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Lakers' 114-111 overtime loss to Miami Heat shows Kobe Bryant's heroics won't always secure a victory

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His shot had been off, something that uncharacteristically has become a common theme this season for Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. After aggravating his fractured right index finger in early January, he finished that month shooting 41.2%. And after being sidelined for five games because of a sprained left ankle, Bryant returned last week against Memphis and provided his sixth game winner of the season. But in the past four games, Bryant had shot only 34.2% from the field.

That's why he arrived Thursday at American Airlines Arena in Miami three hours before tipoff, working on his shooting. And it appeared the extra shots was just what Bryant needed to get back into his groove. He scored 39 points on 15 of 28 shooting against the Heat, 12 of those points coming in the fourth quarter, including a 12-foot jumper that ultimately forced overtime with three seconds remaining in regulation. 

There would be no game winner this time around, however, as the Lakers' lost 114-111 in overtime Thursday to Miami. Though Bryant's shooting stroke is back, his lack of discipline on D largely led to Quentin Richardson scoring a team-high 25 points on eight of 13 shooting. The end result illustrated why the team can't solely depend on Bryant's heroics to bail a team out from a bad performance. It's tempting particularly because Bryant has already provided six game winners this season, and the Lakers' 100-95 victory Jan. 13 over Dallas served as the lone game of the six that actually featured the team playing well. The rest of Mamba's game winners simply allowed the Lakers to sweep any problems they had under the rug.

But not this time. The Lakers' (46-16) started off their three-game trip with a loss, and must quickly rebound on Friday with a back-to-back at Charlotte where they have lost three of five road games there in the Bobcats' history.  It's not exactly what the Lakers had hoped for, since the team has gone only 9-8 on the road since late December and 10 of the remaining 13 games in March are away from the Staples Center's friendly confines. 

There's too many areas to pinpoint why the Lakers lost. They had five other players score in double figures in Derek Fisher (14 points on 5 of 8 shooting), Lamar Odom (13 points on six of eight shooting and 11 rebounds), Andrew Bynum (12 points, 10 rebounds), Pau Gasol  (10 points) and Ron Artest (10 points). But that didn't mean the team played well. Bynum got in early foul trouble, Gasol shot only four of 11 and the team defense remained largely undisciplined by allowing Miami to shoot 52.5% from the field.

Though Artest somewhat limited Dwyane Wade to 27 points on nine of 21 shooting and six turnovers, the Lakers inexcusably allowed Richardson to score 17 points above his season average. The Lakers also committed 16 turnovers and shot only 15 of 25 from the free-throw line, factors that should've helped overcome some questionable officiating calls, most notably the non-call on Wade for hitting Bryant's right arm as the Lakers led 97-96 with 28 seconds remaining, resulting in Bryant airballing a 20-foot airball instead of sealing the win on the shot or on free throws.

Add all the problems up, and you have a team that didn't follow two principles Coach Phil Jackson and Fisher outlined to me recently regarding how the Lakers can be effective on back-to-backs. Jackson's key entailed limiting players' minutes in the first game so to preserve energy for the following night, but he was forced to play Bryant for 46 minutes. Fisher's key entailed playing more efficiently, such as limiting turnovers and playing smart on D, two areas that weren't on display against Miami. 

The lapses against Miami aren't really that much of a revelation. The Lakers played uninspired basketball last week against Philadelphia, put together an inconsistent effort Sunday against Denver and got off to a slow start Tuesday against Indiana. Jackson and the team surely didn't forget about those issues. But with each of those games ending in wins, it's easier to downplay the areas of concern. That's why the Lakers thought the many road games this month would be good for the team, since the challenges would force them to correct those problems.

Well, the Lakers certainly saw those challenges Thursday against Miami (31-31), who barely has the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference but gave the Lakers trouble last year on its home floor. And they were reminded the hard way that a hot shooting night from Bryant can't always camouflage the team's lapses. 

--Mark Medina

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Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who finished with a game-high 39 points on Thursday night, brings the ball up court against the Heat. Credit: Rhona Wise/EPA.

 
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some bonehead errors, and missing free throws is a recipe for failure. was a decent performance tonight, but we can and will do better.

really getting sick of all so called Laker Fans playing the blame game, and calling out players... Grow Up Please! be a Laker Fan and enjoy the good and the bad; or get lost please.

Mark M.....

The non-call on DWade was never replayed on TNT's telecast. In fact, the broadcasters credited Wade with a clean block. I THOUGHT that looked like a foul. But the refs were bad for both teams. The Lakers caught a couple of breaks from the refs' incompetence. I thought the Lakers lost this game in the 3rd quarter when they fell asleep (Kobe) on QRich and Arroyo. That spurt gave The Heat confidence.

