One of the witnesses was the other MVP candidate, Chris Paul who also had a good night with 15 points and 17 assists.
Pau Gasol had 25 points, Derek Fisher added 15, and Lamar Odom 13 points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers, who never trailed but had to fight until the end after an unexpected 63-33 lead with 3:53 left in the second quarter triggered the Hornets reaction that put them down by one 96-95 with 3:57 left in the fourth. New Orleans still leads the West but with just half game of advantage a 3 games left...
4/10: With a 106-78 rout of the Clippers, the Lakers swept the season series with their neighbors and moved to 1 1/2 game behind the Hornets for the first place in the West.
Elton Brand had 23 points and 7 rebounds in his fifth game after missing the season’s first 74 while recovering from surgery on his Achilles’ tendon. Fifteen of his points came in the first quarter as the Clippers took an early 20-9 lead but the Lakers recovered fast and most of their starters rested in the final period. Walton led the team with 18 points, 13 of them in the fourth.
The bad news for the Lakers is that with just 3 games to go in the season Andrew Bynum is not yet cleared from his knee injury to progress into full practices.
4/8: Luckily for the Lakers, they won't face the Trail Blazers in the playoffs, because the Rose Garden is still an unsolved problem for them. With a 112-103 defeat at Portland, L.A. lost its 6 consecutive game there and is now 6-19 at the Garden since it opened in 1995.
It was a great opportunity in the race to win the West, with current number one New Orleans having lost earlier in the day but the Trail Blazers shot 51.2% in the first half to win it 58-47 and then contained a late rally by the Lakers, led mostly by Brandon Roy who tied a career high with 12 assists.
The Lakers got as close as 101-104 with a driving lay-up by Bryant (34 points) but Roy returned the favor with a similar play and that was all L.A. had to offer...
4/6: The Lakers keep fighting for the first spots in the West, this time defeating the Kings 114-92 in the most most lopsided victory in Sacramento since 1989.
Kobe had 29 points and for the second game in a row two of his teammates scored at least 20. Radmanovic had a very solid game with 21 points and 14 rebounds, making 5 3-pointers and Pau Gasol with his foot getting better every day added 20 points and 9 rebounds.
After being outscored 23-27 in the first quarter, it was a very easy game for L.A. that gives them 2 games of distance with the Suns in the Pacific Division with only 6 left. It also allows them to keep the hope to get the number 1 in the Western Conference. The Lakers are 1.5 games behind New Orleans and are tied with the Spurs in second place but they will face both teams once before the season ends...
4/4: The Lakers clinched a playoff spot for the 55th time in the franchise's 60 years with a good victory 112-108 against the Mavericks.
Dirk Nowitzki (27 points) was in his second game back from an injury and Lamar Odom didn't give him a break with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Kobe Bryant added 25 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists and Pau Gasol also in his second game back had 25 points and 7 assists.
The Lakers trailed by as many as 14 in a first half that finished 64-54 but L.A. reduced the margin outscoring Dallas 32-21 in a fourth quarter that had Gasol and Odom combining under the basket for the play of the game that ended with Pau cutting to the basket and being fouled to complete a three-point play for a 108-106 lead with 40.8 seconds left...
4/2: After 9 games, Pau Gasol returned and had an ok night with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists, giving his team the interior presence they were missing. But the star of the show, as usual, was Kobe Bryant, who scored 14 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Lakers to a 104-91 victory over the Blazers. Kobe also added 13 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Lakers were 5-4 with Gasol recovering from an sprained ankle after going 15-4 with him in the team. Brandon Roy, Portland's leader missed his third game in a row with an strained groin. L.A. outscored Portland 19-9 to start the second half and the lead was 73-63 entering the final period. The Blazers draw within 7 points at the end but Bryant scored seven points in 31 seconds to make it 95-81 and clinch the victory...
3/30: The Lakers reached 50 victories for the first time since the 2003-04 season. But it wasn't easy, they needed an overtime to defeat the Wizards 126-120.
Kobe Bryant returned to his playmaking mode and ended with 26 points and 13 assists and Sasha Vujacic after shooting an embarrassing 4-for-14 3-pointers the previous game, adjusted his aim and made 6 of 8 to end with 20 points. Luke Walton had a season-high 19 points and grabbed a decisive rebound after a Bryant's missed free throw with 13 seconds left in overtime. DeShawn Stevenson and rookie Nick Young had 27 points each for the Wizards, who tied the score at the end of regulation with a 3-pointer from former Laker Caron Butler.
3/28: It was a bad day the Lakers, it started with the news that Derek Fisher has a partially torn tendon in his right foot, and later came the nigh and they lost to the lowly Grizzlies 111-114.
The Lakers defense was absent and they wasted Kobe Bryant's 53 points which weren't enough to compensate a bad shooting night that included a franchise record 45 3- pointers. The problem was that they made only 15: Kobe was 9-for-17 from beyond the 3-point line, the rest of the team was 8-for-28 including Vujacic's 4-for-14.
It was Kobe 23rd regular season game of 50 or more but he had only 6 in the fourth when the Lakers almost erased a 10-point deficit but it ended accordingly with missed threes and a bad inbound pass...
Fisher will play despite his injury that would normally require 6 to 8 weeks of rest.
3/26: The Lakers lost control, lost the game 95-108 against the lowly Bobcats, and fell to the second place in the West. Kobe Bryant drew two technical fouls in a span of 29 seconds late in the fourth period and was ejected. He accumulates 15 technicals this season, one more and he gets an automatic one-game suspension.
With Pau Gasol's return delayed at least another week, L.A. played terrible defense from the start, shoot pretty bad and trailed by as many as 19. They tried a final push starting the fourth with 10 straight points and later, with 7:45 remaining a 3-pointer by Vujacic made it 84-81 but then he Bobcats, who have won 4 of their last 5 games against the Lakers responded with a 16-5 run to go ahead 100-86. That run finished with Kobe Bryant protesting a call and being ejected with his 27 points. Jason Richardson had 34 points and 10 rebounds.
3/24: The Lakers defeated the Warriors 123-119 in overtime at Golden State, tying a miniseries of back-to-back games with a team that if the season ended today would be their first round playoff rival.
L.A. blew a nine-point lead late in regulation before going to the extra time where key plays by Vujacic (a 3-pointer with 43 seconds left), Odom (the go ahead basket with 9 seconds left) and Fisher (draw an offensive foul on Monta Ellis) decided the game.
Kobe Bryant scored 23 of his 30 points after the half-time break and played with a gash under his left eye, made by Baron Davis' elbow when the Warriors point guard was attacking the basket. Kobe also added 11 rebounds and 7 assists. Odom had 23 points and 21 rebounds. Davis ended with 30 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals.
3/23: The Lakers almost complete an unbelievable comeback from a 26-point deficit but at the end Stephen Jackson made a couple of long 3-pointers to give the Warriors the 111-115 victory.
The Lakers fell to 75-49 less than a minute into the third quarter before Derek Fisher scored 10 points in the period to reduce the score to 81-87 to begin the fourth, later the Lakers got the lead 99-97 with 5:08 to play, and Kobe Bryant scored 10 points in the final 1:48, but Jackson, who finished with 31 points, made his 3-pointers with 38.5 seconds and 8.1 seconds left to rise his team in the crucial moments. Kobe ended with 36 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists.
3/21: After a hard West trip, the visit of Seattle, the second worst team in the NBA, was like fresh air for the Lakers who routed the Supersonics 130-105, allowing the starters to rest on the second night of back-to-back games.
