No Jersey miracle: Lakers crush Nets to win their sixth straight game
I have to figure the New Jersey board of Tourism doesn't appreciate this. Already one of the more frequently mocked states in our union, the Garden State is now saddled with a historically bad basketball team after the Nets were thoroughly (and predictably) dominated by the Lakers Sunday night at Staples. Final score, 106-87. It was Jersey's 17th straight loss to open the 2009-10 season, tying a gruesome NBA record and setting them up to be the object of rubbernecker affection until they somehow manage to scratch out a win.
But while the Lakers are sympathetic, they still had a job to do, and had no interest in screwing around in the process. They built a 15 point lead by the end of the first quarter, and added another 10 to that by halftime, continuing a recent trend of strong and focused play early in games against inferior competition (I'd say the Nets qualify in that department). It was LA's fifth straight win since the return of Pau Gasol, each coming by more than 20 points, a figure that must look particularly cruel relative to what the Nets are experiencing. The box score will show strong nights for Kobe Bryant, whose 30 points included 15 from beyond the arc, the first time this season Kobe has exploded from distance, Jordan Farmar (15 points), and Gasol (20/9/7).
The opponent was soft enough to leave the Lakers time for a little pregame introspection, with Lamar Odom quizzing fellow reserves on their very nature, something Sasha Vujacic struggled to handle.
Other Lakers/NBA notes below the jump...
-If you blinked you missed it, but Odom, Gasol, and Andrew Bynum all saw time on the court together Saturday night against the Warriors.
-Ron Artest's early season shooting woes may have been related to a shoulder issue.
-This is the sort of play that'll endear Farmar to his coaches.
-Among the names circulating to replace the fired Lawrence Frank in New Jersey is former Lakers coach Del Harris.
-Frank got some support from Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy.
-Philly coach Eddie Jordan downplayed talk of adding Allen Iverson. Still, signs indicate they haven't crossed him off their list of possible moves.
-Gilbert Arenas says he's lacking confidence, helping to explain his slow start.
-After losing to the T-Wolves, George Karl lamented that his Nuggets don't seem to play hard all the time, something they did last season en route to the Western Conference Finals. Comments from the T-Wolves didn't do much to weaken Karl's assertion, either.
-If all goes well for former UCLA forward Kevin Love, he could be back on the court reasonably soon.
-Clippers broadcasters Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith met with Memphis center Hamed Haddadi before Sunday's game against the Grizzlies at Staples.
(Photo: Kobe Bryant drives on Devin Harris. Credit: Christine Cotter, LAT)