Guys that are being counted on as important pieces of the Laker equation (Lamar, Iron Ron and Farmar) are poor foul shooters. This could come back to bite the team in the playoffs, just like it did last night.

honestly, everyone relax. Kenny sm ith and charles barkley summed it up best lol.

Charles : "Lakers are the most annoying team in the NBA"
Even though I don't agree, I see what he is saying. The lakers are annoying becuase they are so good, yet they dont exhibit full effort every night. As fans, this is annoying, but basically charles is saying that they are unbeatable if they play well. This is all funny to me and the players probably because they KNOW once the playoffs come, they'll win.


Kenny: "The lakers are not overconfident...they are beyond it...they're arrogant"

This comment is also telling. The lakers are arrogant becuase they know they are the best team in the league.


I understand how fans get upset over losses like this, but honestly, is there any doubt in your mind that the boys can't pull it out if they need to? I mean, the real season starts next month. As long as we keep the # 2 spot in the NBA, we will be all set. Frankly, I don't think the cavs come out of the east anyways.


Quit blaming players for this, the personality of the team is very arrogant and passive. They will only play to their potential when they need to.


good night everyone.


Hey people that think you are a Laker fan because you never criticize your team ....hello !!!! Quit looking at the Laker record this year. Quit looking at the final score in the game. Watch the game and try to understand what is happening on the floor !!! The Lakers are suppose to be a dominant team !!!
But somehow it doesn't matter who the opponent is !!! Every game is a struggle for this supposedly dominant team !! Kobe has hit a ton of shots down the stretch just to keep them in games and to win quite a few. Something is definitely missing with this team !! Tonight they only had 15 assists on 45 baskets. That doesn't seem like good " team basketball ".
If the Lakers are really the best the NBA has to offer this year. I hope they are palying better basketball in the playoffs instead hoping for teams to choke against them.

another pathetic performance by the lakers, AGAIN! you'd think gasol would be a little embarassed by now spouting out the lakers inconsistancies. my god, miami got beat at home last week by MINNESOTA and MILWAUKEE! that certainly didn't make me feel any better. at least i didn't get to see this debacle since i was enroute japan. but, i do feel for my laker brethern of bloggers that had to suffer through the lakers inept free throw shooting, lack of defensive stops when they needed it and another "play-to-the-level of your opponent" type of game. since they're so inconsistant right now, i'm guessing they're waiting for the end of the season, where they can "flip on the switch", since the games will have MEANING FOR THEM!

GASOL : EL TIGRE O EL GATITO?

for those of u who just wanna ring gasols neck i too feel ur pain.. ragdoll.. wet cocker spaniard.. hahaha.. thats harsh.. but nothing wrong with a little venting from time to time.. this is what this blog is for right?

i will take the high road for now.. but this is one of the reasons why i was completely against his participation in the stupid euro games.. this guy got his gold but at the expense of what another NBA TITLE!!!

he shouldve been resting and hitting the gym in the summer like LAST YEAR... last year was his turning point year because after his embarrassment in the 2008 finals he actually put time in the gym and it paid dividends.. this year he is physically back to his soft self and as a result i think its mentally affecting his game.. his opponents are literally pounding on him physically and instead of fighting back like last year he is just pussying out.

let us all pray he regains his 2009 form.... without that gasol our chances of repeating our slim to none.


meow meow meow!!

I hate when they lose because of missing free throws and poor coaching. I was screaming at PJ to pull Bynum out of the game in OT. He doesn't pull him out and what happens??? He drops the Kobe pass, end of game. Lakers should have traded Bynum for Bosh. I can't wait 5 years for Bynum to become a more consistent player. It looks like he's just given up on the season. Gasol hasn't been playing well either. Getting dunked on by Beasly. 4-11 shooting against much smaller players. These are not good signs.

Kobe shot well, but it was his fault in the 3rd for sagging off Q. If you let someone make 7 3s, you're not going to win many games.

Do the Lakers practice free throws???

Lakers miss 10 free throws, Q goes off, and we lose by 3 in overtime. Not terrible because Miami essentially had to play a perfect game to win this one.

But a loss is a loss.

The Lakers aren't arrogant. They're not lazy. No team can stay focused 100% of the time. There will be days where even if you play your best and seemingly give your best effort, it will appear as if you're not putting in the effort. But this is a bad thing. Really. This means that the Lakers can not win the statement games, like the Cleveland. Lakers better hope that Miami turns it up and knocks Cleveland out of the playoffs, because if we meet Cleveland, we're getting swept.