Led by Kobe Bryant with 23 points, all the 11 Laker players available scored (including newly acquired Ira Newble) and 8 of them did it in double digits. The team finished with a 60.7% from the field, and 52.2% (12-for-23) from beyond the 3-point line in a coast-to-coast victory. Second pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and soon-to-be Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant had 20 points for the Sonics who are headed to another high pick in 2008.
3/20: The Jazz hoped to set a franchise but the Lakers defeated them at Utah 106-95, ending their 19-game winning streak a home. It was a big victory for L.A. who managed to go 2-2 on a 4-game road trip that was supposed to nightmare after Gasol sustained a sprained ankle two minutes into the first game.
A great team effort that included Kobe Bryant's 27 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists and Lamar Odom's 21 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists resulted in an encouraging victory that helps the team stay atop of the Western Conference even without their big men.
3/18: Despite enjoying a 25-point lead midway through the third quarter, the Lakers suffered at the end and even survived a 3-point attempt by Nowitzki to win at Dallas 102-100.
The Mavericks outscored L.A. 23-3 in the final minutes of the third and the beginning of the fourth, but Radmanovic made 10 of his 21 points in the final period to keep the Lakers afloat. At the end Dallas got to 101-100 with a couple of 3-pointers by Nowitzki and another from Jason Terry. Fisher made one of two free throws and Nowitzki missed a forced final shot after a bad inbound pass.
Kobe Bryant scored 29 points, 20 of them in the first half of a confidence-regaining game, the second without Pau Gasol, and rejoined Houston at the top of the West because the Rockets's 22-game winning streak ended against the Celtics.
3/16: The Rockets have come closer than anybody else in history to the 1972 Lakers 33-game winning streak, and playing without all their big men, these Lakers couldn't stop Houston from winning 22 consecutive with a 104-92 victory.
Gasol won't be able to play for the rest of the trip and despite playing with Turiaf at center the Lakers stayed in the game and got as close as 84-86 with 6:07 to play. But that was all and less than 3 minutes later Houston was leading by 10.
L.A. focused its defense on Tracy McGrady (11 pts) but the Rockets proved to be more than a couple of stars and had big contributions from Rafer Alston (31 points that included eight 3-pointers) Bobby Jackson (19 points) and Luis Scola (13 pts, 11 rebounds). The Rockets have won 10 straight since Yao Ming went out with a broken bone. Kobe had 24 pts.
3/14: A trip that was supposed to be a good opportunity to show how good they are, started bad, but really bad in a "it can't be happening again" kind of night. The Lakers lost at New Orleans 108-98, but it wasn't the worst news.
Pau Gasol stepped on Radmanovic's foot in the first quarter, sprained his left ankle had to be helped out of the court. He left the stadium on crutches after the game and is supposed to be out for al least three games... Houston, Dallas and Utah. Talking about Houston, the Rockets 21 won games are second in NBA history trailing only the Lakers 33-game winning streak in 1972. WIth their latest win they tied L.A. atop of the Western Conference... and they meet each other on Sunday.
Kobe Bryant kept the team afloat with 36 points and 9 rebounds, but with all their big men injured (Bynum, Gasol and Mihm) the Lakers had to return to a small line-up moving turiaf to center which allowed Tyson Chandler 14 points and 20 rebounds. Chris Paul led his team with 27 points and 17 assists...
3/11: The Lakers don't need Kobe Bryant to score 81 points to defeat Toronto anymore. Today both teams are better than they were that day 2 years ago but L.A. again got the win 117-108 against the Raptors.
Kobe had 34 points, 12 of them in the final quarter.and Lamar Odom added 20 points and 9 rebounds in a much needed win against a good team that sets the tone for the hard trip ahead that will take the Lakers to New Orleans, Houston, Dallas and Utah, some of the cities with the basketball you can find in the NBA nowadays. Toronto stayed in the game with 24 points in the second half by T.J. Ford but they still can't solve the problem that generates them the absence of Chris Bosh who missed his 6th straight game with a sore right knee...
3/7: The Lakers missed a good opportunity to separate themselves a little from second place Spurs in the Western Conference. San Antonio, just half game behind, lost earlier but L.A. couldn't handle the Kings physical game and lost 114-113.
Both teams had balanced offenses, the Kings had 6 player in double digits for points led by Beno Udrih with 25 and Kevin Martin with 24, while the Lakers had 5 such players, led by Kobe's 26 points and Gasol's 25. Although the defenses weren't so good, the Kings contained Kobe to 1-for-7 from the floor in the second half and did a good job on him in the final play. After Udrih put his team ahead with two free throws and 4.6 seconds remaining, Sacramento trapped Kobe on his way to the basket and made him take an off-balance shoot that barely touched the rim...
3/7: Things returned to their historical place in L.A. with the Clippers at the bottom of the Division and the Lakers at the top of the Conference. And this days a game between the two teams is nothing more than a formality. The Clippers were routed 119-82 in the third loss of the season at the hands of their neighbors.
Derek Fisher scored 17 points, Kobe Bryant had 16, five more of their teammates scored at least 10 and the minutes were shared by everybody to win for the 13rd time in the last 14 games. A super effective rain of 3-pointers (14-for-23, 60.9%) was too much for the Clippers, whose playoff expectations died the same day Elton Brand broke his Achilles tendon before the season started. They were led by Corey Maggette with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists...
3/4: The Kings are out of the conversation in the West but they will be key in the Lakers future because the two teams still have to play 3 more games against each other. This one was a victory for the Lakers 117-105 at Sacramento, but it wasn't so easy.
With 5:32 to play in the third quarter the Kings had a 13-point lead (77-64) and at the end of the period were still leading 87-81.
Then came another of Kobe Bryant's fourth quarter heroics. He ended with 34 points but 17 of them were scored in the final 5:56 of the game. His display of highlights included a two-handed 360-degree dunk soon after a surreal chant of "M-V-P" chant was heard in this hostile location. Pau Gasol contributed 31 points and 10 rebounds to help the Lakers get their 12th victory in 13 games and stay atop of the West in a virtual tie with the Spurs...
3/2: Kobe Bryant saved his best moments for when it counted and led his team to a 108-104 overtime victory over the Mavericks, one of the West top contenders.
Kobe started bad, missing 7 of 10 free-throws but later he scored 22 of the Lakers 28 points in the fourth quarter, including the last 14 of his team. Then took it to overtime where he added another 8 to finish with 52, in the 22th season game with 50 or more of his career and the highest in the NBA so far this season.
Dirk Nowitzki also woke up in the fourth period making it a shoot-out between the two superstars. His performance included 30 points, 9 of them in the extra period, a 3-pointer to tie the score at 93 with 2 seconds remaining in regulation and an airball that could have tied it at 107 at the end...
2/29: The Blazers won 119-111, recovering Brandon Roy and their confidence while the Lakers saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end in their 5th consecutive defeat at Portland.
Despite their poor defensive effort, L.A. managed to tie it at 107-107 on a three-pointer by Sasha Vujacic with 3:05 left in the fourth But after that the home team scored the next 10 points and the Lakers ran out of ideas, that including Kobe Bryant who ended with 33 points but also made a couple of bad decisions in those final minutes.
Brandon Roy returned after missing the previous two games with a sprained right ankle and had 20 points and a career-high 12 assists...
2/28: When the season started this was signaled as one of the games to watch, with another Shaq vs. Kobe matchup but since the Big Fella is back in the West, the 106-88 victory over Miami was just another one, the latest in the Lakers 10-game winning streak.