Wins and losses in statement games do predict who will win the finals. Last year Lakers lost both to Orlando, but we didn't consider those statement games last year. The statement games were Boston and Cleveland. We swept. The year before, we got swept by Boston in the regular season and lost in the Finals. It's similar to the 1982-1983 season where we got swept by the Sixers. We got swept by both Boston and the Sixers during the regular season. The Boston game this year can't really be considered a statement game because I think when we faced them this year, we didn't really consider them real contenders since they had begun to fade. If we faced them at the beginning of the year when they were beating Cleveland, and we beat them, that would be a good sign. As it is now, I would worry.

We should trade Bynum in the off season.

The NBA is rigged... There is simply no doubt the NBA is a breeding ground for wily people to thrive in... These people use their appointed authority to discreetly impinge on the outcome of games for their bias objective... These shady human beings have become so conspicuous in their bias nature, that it is getting harder and harder to hide the pretense of their intent... But yet, there will always be people (fanatics, comical writers, humorous broadcasters, indulging networks, etc, etc, etc.) who will suck up their deceit as long as it achieves their own personal desire... Such was the game between the Lakers and Heat that even the most obvious foul-clearly seen by millions of unbiased fans all over the world-was discreetly ignored by the referee standing 5 feet away, who happens to be the one with the whistle, but tactically chooses not to blow on it... knowing it would for all intense and purposes obtain the results (about 98% of the time), which he clearly is trying his discreet-full best, not to happen!
NBA referees know when to make or not make indispensable calls and/or lesser non-imperative calls when necessary to produce the illusion of balanced or unbiased refereeing, but still generate the highest chance for achieving their objective.

Game notes...


Pregame:

The first game of a three game road trip for the Lakers after winning three in a row at home to put their record at 46-15. They go into Miami where the Heat are 30-31 so far this season and struggling to remain in playoff contention in the Eastern Conference. Kobe v. Dwayne is obviously the big attraction and one of the main reasons why this game will by televised nationally by TNT, but it’s obviously how the rest of their teams play that will most likely determine the ultimate outcome. The Lakers won the first meeting between these teams this season with a Kobe game winner in a December matchup in LA, which the Lakers won 108-107.

Interesting factoid: Kobe is shooting only 34.3% FGs since returning to the lineup after sitting out five games with his sprained ankle.

TNT Thursday evening game in Miami: Marv Albert on play-by-play with Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller on analysis.


First Quarter:

Lakers starting five - Bynum, Gasol, Artest, Bryant, Fisher
Heat starting five - O’Neal, Beasley, Richardson, Wade, Arroyo

12:00 - Bynum tips the ball and the Lakers control it, giving them possession to start the first and fourth quarters.

10:55 - The Lakers score their first points on Pau’s seven foot jumper over Beasley from the left baseline. Lakers lead 2-0.

Highlights: Fish hits a three from the left wing off of a kick-out from Kobe. Fish dribbles over to just outside the left mid-post and hits Drew with a lob on the other side of the rim, which he dunks.

Lowlight: Richardson hits an uncontested three over Kobe from the point.

06:37 - Odom comes in for Bynum in between FTs after Drew gets his second foul, both on Wade and this time in the act of shooting. Wade makes 1-2 FTs and the Lakers lead 11-10.

Highlight: Fish hits a three from the right corner, his third straight make to open the game.

Fish’s line: 7 points on 3-3 FGs including 2-2 from three.

05:53 - Timeout on the floor after Pau has his post-entry pass to Kobe picked off and it quickly ends up in Wade’s hands as he goes all the way down the court and gets fouled by Pau while laying the ball in, and then makes the FT to complete the fast-break and-on after the teams return to the court, tying the game up at 13-13.

Highlight: Ron drives across the lane and makes a layup on the left block around two Heat defenders.

Lowlights: Wade has the Heat’s last 8 points after he scores on their first offensive possession after the timeout. Richardson hits a three from the right point that bounces about 3-4 times on the rim before falling through.

02:54 - Timeout called as Kobe is fouled in the lane as he misses a short running five foot jumper and makes 1-2 FTs out of the timeout, giving the Lakers a 21-20 lead.

Substitutions: Powell in for Gasol and Brown in for Fisher coming out of the timeout.

Lowlight: Josh gets a defensive rebound but turns the ball over on a wild outlet pass, attempting to get the ball to Ron at the other end of the court.

Kobe’s line: 4 points on 1-4 FGs and 2-4 FTs.

02:13 - Farmar comes in for Artest in between FTs, as Wade makes them both after being fouled by LO in the act of shooting. Lakers trail 22-21.

Highlights: Kobe gets a pass from LO on the right wing and drives around Wade on the baseline for a layup. Shannon hesitates on the dribble near the left elbow and then drives around Chalmers down the post and puts in a left-handed layup. Kobe gets the ball on the right point again but this time drives to his left into the lane, wiggles around and under a double-team to bank a three foot leaner off of the glass, barely beating the shot clock.

Lowlights: Farmar goes down the smokestack on a kamikaze steal attempt on the right wing and Chalmers makes the wide open fifteen foot jumper.

00:00.0 -.Wade misses a perimeter jumper as time expires in the quarter with the Lakers leading 27-26.

Interesting factoid: PJ’s teams have won 10 of the last 19 NBA Championships.


Second Quarter:

Lakers lineup - Bynum, Odom, Artest, Brown, Farmar
Heat lineup - O’Neal, Haslem, Richardson, Wright, Arroyo

11:00 - Lakers first points of the quarter on a short turnaround jumper from LO on the right mid-post after an entry pass from Ron on the wing. Lakers lead 29-28.

Highlights: LO goes around Haslem and loops back down the baseline to the left block, puts up a layup that’s blocked by O’Neal but gets the ball right back and hits a short fall-away from the left mid-post. Drew hits a left-handed jump-hook over O’Neal on the left block immediately after he had let O’Neal drain a jumper over him from the left wing on the other end. Farmar dribbles to the top of the key and throws a low line drive pass down under the basket that Drew snags with one hand and lays in from the right block.

Drew’s line: 6 points on 3-6 FGs and 3 rebounds.

08:21 - Timeout with the Lakers leading by three, 35-32.

Highlight: LO gets defensive rebounds on two consecutive Heat possessions.

Lowlights: LO throws away a lob entry pass to Drew wide open under the basket on the break. Chalmers blows by Farmar on the left baseline for an easy layup as LO blows the weak-side help defensive rotation.

05:41 - Timeout as LO is tied up on an offensive rebound. Lakers trail 36-35.

Substitutions: Gasol in for Bynum, Bryant in for Brown and Fisher in for Farmar out of the timeout.

Highlight: Lakers defense forces the Heat to throw up a desperation heave from the right wing to avoid a shot clock violation and LO ends up with the defensive rebound. Ron continues his stellar defensive play of late and he’s starting to give Wade fits.

04:26 - Bynum replaces Odom as Fish gets fouled by Wade in the lane putting up a shot and makes both FTs to give the Lakers a 37-36 lead.

Highlights: Kobe uses a screen by Drew at the top of the key and weaves his way through the right elbow and down the the lane for a layup.

Lowlight: Richardson hits an uncontested three from the right wing off of a kick-out from Wade in the lane, giving him 8 points in the game. Pau throws a horrid entry pass from the left wing in between two teammates on the post and it’s picked off by the Heat and converted into a fast break layup by Arroyo at the other end.

02:37 - Timeout as Pau is fouled driving the left baseline and misses both FTs as the teams return to the floor for an unofficial turnover and the Lakers trail 41-40.

Interesting factoid: Reggie Miller says that Artest and O’Neal helped him play two extra years in Indy by allowing him to “coast” during the regular season.

Highlight: Drew dunks off a stuff by Beasley on Pau after a nice give and go from Fish down the right post.

01:28 - Odom in for Gasol, who’s had a rough end of the half as Drew makes 1-2 FTs after getting fouled trying to put-back Kobe’s missed three and the Lakers lead 43-41.

Highlight: Ron makes a turnaround jumper off the glass over two defenders from the right mid-post.

Lowlight: Haslem makes a wide open jumper from the right baseline as LO fakes a close-out.

00:40.4 - Gasol replaces Bynum as Fish fouls O’Neal on the double-team on the left block and he makes 1-2 FTs. Lakers still lead 45-44.

00:26.4 - Heat timeout in the frontcourt immediately after Kobe wraps a pass behind his back from the point to Pau on the left wing, who takes it into the block and scores on a left-handed jump-hook. Lakers lead 47-44.

Highlight: Wade has been held to 2-9 FGs by Artest and a swarming Laker team defense.

Lowlight: Miami has 9 steals as a team so far, their season high for a half.

00:00.0 - The half comes to an end as Fish misses a three point try from the right point as the buzzer sounds with the Lakers holding on to a 47-44 lead.


Halftime:

The Lakers are killing Heat under the basket and lead the offensive battle inside, 24-8 on points in the paint. Artest is playing the consistently great defense that he’s demonstrated since coming back from the ASG break and Wade doesn’t have a FG since there were two minutes left in the first quarter. However, the Lakers are giving up open shots on the perimeter and not hitting their own outside shots consistently. Drew got the halftime interview on the floor, which doesn’t happen very often, if ever, and seemed to enjoy the attention. The half saw 9 ties and 22 lead changes with no lead above 7 points, seems like the Lakers should have a bigger lead, as they won both quarters but they’re playing a bit sloppy as per the norm for first halves lately. Miami’s shooting only 38% FGs to the Lakers 50% and the Lakers are dominating in second chance points as well, 10-2. The game from downtown has not been working for either team, with the Heat 3-10 from beyond the arc and the Lakers 1-5, although it is a real good sign that the Lakers have taken so few shots from way outside and are obviously focusing on getting the ball into the paint.