Jordan Farmar made a career-high 24 points from the bench and Kobe Bryant added 21 and 8 assists. Turiaf took 12 rebounds and Gasol, Odom and Walton 11 each helping L.A. outrebound the Heat 55-40. Gasol also had 13 points and is averaging 20.7 points and 7.7 rebounds since joining the Lakers who are 11-1 with him.
Dwyane Wade had 18 points but his team never lead and were already 18 points down in the second quarter. The lack of emotion provided by the score was compensated with some highlights, the brightest one came in the third quarter when Bryant's started the fast break with an off-balance over-the-head pass downcourt to Luke Walton, who immediately behind-the-back assisted a running Lamar Odom for a dunk and a 67-52 lead...
2/26: Still happy for leading the Western Conference, the Lakers were caught off-guard by a diminished Blazer team. But it only lasted one quarter, then they regained their composure and defeated Portland 96-83.
The Blazers started strong and took an early 27-12 lead. But sustained in Kobe Bryant's MVP caliber game (30 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists) the Lakers managed to enter the fourth quarter 67-65 and then Kobe's 11 points and Jordan Farmar's key plays made the difference. Farmar tied a career-high with 21 points balancing the night-off took by starters Odom (6 points), Walton (2) and Fisher (2). Gasol added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Portland played without their leader Brando Roy who has a sprained right ankle...
2/24: Despite the ejection of Kobe Bryant, the Lakers extended their winning streak to 8, the longest since the 2003-04 season, with a win 111-91 at Seattle.
Bryant had 21 points and 10 assists in 26 minutes before being ejected after getting two technicals with four minutes left in the third quarter. The Lakers were ahead 88-57 by then, the Supersonics reduced the deficit to 19 in the fourth quarter, but that was the closest they would get before L.A. gained control again to take a step ahead in the Western Conference where they are now the lonely leader of the strongest group of NBA teams. Gasol finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds and Odom, who seems to be one of the most benefited from Gasol's arrival had another solid game with 19 points and 11 rebounds...
2/23: The Lakers played a road game, but they felt at home in their easy 113-95 victory over the Clippers. Playing all season without their star Elton Brand and facing this game without Chris Kaman and Sam Cassell, the Clippers saw it slip away in the the third quarter, when the Lakers opened the period outscoring them 28-14.
The Lakers offense was almost perfectly balanced with Bryant, Fisher, Odom and Farmar taking 11 shots each while Gasol and Vujacic took 12 each. All these players ended with double digits in scoring, led by Gasol's 23 points. This way, the Lakers tied their season-high 7 victories in a row and climbed to the top of the Western Conference tying the Suns with a 38-17 record.
2/20: All in one night the Lakers proved they are at the same level of the best teams in the NBA, won the series and a possible tiebreaker with Suns, climbed to the top of the Pacific Division and ruined Shaq's debut back in the Western Conference. It was a 130-124 victory at Phoenix in a game with a lot of Playoff atmosphere.
Kobe Bryant played a great game with 41 points (his 90th with 40 or more) shooting 16-for-25. Pau Gasol won the centers duel with 29 points and showing all his arsenal that included dunks, fast-break points, middle range shots and even an Sky-hook to close the third quarter that brought memories from the 80's. Shaquille O'Neal, who had not played since January 21, made some power dunks, scored 15 points and despite looking old at times, showed what he can basically contribute to his new team: a lot of personality. The Suns were able to establish their running rhythm but the Lakers never lose the pace and took advantage of the typically bad defense presented by the local team to end with a 56.5 percentage from the field and scoring at least 30 points in each quarter. Odom added 22 points and Vujacic 15...
2/19: Pau's first game at home couldn't have been better, Kobe and him scored 23 each points before sitting out the fourth quarter in a completely lopsided victory 122-93 over the Hawks.
It was a revenge from the game at Atlanta 15 days ago where the Lakers lost one of the only 2 they couldn't win on their historic road trip, and gave the starters enough time of rest for Wednesday game against Phoenix who will be presenting Shaquille O'Neal for the first time.
The Lakers lead was as big as 41 points in the second quarter and Kobe Bryant showed no sign of inhibition because of his dislocated pinkie going 8-for-16 from the field with 5 steals, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a couple of impressive dunks. Mike Bibby made his debut with the Hawks but he had to leave with an injury after playing only 16 minutes...
2008 ALL-STAR GAME 17/2: Forced by league rules to play in the 2008 All-Star Game, Kobe stayed in the court only the first 3 minutes before sitting out for good with just one rebound in his stat sheet. He was privileged witness as LeBron James almost got a triple double with 27 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds, won his second All-Star MVP and led the East Team to a 134-128 victory.
On Friday night, Jordan Farmar had 17 points and game highs with 12 assists and 4 steals in the rookie-sophomore All-Star challenge. The first beneficiary of Farmar's performance was Daniel Gibson who made 11 three-pointers and got the MVP. The sophomores won 136-109.
2/13: After beating the Timberwolves 117-92 in cruise control, the Lakers ended and historic road trip with a 7-2 record and returned home for a deserved rest.
The longest trip in team's history appeared as a bad scenery after the injury of Andrew Bynum, but it turned out pretty good because the Lakers went to the market looking for a big men and found a treasure hidden in the shadows of the Memphis Grizzlies. Pau Gasol changed the face of the team, taking out a lot of pressure from Kobe, and things could get even better with the return of Bynum, making the Lakers a legit contender.
Against the Wolves Kobe had 29 points, Gasol 19 and Odom added his fourth triple-double with the Lakers with 10 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to make look like an easy win. Kobe aggravated his dislocated right pinky finger and is in doubt for the All-Star Game and the 3-Point Shootout... Highlights...
A look at the Lakers' 15-day, 9-game trip where the Lakers had the best record in such a continuous trip or longer in NBA history. (the Spurs were 8-1 in 2003 but returned home before it ended)
|| L 90-89
|| W 121-101
|| W 103-91
||at New Jersey
|| W 105-90
|| L 98-95
|| W 117-113
|| W 104-94
|| W 106-97
2/11: The Lakers improved to 6-2 on their 9-game trip with a victory at Charlotte 106-97 and are 4-1 since the arrival of Pau Gasol.
The Spanish center is giving Kobe a sidekick that can score and has a big interior presence something the team had as a deficit since the departure of Shaquille O'Neal and was needing desperately this year since Bynum went out with an injury. The Bryant-Gasol tandem consolidates every day, Kobe had 31 points and Gasol added 26 that included 12 of the first 14 for L.A. despite playing with a cold. He shot 9-for-11 and made 8 of his 12 free throws.
The Lakers suffered in the fourth quarter, again, when the Bobcats who were playing without Gerald Wallace reduced a 13-point deficit to 3 points, five minutes into the period and stayed in the game until the end...
2/10: It's becoming a very productive trip for the Lakers who defeated Miami 104-94 and improved their record to 5-2 on the longest continuous trek in team history.
The Heat is currently the worst team in the NBA, but showed a new look without Shaquille O'Neal (traded to the Suns) and playing with the energy provided by Shawn Marion almost erased a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter to move within 98-94 with 1:26 to play before a hook from Gasol (12 points) stopped a 15-2 run. Kobe Bryant made 4 free throws to seal the score. He ended with 33 points on 10-for-15 shooting and Lamar Odom contributed big with 15 points, 18 rebounds and 6 assists. In his first game as a Heat, Marion had 15 points and 14 rebounds while Dwyane Wade finished with 19 points and 9 assists but also had 9 turnovers.