Kobe’s line: 10 points on 4-9 FGs and 2 assists.
Drew’s line:10 points.
Fish’s line: 9 points.


Third Quarter:

Lakers lineup - Bynum, Gasol, Artest, Bryant, Fisher
Heat lineup - O’Neal, Beasley, Richardson, Wade, Arroyo

Lowlight: Kobe falls down on defense and that allows Richardson to get open directly under the basket for an easy layup off of the give and go entry pass.

11:15 - Lakers score their first points of the quarter as Kobe drives inside of Wade on the baseline and drops in an uncontested layup from the right block. Lakers lead 49-46.

Highlights: Pau shows a pulse on the next possession after getting abused by Beasley with a jump hook from the right block. Ron makes a seventeen footer from the left wing that takes two victory laps around the rim before falling through. Wade’s starting to become obviously frustrated on offense but Ron seems to have injured his hand or finger in some way. Richardson makes his third three of the game, this time from the left wing. Drew’s got O’Neal playing tentatively in the paint as he’s now passed up 2-3 good looks inside and appears to be reluctant to take shots underneath the basket.

Lowlights: Drew almost blocks O’Neal’s fall-away ten footer from the left baseline that misses, but Beasley comes swooping down the lane to get a left-handed put-back dunk over Pau on the rebound but fortunately the Lakes salvage something out of the play when Beasley is called for a taunting technical and Kobe makes the FT. Beasley gets two more points under the basket as he jukes Drew, who comes down on his back and is very lucky not to get called for a foul, and lays it in.

Kobe’s line: 15 points on 6-11 FGs.

05:25 - Timeout as the Heat are called for a defensive three-seconds technical and Kobe makes the FT coming out of the timeout but the Lakers now trail 61-60.

Highlights: Kobe hits a long three from the right wing.

Lowlight: Richardson hits his fifth and sixth three pointers of the game from opposite sidelines on consecutive possessions. Drew is stripped in the lane and then the next time down he is doubled on the right mid-post and throws an errant pass into the lane that ends up pinballing around before going out of bounds to the Heat. The Heat are outrebounding the Lakers 7-3 so far in the third quarter.

03:12 - Odom replaces Bynum on a dead ball after Fish fouls Richardson. Lakers trail by six, 69-63.

03:02 - PJ calls timeout between Magloire FTs and he comes back out on the floor to make the second of two after missing the first. Lakers trail 70-63.

Substitution: Farmar replace Fisher out of the timeout.

Highlight: Kobe shrugs off a double team with a fall-away swish from the top of the key, which gives him 11 points in the quarter. Ron drills an uncontested three from the right wing.

Lowlight: PJ’s complaining about the Lakers defensive intensity in the quarter during the timeout, with good reason, since the Heat are shooting 73% FGs in the third. Wade dribbles down to the left elbow and whistles a pass to Wright streaking in along the baseline for a monster dunk. The Lakers have only 9 assists as a team for the game at the end of the quarter.

00:00.0 - Pau misses a wild and crazy three pointer from the right wing as time expires in the quarter with the Lakers trailing 74-68. They lost the third quarter 30-21 and generally played badly, and in particular have not been able to get the ball inside against Miami’s zone defense.

Kobe’s line: 21 points.
Ron’s line: 10 points, 1 rebound and 3 steals.


Fourth Quarter:

Lakers lineup - Bynum, Odom, Bryant, Brown, Farmar
Heat lineup - O’Neal, Beasley, Richardson, Wade, Arroyo

11:26 - Lakers first points of the quarter as Farmar throws a lob in to Drew from the right baseline and he dunks it from right in front of the rim. Lakers trail 74-70.

Lowlight: Wright hits an uncontested three from the right corner.

10:04 - Timeout after Kobe gets stuffed trying to force a shot up in a crowd inside and the Heat come back down on the break and get an easy layup. Lakers trail by nine, 81-72 and I think even PJ thinks the situation is starting to get desperate.

Highlights: Shannon takes a pass from LO on the right wing and drives straight to the hoop for an uncontested two-handed dunk. Farmar hits a three from the left wing off of a pass from LO.

07:54 - Timeout after Drew frustrates O’Neal in the paint once again and LO comes down with the defensive rebound, takes it across midcourt and lobs to Brown swooping in from the right block for another monster dunk. Lakers still trail but the deficit has been cut to four, 83-79.

Highlights: Farmar scores on a difficult double-pump layup from the right block on the break after Shannon almost blows the whole thing trying to get Haslem to commit to him in the lane before making a poor pass for an undeserved assist. The Lakers have 18 points off of 10 Heat turnovers whle the Heat have only 12 points off of 13 Laker give-aways.

06:05 - Gasol replaces Bynum, Artest comes in for Brown and Fisher in for Farmar between Arroyo FTs after Jordan fouled him in the act after getting juked off his feet. Lakers still trail 87-81 as Arroyo makes both his FTs.

Highlights: Kobe weaves his way in to the hoop from the right wing for an uncontested layup.
Kobe hits a three from the right point.

Lowlights: Kobe gets stuffed trying to force up a shot in the lane over four defenders after driving in from the left wing and then makes only 1-2 FTs as the Lakers as a team are only 10-18 from the charity stripe for the game. The Lakers offense looks stagnant as they are repeatedly running isolation plays for Kobe and it’s not producing many points right now. Wade blows by Ron and lays it up over Pau at the rim and then knocks down a three from the left point on the next possession.

Kobe’s line: 27 points on 10-19 FGs and 4 assists.

02:49 - Timeout as Haslem is fouled by Kobe while going up for a shot on the right block and things are looking grim for the Lakers as they trail 94-87 after Haslem makes both FTs when the teams come back out onto the floor.

Highlights: Odom rescues what would have been a disastrous offensive possession by rebounding Kobe’s missed three on the right baseline and taking it to the front of the rim, laying it in and getting fouled before making the FT to complete the and-one, all after Pau had dribbled the ball off of his knee and out of bounds on the right baseline but somehow the refs didn’t see it and gave the ball back to the Lakers. Ron takes the ball away from Wade as he tries to cross midcourt and Wade fouls him trying to get it back and Ron gets a low-five from Pippen in the front row celebrity seats as a reward, but then misses both FTs for an unofficial turnover at a very inopportune time making the Lakers 11-21 FTs for the game...simply pathetic. Fish comes back down on the next possession after the Heat turn it over and drills a three from the left sideline to bring the Lakers back within one, a big shot!

Lowlight: Wade gets by Ron and drives straight down the lane for an easy layup on uninspired defensive help from Pau and LO under the basket, and he now has 25 points and 11 assists.

00:42.6 - The Heat call a timeout after Kobe makes both FTs off of a foul by Richardson as he went up for a shot on the right baseline off of yet another isolation play. The Lakers take the lead, 97-96, on a 10-2 run after scoring on five consecutive possessions.

Highlight: Artest draws an offensive foul on a moving screen by O’Neal off the inbounds play out of the timeout, but takes a forearm shiv in the process and falls to the floor as a result.

Lowlight: Wade blocks Kobe’s jumper from the top of the key to give the Heat another chance on a possession where the Lakers could have extended their lead to 2-3 points with a score.

00:11.1 - Timeout as Richardson proceeds to take advantage of the situation by drilling a three from the right wing to give the Heat a two point lead, 99-97.

00:03.3 - Kobe takes the ball on the inbounds pass and goes straight down the court to the right mid-post and hits a pull-up jumper over Wade to tie the game, 99-99.

00:00.0 - Wade gets the inbounds pass and loops all the way around to the left baseline but misses his fall-away jumper badly over a double-team by Ron and LO, and regulation play ends in a 99-99 tie. The Lakers won the fourth quarter 31-25.


Overtime:

Lakers lineup - Bynum, Odom, Artest, Bryant, Fisher
Heat lineup - O’Neal, Beasley, Richardson, Wade, Arroyo

Interesting factoid: The Lakers are 4-0 in OT so far this season.

05:00 - Bynum jumps against O’Neal and the Lakers come out of the tip with possession of the ball.

Highlight: Ron deflects a pass from Wade and the Lakers come up with a turnover by the Heat.

03:51 - Lakers score the first points of the OT as Kobe hits his patented running fall-away from the right baseline and the Lakers lead 101-99.

Interesting factoid: With the thirtieth lead change, the game has set the record for this NBA season.

Highlights: Kobe dribbles the ball through his legs a few times on the left wing and then pops down a jumper from just inside the three point line, giving him the last ten Lakers points. Kobe continues his assault with another jumper from the left baseline.

Lowlights: Haslem knocks down a rainbow from the left elbow. The Heat are 16-19 FTs while the Lakers have missed ten. Drew lets Kobe’s entry pass go through his hands in the lane for a turnover.