2/8: Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol showed that they can be a great offensive tandem and they did it against one of the NBA's best teams. Despite scoring a Lakers opponent record 44 points in the first quarter Orlando Magic lost 117-113.
In their third game together Bryant and Gasol looked like they have been in the same court for years, running the pick-and-roll almost to perfection. Kobe had 36 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists and Gasol added 30 points and 9 rebounds. The duo scored 39 points in the first half to keep the Lakers in the game despite that first quarter. Orlando's star Dwight Howard was 8-for-8 from the field for 19 points and had 11 rebounds but also saw his minutes limited due to the 4 fouls he collected trying to stop Gasol.
2/6: Fatigue, Kobe Bryant's dislocated finger and Joe Johnson 28 points that included 4 free throws in the final 23 seconds were too much for the Lakers that fell at Atlanta 95-98.
Playing in pain, Kobe had 10 assists but was inconsistent shooting, making 4-for16 for 11 points and his only turnover come in the worst moment when he lost control of the ball with 8 seconds to play and the Lakers down by 2. Smith made only one free throw after that but instead of trying to tie with a 3-pointer Vujacic went for a basket with 4 seconds left. Fisher had a final chance but his long three-pointer at the buzzer only hit the rim. Odom led the Lakers with 19 points and 11 assists and Pau Gasol added 12 points.
2/5: Kobe Bryant dislocated the pinky finger on his right hand but had enough support from his teammates that now include Spanish big man Pau Gasol and the Lakers got another victory on the road by defeating New Jersey 105-90.
Derek Fisher led the team and matched his season-high with 28 points and Gasol had good presentation with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists. Kobe dislocated his finger trying to steal a pass in the second quarter and although he played the rest of the game with two fingers taped his shooting was clearly affected (3-for13) and he finished with 6 points. Radmanovic added 16 and Odom completed the offense with 14 of his own, 15 rebounds and 5 assist. Vince Carter had 27 points for the Nets, who cut the Lakers' lead to 84-81 with 6:13, but a 3-point play by Gasol kicked off an 11-2 run that ended New Jersey's expectations..
2/3: Kobe Bryant set the tone of the game early outscoring the Wizards by himself with 19 of his 30 points. At the end it was a victory 103-91 at Washington. The Lakers improved to 2-1 in the first part of a long road trip.
Like trying to show newly acquired center Pau Gasol (made pregame movements but did not suit up) how the triangle offense should look like the Lakers had a balanced offense with 27 assist and 5 players in double digits: Bryant 30 points, Radmanovic 15, Odom 14, Turiaf 13 and Vujacic 12.
2/1: Kobe decided that a day that started great had to end good and scored 46 points lo lead his team to a 121-101 victory at Toronto. The Lakers had previously completed one of the most lopsided trades in history by acquiring Spanish forward/center Pau Gasol from Memphis in exchange from Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, retired Aaron Mckie and draft picks. The trade shocked the other NBA teams and make the Lakers legit contenders for a title, not to mention a big chance to convince Kobe Bryant to stay in L.A.
Without Brown, Mihm or Bynum available Phil Jackson started forward Ronnie Turiaf at center but it went unnoticed on a night where Kobe shot 19-for-28 and past Elgin Baylor into third on the NBA's all-time list with his 89th 40-point game.
Sasha Vujacic added 22 for the Lakers while Chris Bosh had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Raptors, who lost for the first time in 7 games at home
1/31:They fought until the end and even had a chance to end their 8-game losing streak at Detroit (that includes 3 games in the 2004 Finals) but this time Kobe Bryant, the best clutch shooter in the world didn't even touch the ball, Lamar Odom threw an airball and Detroit won 90-89.
The Lakers started bad, falling to a 17-point deficit in the first half, but they recovered and with 10 straight points from Kobe took the lead 62-58. A couple of lead changes left the Lakers up 89-87 but Tayshaun Prince (led the Pistons with 22 points) made a three-pointer with 4.4 seconds to seal the final score. Kobe Bryant was unstoppable at times and ended with 39 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists but also completed a rare triple-double with 11 turnovers...
1/29: The Lakers needed a win at home and they got it, 120-109 over the dysfunctional Knicks. The Lakers went out relaxed, thinking the Knicks were going to be the ideal team to end their 3-game losing streak and a positive note before starting the longest trip in franchise history. But they almost didn't play defense for most of the game and found themselves 9 points below in the fourth quarter before going into a 29-9 run to get the win.
Kobe Bryant just missed a triple-double with 24 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds, and Sasha Vujacic carried the team in the final period scoring 12 of his 20 points. Stephon Marbury didn't play because he underwent surgery. Luke Walton left the court in the first quarter with a right hip pointer and is day-to-day for the Lakers 9-game trip that begins Thursday...
1/27: It seems that lately the Lakers can't beat the Cavaliers. This time they couldn't even take the final shot in time to try to tie the game and lost 98-95, the fifth loss in a row against Cleveland.
The match-up between the biggest superstars on this sport was won by Lebron James, who had 41 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists, made the go ahead basket and the final two free throws and even played good defense on Kobe Bryant at the end. Kobe had 31 points, 12 rebounds and 6 six assists but how lonely he is this days was clear in the final play. With 11 seconds left it was designed for him but he was doubled and sent the ball to Walton who was open, instead of taking the shot with the clock expiring, Walton sent it back to Bryant who had not time left to shoot it.
The game wasn't loss only in that play, the Lakers had a 9-point lead by the middle of the fourth quarter but missed shots, shots not taken and turnovers, including Kobe's offensive foul put the Lakers 2-4 since Andrew Bynum suffered his knee injury...
1/25: It wasn't a replay of Wednesday's game at San Antonio, this time the rival was Dallas, but at the end the story was very similar, the Lakers had a strong first half (55-56), they were completely outplayed in the third quarter and finally all the effort in the fourth wasn't enough. The Mavericks won 112-105.
Kobe Bryant was again the only player available to carry the team, he scored 16 of his 40 points in the fourth, including the last 10 for the Lakers and had 10 rebounds and 5 assists but had little help specially from his forwards Lamar Odom and Luke Walton who had 4 points each. The Mavericks were led by Nowitzki and Josh Howard, each with 26 points and 10 rebounds and some key plays at the end by Devin Harris...
1/23: By halftime the Lakers had a 9-point lead but in the second half they just watched how a good chance to defeat the Spurs disappeared. San Antonio won the game 91-103 led by Tim Duncan's 28 points and 17 rebounds.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 29 points and 12 rebounds but also committed 9 of the team's 22 turnovers. Ronny Turiaf scored 14 points. The third quarter looked like a different game with a 14-0 run for the Spurs who won the period 31-12. The Lakers got within six points midway through the fourth but it was all they had to offer. Ginobili, who always brings something special against L.A. had a key 3 pointer and a career-high 8 steals.
1/21: The Lakers are trying not to repeat the history from last year and despite the injuries, they defeated the Nuggets 116-99. The big absence of Bynum in the interior was filled in the exterior by Derek Fisher who stepped up with 28 points, one shy of his career-best. He made six 3-pointers while Kobe Bryant was the playmaker and finished with a season-high 11 assists.
After being booed at home last game Kwame Brown heard no boos this time and had a nice welcome at introductions, he ended with 7 points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes. Allen Iverson led Denver with 24 points and 7 assists and Carmelo Anthony had to leave the game with a sprained ankle midway through the second period.
It was a much needed victory to rebound after a bad loss against Phoenix and with a difficult schedule ahead that includes San Antonio, Dallas and Cleveland as the next three opponents. Trevor Ariza was playing really good but suffered a broken bone in the foot and will be out 8 weeks. Bynum still have to wait 7 weeks to return and Mihm will need a week or two...