02:02 - Gasol replaces Bynum and Farmar comes in for Fisher, who fouls out on a drive to the hoop by Wade and the game is tied after he makes both FTs, 105-105.

Highlights: LO takes a pass from Kobe at the point on the right wing and drives down the post for a layup off the glass. LO misses a three on a big possession but then steals the ball on the other end and sets up Farmar on the break for a layup when O’Neal is called for goal-tending on the block.

Lowlights - Wade takes advantage of Bynum’s absence by lobbing a pass to O’Neal who lays it in over Pau.

00:37.3 - Timeout Lakers as Haslem is doing his best big-shot Rob imitation and makes another jumper, this time from the left baseline to give the Heat back the lead, 111-109.

Lowlight - After a possession on the edge, where first Farmar missed a layup and then Pau dropped the offensive rebound before Farmar ended up getting it back, Kobe gets called for an offensive foul driving down the right post and into O’Neal on the block.

00:18.4 - Timeout Lakers after Arroyo is fouled on the inbounds and makes both FTs. Lakers trail 113-109 and it doesn’t look good.

Lowlight: Kobe misses a straight-away three and the Heat get the rebound to pretty much wrap it up as the Lakers are forced to foul to have any chance left at all. Arroyo makes 1-2 FTs to extend his new season high to 17 points.

00:06.2 - PJ calls for the Lakers last timeout with the Heat holding a commanding lead at 114-109, so much for that mini-three game winning streak.

00:00.0 - Pau makes a pair of FTs to end the scoring and the Lakers lose, 114-111 in OT.


Postgame:

The Lakers really screwed the pooch on this one! They had loads of chances to put it away all through the end of the fourth quarter and OT but seemed to do the wrong things every time they were faced with a critical moment in the game, and missing 10 FTs sure didn’t help. They won three of the four quarters in regulation but tanked the third to give the Heat an opportunity which they took advantage of in the OT. The Lakers won the battle of the boards 51-44 and 13-8 on the offensive end, but had only 15 assists as a team after 33 last game. They deserved to lose this game playing the way they did, and they did. Kobe was obviously the Lakers player of the game but he made some critical mistakes of his own and dominated the ball all through the end of the fourth quarter and the OT, turning the rest of the team into mostly spectators on offense.

Kobe’s line: 39 points on 15-28 FGs including 2-7 from three, 7-10 FTs, and 4 assists.
LO’s line: 13 points and 11 rebounds (4 offensive).
Drew’s line: 12 points on 6-8 FGs and 2-4 FTs, and 10 rebounds (4 offensive).
Ron’s line: 10 points on 4-9 FGs including 1-4 from three and 1-4 FTs, and 5 steals.
Pau’s line: 10 points on 4-11 FGs and 2-4 FTs, and 9 rebounds (5 offensive).

Dear Genious, "they only play up to their potential when they need to"? They 'NEED TO' every single game they play. They seem to have a habit of 'playing down' to the less elite teams, and that "bites them in the butt"! Realistically, I know they can't win every game, but some games should not have been lost; oh well, we'll see what happens as time draws to a close.

aztro...

Nice job with the summaries. I appreciate your fine work.

Wow, what a lot of Pau, Bynum bashers, and Laker bashers in general.
This game was simply lost on free throw misses.
Next, right from the start Kobe was playing rover, center field, help defense. In the first quarter Richardson had wide open looks and nailed some 3's, Kobe too far away to contest. What bothered me was Kobe didn't adjust, he kept playing rover defense way too much all throughout the game. If you watched the game it was so obvious, you could see the Heats next points being set up by Kobe playing off his man.
So just one adjustment at halftime and the Lakers win this game and all the criticism goes away. The adjustment, Kobe needs to really play one on one D the way only he can and shut down his man. Had Kobe done that we win by 5++ points in regulation. We cant keep letting someone get hot like Richardson and Arroyo. Of course, we need to make some more of those free throws. If we had just made one more FT in regulation the games over, everyones happy.
We were a bit sloppy on some of the passes creating a few too many turnovers too, but still could of had this game.

Come playoffs I expect better D from Kobe, playing right up on his man, but would be nice if he would do it now.

This was not a disastrous loss by any means, just need to tighten up the D and make those FT's.

Tough loss but a good game to watch. A career night for Quentin Richardson, I knew that he will have a season high after hitting consecutive 3's. It was one of those nights. Lakers gamble on Quentin and they lost. I think they can live with that. Arrogance is not only by the players but the coaching staff as well. They focus only on their potential competitors in the playoffs.

I still believe in my Lakers. Still not ready to diss any of the players. Kobe and Artest have played well on this game, except for 1 or 2 plays down the stretch. The rest were just aweful, I am sure they will cringe as well if they watch the tape. They should actually be embarassed and redeem themselves. That is what I want to see going forward.