1/17: The absence of Andrew Bynum was more than obvious in the Lakers loss at the hands of current worst enemy Phoenix 98-106 at the Staples Center.
It wasn't just that the Lakers young star is one of the team key pieces these days, the real bad news is that his only true replacement available (with Chris Mihm also injured) is a Kwame Brown that not only played awful, but was also booed every time he touched the ball in the third quarter, a rare scenery for a Laker player at the Staples Center and it clearly affected his play. He came out for good after committing his 5th foul with 3:50 left in that period. The summary of his game includes easy dunks and layups missed, 7 turnovers, 8 points and 6 rebounds in 25 minutes. After the game all his teammates criticized the fans attitude. He will have to recover fast not only because he have the potential to be at least a solid center but because he'll have to fill up for Bynum for the next two months and without much help other than the oversized Turiaf. Kobe had 30 points and Odom added 19 points and tied a career-high with 19 rebounds but it wasn't enough against the equilibrated offense of the Suns that were led by Steve Nash's season high 20 assists.
1/14: In their first night without Andrew Bynum, the Lakers extended their winning-streak to seven. But their balanced offense disappeared without a big presence at the middle and they needed Kobe's highest scoring night of the season and even another of his winning-shots to beat the Sonics 123-121 in overtime.
Kobe had 48 points that included the last 7 of the game after the Lakers fell to 119-121 at the end of the extra time. His18-foot jumper with 4 seconds left decided the game. It was his 87th game with 40 or more points, he needs one more to tie Elgin Baylor in the all-time list. Chamberlain did it 271 times and Jordan 170.
Kobe took 44 shots, only 3 shy of his career-high in which looked more like a last year performance than his playmaker mode of this season and that didn't make coach Phil Jackson very happy. Filling up for Bynum was Kwame Brown who ended with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Andrew Bynum was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee and a subluxation of his left kneecap and although he will not need surgery and there is no ligament damage that will keep him out for 8 weeks which means he will miss around 27 games.
1/13: The Lakers extended their winning streak to 6 with a 100-99 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, but having the best streak in almost 4 years almost doesn't matter and everybody is concern because of a injury suffered by their growing star Andrew Bynum. The young center, a key factor in the team's moment, sprained his left knee early in the third quarter and will undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.
Kobe Bryant scored 37 points, and Kwame Brown, the backup center and a 38-percent foul shooter, made a free throw shot with 9.2 seconds to break the 99-99 tie. The Grizzlies had two opportunities to change the final score but missed both.
1/11: Despite playing with a viral respiratory infection Kobe Bryant led his team with 37 points. Andrew Bynum added 25 points and a career-high 17 rebounds and the Lakers go the win 110-105 over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Kobe shot 12-for-25 in 37 minutes and made five 3-pointers. In the final 4:33 minutes of the first quarter, he scored 16 consecutive points and then added other 16 in the fourth quarter. Mo Williams scored 28 points for the Bucks.
The Lakers have won 15 of the last 18 games and are half-game behind first-place Phoenix in the Pacific Division
1/9: Playing against one of the NBA's hottest teams was supposed to be a hard test for the Lakers, but they made it look like just another win over a subpar team. Another night of balanced offense allowed the Lakers to rout the Hornets 109-80.
The Lakers took revenge of the 4th game of the season, where New Orleans was unstoppable with 10 3-pointers from Stojakovic and 21 assist by Paul, but despite being just 1.5 games behind the best team of the West (Phoenix), nobody wants to get too exited about it because everybody remembers what happened last season after a promising 26-13 start.
The wins pile-up and Kobe Bryant, the two-time scoring champion, looks happy with his new role, he scored 19 points and dished 7 assists. Bynum added 17 points, Walton 14, Odom 11 and Ariza 10. Chris Paul led the Hornets with 32 but the Lakers limited his playmaking opportunities to 5 assists, half his average...
1/8: Last time Kobe visited Memphis he scored 60 points but this time all the starters share their points and the Lakers defeated the Grizzlies 117-101.
Derek Fisher led all scorers with 26 points and was almost perfect shooting 10-for-11 from the field including all 5 of his 3-pointers. He made 13 points in the first quarter where the Lakers build a 39-23 lead. The distance grew to 26 points in the second and although Memphis closed the half with a 13-2 run the Lakers never led by less than 12 points after that. Kobe ended with 25 points and 6 assists, Bynum with 12 points and 9 rebounds, Odom with 10 and 15 and Walton completed the starting line-up scoring another 10...
1/6: It looked like another fourth quarter of rest for the Lakers starters but an 18-point lead at the beginning of the period was reduced to seven with 6:16 minutes left and all five had to return to finish things up with a 16-0 run in the next 4 minutes. At the end it was a 112-96 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
It was also a reminder that not trading Andrew Bynum for Jermaine O'Neal was the best of the trades available. Bynum dominated the paint with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocked shots, while O'Neal ended with13 points and 4 rebounds.
Kobe Bryant had 26 points and led the team in that final run with 2 baskets and 3 assists to Derek Fisher, who transformed them in three 3-pointers to end with 22 points...
1/4: Although Phil Jackson doesn't want to call this part of the schedule "easy", it was a really easy victory for the Lakers who defeated the the 76ers 124-93.
After being badly beat by another classic rival (the Celtics) in the previous game, the Lakers recovered to give their coach its 939th career coaching victory, the one he needed to surpass Celtics legend Red Auerbach for seventh all-time. And they did it with style, making 66.2% of their shots (47 of 71), the best scoring percentage for the franchise since the Showtime Lakers made 67.8% of their attempts in a 130-108 victory over Phoenix more than 23 years ago.
Despite being without Odom, who was suspended, Kobe Bryant played only 29 minutes because his team had a 20-lead by halftime. He ended with 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting while 5 of his teammates scored in double figures including Andrew Bynum who posted 17 points, 16 rebounds and 3 blocked shots...
12/30: The Celtics are already an elite team, but the Lakers despite their improvement aren't there yet and the new rivalry will have to wait, because L.A. was just another victim in the Celtics winning path and unless they both arrive to the Finals, Boston won the final game of the season between them 110-91.
Kobe Bryant had 22 points but missed almost everything he shot (6-for-25), Andrew Bynum couldn't handle the physical game the Celtics offered and fouled out with 8 points and 2 rebounds in 22 minutes and the Lakers ended the game with a season-low .354 from the field. The Celtics had Pierce with 33 points and 8 rebounds, Garnett with 22, 12, 6 assists and 3 blocks and Allen with 19 points...
12/28: The Lakers shot the lights out in the first half to defeat Utah 123-109 and give Phil Jackson the win he needed to tie legendary Celtic coach Red Auerbach .for seventh place on the all-time win list with 938.
With a season-high 75 first-half points, almost 58% shooting and a 27-point lead the game was already over by halftime. Kobe scored 21 points in the half and went to the bench for good at the end of the third quarter with 31 points, 6-of-9 3-pointers, 7 assists and 4 steals in 29 minutes. All the starters ended with double digits in scoring and got enough rest a the fourth quarter that started with a 106-74 margin. Kwame Brown returned after missing 19 games. Jackson will have the opportunity to surpass Auerbach next Sunday when, ironically the Lakers face the NBA's current best team: the Boston Celtics...
12/25: It was a very, very merry Christmas for the Lakers that for the second time this season defeated their current archrival, the Phoenix Suns 122-115.
The victory was full of highlights for an L.A. team that's slowly trying to join the superpowers of the West and have so far pile up wins against Houston, Detroit, Utah, Phoenix (twice), Denver (twice) and a depleted San Antonio team.
Andrew Bynum moved his career-high in points to 28, ended with 12 rebounds and 4 assists and was much better than Amare Stoudemire (19 points). Kobe Bryant was better than everybody else with 12 of his 38 points (12-for-20 shooting) in the fourth, Fisher added 19 and 6 assists, Odom 15 points and Trevor Ariza, included in the starting 5 for the first time had 14 points and a tremendous dunk over Grant Hill that brought to the mind the Kobe-over-Nash dunk last playoffs. Steve Nash led 7 Suns in double digits with 24 points and 14 assists but couldn't avoid the Lakers to move to 1 game behind them in the Pacific Division.
12/23: It was about to became another game that slipped away in the fourth quarter, but Jordan Farmar stole an inboud pass to seal the victory against the Knicks 95-90.
You could see it as another proof that the Lakers can't hold on to a big lead, this time a 25-point lead, but you can also see the positive side: Los Angeles has won 8 of the last 10 games, including a 3-1 record in this road trip that ended at New York. And also the bright note of Kobe Bryant who scored 39 points to become the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000. Kobe, Shaq and Iverson are the only active players above that mark (Gary Payton is there too but he is no playing currently) Kobe also had 11 rebounds, eight assists and looked recovered from the injury that had been limiting him lately...
12/21: Unusually, Kobe Bryant was the Lakers 4th scorer in the game, but Los Angeles managed to defeat the 76ers 106-101 in the Lakers first victory at Philadelphia since since February 2000.
Kobe keeps struggling with his strained groin and had 19 points on 6-for-20 shooting but he had all the help he needed from his teammates. Andrew Bynum gave the brightest note with his career-high 24 points added to 11 rebounds. Odom had 21 and 11 and Fisher also contributed with 21 points included 8 consecutive during a 10-0 run late in the third, that put the Lakers ahead for good. He also dished 7 assists. While Bryant couldn't reach the 20,000 point mark (he needs 20 more) Bynum, who scored 18 of the Lakers' first 38 points, hit the 1,000 for his career...
12/20: In the confrontation of the league's two top scorers (and brightest stars) everything was going ok for the Lakers, but then in the final 4 minutes they couldn't make a shot and loss to the Cavaliers 90-94.
Los Angeles had an 11- point lead in the third but it was reduced to 5 when the period ended and disappeared fast in the fourth. The Lakers recovered and a basket by Walton with 3:57 left gave them their final lead 90-88, but then it was 0-8 from the field after that. Bynum who had 17 points and 11 rebounds missed two free throws with 11 seconds left and the score 90-92. Bryant (21 points, still slowed by an injured groin and just shooting jump shoots the last 3 games) grabbed the rebound, called a time-out and then had a 3-point opportunity. He missed it and Derek Fisher was called with a non-existent foul after getting the rebound. Lebron James had 33 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and played good one-on-one defense on Kobe in the final minutes...
12/18: Slowed by a groin injury, Kobe Bryant, the NBA second scoring leader, scored "just" 18 points but once again the Lakers proved they are growing as a team and with 6 players in double figures defeated the Bulls 103-91 in the first of a 4-game trip.
A 15-2 run that ended with 2:15 remaining left the game out of reach for Chicago, converting the Lakers small 3-point lead into a 101-85 margin.
Sasha Vujacic led the Lakers with 19 points in 6-for-10 shooting. Nine of those points were in the final period, he had scored 14 in the fourth in the previous game. Lamar Odom had 17 and 16 rebounds and Andrew Bynum woke up after a 1-point first half to end with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocked shots...
12/16: The first game between neighbors looked more like the old times than to the recent years. The Lakers opened the final quarter with a 22-6 burst to defeat the Clippers 113-92.
The Clippers (9-14) are having a hard season playing without their star Elton Brand (who had Achilles' tendon surgery), Shaun Livingston (knee surgery) and lately Sam Cassell (strained left calf, has missed the last 10 games). Kobe Bryant had 32 points despite being limited with an injured groin, Sasha Vujacic scored all of his 14 points in the fourth quarter and Andrew Bynum did a good job with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 6 blocked shots in his anticipated matchup with the improving center Chris Kaman who had 18 points and 16 rebounds, but shot 6-for-19.
12/14: The Lakers couldn't hold on to an 8-point lead with 3 1/2 minutes left, saw Kobe Bryant go out with an injury and Baron Davis mounting his own show to give Golden State a108-106 victory, their 13th in the last 17 games.
Bryant scored 21 points for before injuring his groin with about 2 1/2 minutes to play and could only be a witness while Davis connected a decisive 3-pointer with 16.8 seconds left. Kobe returned but it was late despite Lamar Odom's final basket. .Andrew Bynum scored 17 points and tied his career high with 16 rebounds.
12/13: The Lakers will take any win against the Spurs, even if they play without Duncan and Parker. L.A. extended its winning streak to 4 with a 102-97 victory against San Antonio at home.
With Tim Duncan and Tony Parker out because of sprained ankles and their remaining star Manu Ginobili with a subpar performance (14 points) the Spurs stayed in the game and even started the fourth quarter with a 74-72 lead. But 3 and a half minutes later and with the score tied at 81, the Lakers used a 18-5 run to take the lead for good. They were playing without Andrew Bynum who was ejected in the third period after getting two technicals for arguing with the officials. Kobe had 30 points and Odom added 15.
12/9: The Warriors arrived L.A. in the middle of an 11-2 streak, but the Lakers had 7 players in double digits to outscore Golden State 123-113. The game had 10 lead changes in a first half that ended 60-59 for L.A. Then the Lakers took the lead for good with a 17-4 run five minutes into the third quarter.
Kobe Bryant scored 20 of his 28 points in the second half and also added 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals. One day after being criticized by Jackson, Andrew Bynum found little opposition in the low post and tied a career-high with 20 points. The other Lakers scoring in double digits were Fisher (15), Radmanovic (14), Odom (14), Ariza (11) and Turiaf (10). The Lakers will have 3 days to rest trying to recover Kwame Brown who has already missed the 11 games with injuries and Luke Walton and then they face the Spurs, a good test to measure where they stand...
12/5: In the second night of back-to-back road games, with Kobe Bryant bruised, in foul-trouble and recovering from stomach flu, the Lakers showed their progress as a team and managed to assimilate Iverson's 51 points (NBA highest so far this season) to get a victory at Denver 111-107.
Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony combined for 77 points but the Lakers had 3 players with at least 20 for the first time since November 2006, and of course, they had Kobe Bryant, who owns the fourth quarters where he scored 12 of his 25. L.A.'s balanced offense included Radmanovic with 21 points (6-for-9 from behind the 3-point line) Fisher with 20 and Odom with 17. With almost 2 seconds left in the first period, Kobe hit the floor hard and stayed there for a minute, then went to bench with a bruised shoulder. He didn't play half of the second period and after getting his 4th foul almost didn't play in the third but his teammates did a god job for a 88-88 partial score.
12/4: Despite suffering a stomach flu (the same that didn't allow Andrew Bynum to play) Kobe Bryant said present and scored 13 of his 20 points to set the tone for a much needed victory 116-95 over the Timberwolves.
What remains in Minnesota after an awful trade that let Kevin Garnett go is the team with the worst record in the league, now 2-14. And although the Lakers were playing without Bynum, Turiaf and Brown, they weren't in position to afford another loss against a bad team.
Chris Mihm, who sat out practice a day earlier, took the starting role at center and Lamar Odom and Vladimir Radmanovic were his backups when he was resting. Trevor Ariza had his first significant contribution for Los Angeles with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in 27 minutes...
12/2: The Magic arrived to L.A. with a 9-1 road record, the best in the NBA and although the Lakers stayed in the game almost until the end, they fell into a hole in the final minutes, couldn't get out and Orlando won 104-97.
Kobe Bryant had 19 points in a first quarter that the Lakers won 30-24 but he ended with 28 shooting 10-for-26. Los Angeles led 93-9 with 4:20 to play.but then went ice cold and the Magic had a 9-0 run that decided the game. Lamar Odom who has been struggling since his return had a solid game with 19 points and 17 rebounds. In the battle of young centers, Andrew Bynum (20-years-old) did a good job containing Dwight Howard (22), the Lakers pivot had 10 points, 6 rebounds and tied a career high with 7 blocks, Howard who came to the Staples Center averaging 23.8 points and 15 rebounds had 17 and 8 with 5 blocks...
11/30: The Lakers ups and downs this season couldn't be more clear in these back to back games. One night they rout the Nuggets 127-99, then the next night they are destroyed by the Jazz 120-96.
So bad was the L.A. defense that the absence of starters Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur (together 37.3 points and 16.3 rebounds) went unnoticed and by halftime the Lakers had given up 70 points. Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko had almost no opposition, Williams had a career-high 35 points and Kirilenko ended with incredible stats: 20 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, 6 steals and 4 blocked shots.
11/29: Like trying to prove their coach that he took the right decision, the Lakers celebrated Phil Jackson contract extension with a good win 127-99 over the Denver Nuggets.
Kobe Bryant might or might not be here in 2010 but Jackson will still be the coach then, he signed a two-year contract extension worth about $24 million. Jackson said his decision was never tied with Kobe's situation but mostly with his health after a hip-replacement surgery.
The Lakers started bad and the deficit was as big as 17 early in the second quarter but Kobe (24 points) made a buzzer-beater to close the gap to 2 by the end of the first half and then L.A. started the third with a 19-3 run. Kobe didn't play at all in the fourth where Sasha Vujacic dominated with 19 of his 22 points. Seven Lakers scored in double digits, Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 23 and Iverson added 21...
11/27: The Lakers defeated the Sonics 106-99 to snap their 3-game losing streak. It wasn't nice but it was win and they needed it to avoid falling to a .500 percentage.
Despite playing against the team with the worst record in the NBA (now 2-13) the game was tied at 54 by halftime. Los Angeles built a 14-point lead early in the fourth but then had to contain a final effort by Seattle, that led by rookie Kevin Durant and his 12 points in the period, dangerously reduced the margin. Durant, the second pick in this years draft and possible Rookie of the Year, ended with 25 points. Kobe Bryant had another all-around game with 35 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assist, Odom had 20 points and Fisher added 14.and 8 assists. Bynum has his 8th double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds...
With this game Kobe totals 19,686 career points, moving to the 32th place all-time previously owned by Bernard King. If Kobe keeps his 28 ppg for the remaining 68 games he could finish the season as the 24th all-time scoring leader, just 200 points below Larry Bird.
11/25: Right after a 4-game winning streak the Lakers lost 3 in a row. The last one a 100-102 defeat at home against the Nets, a team that previous to this game hadn't beaten an opponent with winning record.
Los Angeles had a 14-point lead near end of the second quarter, but it was gone when the Vince Carter tied it in the final second of the third. It went downhill for the next 8 minutes an New Jersey took a 12-point lead. Then Kobe Bryant led his team with 11 points and 2 assists (he ended with 31 and 7) to recover the lead 96-94 but it was a free-throw contest after that and Kobe, who had been perfect in 14 attempts missed the potentially game-tying one. The Nets made one and Radmanovic rounded his awful night (0-for-10, 1 point) missing a desperate attempt for a three-pointer...
11/23: The arrival of Garnett and Allen meant the reborn of the Celtics, who defeated the Lakers 107-94 to improve their season record to 10-1, the best in the league. Now everybody is trying to revive the Lakers-Celtics rivalry, but there's a long road ahead. The Celtics still have to remain healthy and make the playoffs for the first time in 3 years and the only way the could meet the Lakers there is with L.A. making the Finals...
At least it could be fun to see what happens in the season but the Lakers didn't last one quarter and were down 23-10 just nine minutes into the game. The Celtics held to that lead and despite and despite Kobe's 14 points in the third and a final effort by L.A. in the fourth that reduced the deficit to 9 with 4:52 to go, Boston won its 7th game at home this season. Kobe ended with 28 points but starters Odom, Turiaf and Bynum scored 4 each. Garnett and Perkins led the Celtics with 21 each...
11/21: The Lakers effort evaporated in a fourth quarter that started 80-75 for L.A. but ended with a victory 110-103 for the Bucks, who are in a winning streak and have defeated Lebron James and the Cavaliers the night before.
Kobe Bryant had his current average scoring game with 27 points but it wasn't easy, with Michael Redd's good defense on him he shot 7-for-18, including 1-for-5 in the fourth. Andrew Bynum had good numbers with 16 points and 13 rebounds but also was the protagonist of a key play you don't see very often. With 4:48 minutes to go and the Lakers down by four he yelled at the officials and got a technical, just after the officials had given him the foul he wanted. Redd had 26 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Lakers new acquisition, 22-year-old forward Trevor Ariza will be available to play on Friday against the Celtics...
11/20: In the same day, the Lakers traded Brian Cook and Maurice Evans to Orlando for forward Trevor Ariza and then went to Indianapolis to defeat the Pacers 134-114 with the highest offensive output in the league so far this season.
These running version of the Lakers scored at least 30 points in each quarter. It was 71-63 at halftime, Kobe Bryant had scored 26 of his 32 points by then, including five 3-pointers in 7 attempts. And after three quarters, it was 104-90. Kobe played only 2 minutes in the fourth and a total of 8 Lakers scored in double figures for the first time since November 2003. Jordan Farmar had a career-high 18 points, Andrew Bynum, in his first start of the season added 17 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks. The Lakers shot 58.3% from the field, including 13-of-25 (52%) beyond the 3-point line to win the fourth game in a row.
11/18: Kobe Bryant played against the team he wants to play for. Well, he better think twice. The Lakers beat the Bulls 106-78, with the biggest margin of victory in these two teams 41-year history of confrontation.
And the real difference between the teams wasn't Kobe (18 points) but the Lakers bench, which has been good in previous games but scored 73 points points this time. Bynum had 14 points and 10 rebounds; Farmar added 14 points and a career-high 8 assists; Mihm and Radmanovic scored 11 points each and Walton added 10. No Los Angeles team had come up with as many as 73 points off the bench since April 24, 1988 when the substitutes scored 84 and he last time the Lakers had 5 reserves in double figures was on March 9, 1985.
It was 46-45 for L.A. by halftime but It was over after an 18-0 run that began with 1:30 remaining in the third and ended with the Lakers ahead, 81-60, with 9:45 left in the fourth. All 18 points were scored by reserves...
11/16: Kobe Bryant was shooting terribly, making 2 of 14 in the first three quarters. But a collective effort in the fourth quarter sparked by Jordan Farmar's energy and timely plays, gave the Lakers another victory against one of the NBA top teams. It was a 103-91 win hosting the Pistons.
Second year point guard Farmar had already showed his growth leading the fastbreak style of L.A.'s second unit in the previous games. His ball handling skills and basketball IQ is winning Phil Jackson's confidence who played him the whole final period where the Lakers outscored Detroit 41-23. With Chauncey Billups absent because of an injury, Kobe Bryant played great defense on Richard Hamilton who looked frustrated, even getting a technical in the third. Lamar Odom, who is coming back to being his old self kept the Lakers on the game with 25 points and 15 rebounds (9 offensive). Kobe's shooting touch returned on time to seal the game, he made all his 4 attempts that included two 3-pointers and a three-point play in the final 5:37 (he ended with 19 points)...
11/14: The Lakers were on fire in the first half, almost couldn't make a basket in the second, survived a 3-point attempt that could have tied the game, but finally took revenge of the Rockets with a 93-90 win.
Led by 18 points from Kobe Bryant (he ended with 30) the Lakers dominated the first half, taking a lead that was as big as 18 at some point in the second quarter. To make things worse for Houston, Tracy McGrady injured his elbow in the final minute of that period. But Phil Jackson's team couldn't take advantage of T-Mac's absence in the second half, playing pretty bad and shooting just 32.3%. And a strange night ended with a strange play: With Houston down by 5 Yao Ming made a basket with 1.6 seconds left and Jordan Farmar was called with foul nobody saw. Yao (26 points) missed the free throw on purpose, captured the rebound and fed Rafer Alston for a 3-point attempt that could have sent the game to overtime but bounced away...
1/13: Surprisingly, Tim Duncan was completely ineffective (5 points on 2-for-13 shooting), but the Spurs didn't miss him at all. San Antonio defeated the Lakers 107-92, showing in the way that, currently, they are on another level.
They are team full of weapons, but it wasn't Ginobili or Parker who covered up for Duncan. It was Bruce Bowen. Not only he played good defense on Kobe Bryant (18 points) he also added 23 points, making all his 6 three point attempts. The Spurs were 13-of-27 (.481) from beyond the arc while L.A. shot an horrendous 2-of-16 (.125). The Lakers made it a game for most of the first half and they even were up 34-33 with 5 minutes 32 seconds left in the second quarter. But the Spurs closed the half with a 21-4 run that basically ended the game...
11/9: The Lakers are trying to play collectively and the return of Lamar Odom after finally recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, looks like the perfect addition.
It was a victory at home 107-93 against Minnesota. The Timberwolves are a team that still has to win a game after the departure of Kevin Garnett but every win is welcome in L.A. these days. Odom returned with 18 points and 10 rebounds, Kobe had 30 points and 7 assists, Fisher 11 and 9. WIth starting center Kwame Brown injured, Chris Mihm and Andrew Bynum combined for 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game that was decided with an 18-3 run that started with two minutes left in the second quarter and ended 6 minutes later with L.A. leading for good 68-52. Al Jefferson, the main piece the Wolves received in exchange for Garnett had 24 points and 15 rebounds... Highlights...
11/6: Peja Stojakovic, an old face from the days when every Kings-Lakers game was a battle, made 10 of 13 3-pointers and his current team, the Hornets, got a victory 104-118. His mark from beyond the arc is the best for a Laker opponent (Gilbert Arenas had 8).
L.A. defense had worked really well in the previous two games but this time it was unable to contain either Stojakovic (36 points) or Chris Paul. Aside from his 19 points, Paul finished 21 assists, a franchise-best. Stojakovic's 10 3-pointers were also a record for the Hornets and were only 2 shy of the NBA record of 12 set by Kobe Bryant in 2003 and later tied by Donyell Marshall in 2005...
11/4: In the opener against Houston, Lakers fans made clear they are not happy with the Bryant-Buss drama that may sent Kobe away. That established, there were no boos at all in the teams first victory of the season at the Staples Center, where L.A. defeated 2007 Western Conference finalist Utah Jazz 119-109.
Kobe showed his passion is intact, he had 33 points (six in the final 4 1/2 minutes) and the highlight of the game with an incredible block to a dunk-attempt by Kirilenko in the fourth. The ball sharing ended with 6 players in double figures. Bynum had another solid contribution from the bench with 15 points and 9 assists, and Fisher added 19 points against his former team...
11/2: Again without Lamar Odom, the Lakers second game of the season was at Phoenix against the team that dominated them in the last two playoffs. It was all over by the end of the third quarter and the distance even grew to an embarrassing 33 points in the fourth. The big surprise? Phil Jackson's team dominated the game from beginning to end to blow out the Suns 119-98 in L.A.'s first victory at Phoenix since Steve Nash returned in 2004.
The Lakers were the team with the great ball movement, they made the 3-pointers (8-of-13), they had the higher field-goal percentage (57%) and the balanced offense. Kobe scored 9 of his 16 points in the first quarter to set the pace (he also added 11 rebounds) and Radmanovic led the team with 19 points (4-of-4 3-pointers), Fisher added 14 on 7-for-9 shooting, and Andrew Bynum had 14 points on 7-for-10 and 13 rebounds...
10/30: Despite Kobe Bryant trade demands, the season started with him dressed as a Laker and no big changes in the roster. L.A. lost the game 93-96 at the hands of the Rockets in the Staples Center, but it also was a thrill as it always is when Kobe is on the court.
He was booed at introduction then cheered throughout the game, ended with 45 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals, set a personal record for free throw attempts with 27 (and also for missed with 9), and almost win a game that looked lost with 18 points in the final quarter. But after a long jumper from returning Derek Fisher (17 pts.) capped a 12-0 run to tie the game 92-92 with 13 seconds left, Shane Battier won it for Houston with a three-pointer with 2 seconds remaining. McGrady had 30 points and Yao Ming 25... Odom will be out at least until next week...
10/22: In more pre-season games, the Lakers defeated Seattle (126-106) and Charlotte (113-93) but lost against the Clippers (96-112).
10/12: With Kobe Bryant still trying to adapt to his new role of "facilitator" in Jackson's triangle offense, the Lakers lost two exhibition games with the Warriors (110-111 and 106-119).
10/2: The Lakers addressed the media and Kobe Bryant was there (not everybody was 100% sure about his presence) to answer questions despite knowing beforehand that the plane departing for training camp in Hawaii didn't have a seat reserved for Kevin Garnett, or Jermaine O'Neal or even Shawn Marion. The only significant moves in the offseason were the return of Derek Fisher and the resigning of free agents Luke Walton and Chris Mihm who is ready to play after missing last season.
This is the possible starting line up of the 2007-08 Lakers:
Derek Fisher - point guard
Kobe Bryant - shooting guard (now in the role of "facilitator")
Lamar Odom -
Andrew Bynum or Kwame Brown - center.
10/1: The Lakers will spend two weeks in Hawaii, including exhibition games
Oct 10th - vs. Golden St. Warriors: L 110-111
Oct 11th - vs. Golden St. Warriors: L 106-119
Then, after returning to Los Angeles:
Oct 18th - vs. Seattle SuperSonics: W 126-106
Oct 20th - vs. Charlotte Bobcats: W 113-93
Oct 21th - L.A. Clippers: L 96-112
Oct 23th - vs. Utah Jazz
Oct 25th - vs. Utah Jazz
Oct 26th - vs. Sacramento Kings
9/15: When the Lakers 2007-2008 Regular Season starts on late October (Tuesday 30) you will find in this page all the news, stats, team leaders, standings, highlights and schedule related to Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and all the Lakers players...
In the meantime you can review the changes in the 2007-08 roster and the Lakers performance in the 2006-2007 season and playoffs
8/3: The NBA released the Lakers 2007-2008 regular season schedule.