BELIEVE, we still got this.

MM,

Can you calculate the ratio (Gasol + Bynum) FGA / Bryant FGA?

Last nite against heat 20/28 less than 1 -- Lakers lose.

Seems when Kobe goes volume shooter they lose even if Kobe FGA% is pretty good.

The situation last nite suggests the Lakers may have won if Kobe had not played. Its crazy ... but the numbers keep saying the less Kobe shoots --- the better the Lakers chances to win.

I'm glad Phil Jackson woke up in the last 6 seconds of the game to finally called a timeout and gave the team some coaching. Too little a lot late. What happened to the inside offensive game? It just disappeared. How the heck do you let Richardson look like a offensive super hero?...sheesh. Once in a while you gotta step up and become a gametime coach and help the players snap out of their bad flow. They can't always "play out of it" because they run out of time.

It seems to me that ever since Kobe came back, they have reverted back to their old ways of relying on Kobe to bail them out at the end. What happened to team ball that they were talking about a few ago before Kobe returned to the line up? I'm not saying this team is better without Kobe, however they need to learn to play team ball when he is in the line up; the way they are capable of playing. I wonder if this team is better off without Bynum? They were able to get out of the west without him in last year's playoffs. He doesn't appear to be a factor in most Laker games as far as winning. I think he disrupts the offense. After all on Phil Jackson's Bulls teams, they never really had a dominant center and they won six titles. Maybe this offense works better without the dominant center. The bottom line is, the Lakers better wake up soon or they will be sent on an early vacation this spring.

ARE WE OKAY:

If Cavs get upset again before the finals we be alright less not fool ourselves. Have you notice our inside game, man Drew, Pau, and Odom (sometimes) they are just weak there moves look like dumb and slow motion. Gasoft is he the same player that played for us last year.
He is just standing around looking like he lost his puppy. Touches he get's can't seem to caught the ball, just touch him he is on the floor like a 150 pound 8th grader. He seem to be afraid, he most remain himself that this is not the Euro league. The guy's that moving him around are 6'8 and 6'9 230 pound guys. Drew is big and clumsily or slow, if you stay close to him his move just are not good enough. If he get's 7 dunks then he is okay but in a close game and no dunks the guy is of no use to us. He play's little defense and always out of position. Shaq will destroy Drew Gasoft will be under Shaq foot. So are we really okay fellows, should have traded Gasoft for Bosch.

I just have issues with Gasol allowing himself to be pushed around and complaining when his arm gets hit and he doesn't get the calls. It was obvious they were going to let oneal bang him around and not give the foul call. But for he, artest, and others to miss foul opportunities shows lack of focus. That said, they still could have won easily without allowing two players to get season high scoring totals, and haslem to make every open shot. They have to realize beating them is a priority for he league and they don't get the labronze treatment....A lazy team that doesn't make free throws is not going to get many calls

I'll lay off Pau Gasol as soon as he pubically apologizes to Kobe for requesting more touches, he announces that he is not worthy of being considered the Laker number 2 player, that he's played horribly all year, that he's a fraud and fools gold, that he takes full responsibility for not helping his former Memphis team get passed the 1st round of the playoffs, and that he is mentally soft and that he'll seek therapy. And it wouldn't hurt for him to show that he's a REAL man by showing up one of the many fine looking Spanish actresses, either.

Every game is a struggle for this supposedly dominant team !!

Posted by: DFish | March 04, 2010 at 11:05 PM


Every game? I'd worry about over-exaggeration if I were you. I'm pretty sure that they have blown out a few teams. And it's not like the Cavs haven't put up any clunkers; they have the best record in the NBA.

Aztronut -

Thanks for the analysis. One question for you - did you think that the switch to zone defense for Miami was the turning point for the game?

I thought it's when they may have realized that they could actually win this game.

I just read on Hoopshype that Shannon Brown is opting out after the season.


If this is so, I hope the LAkers gets some star players on the cheap to fill some of these spaces. I'd rather keep Farmar than Brown.


And the Iverson story gets worse:


According to several NBA sources with knowledge of the situation, Iverson has been troubled by excessive drinking.


One NBA source said yesterday that when Iverson was traded from the Denver Nuggets to the Detroit Pistons in 2008, "he practically lived in the casinos." Numerous sources said he was banned from two of the three casinos in Detroit.


"Drinking and the casinos: Allen was always doing one thing, or was at the other," an Eastern Conference executive said last night. "No one who knows him can deny it."


Wes

hmmmmm...

just thinking about the old days..and how much times Shaq got pushed around,fumbled passes,missed lay-ups n dunks,got threw down by smaller player etc..
ok gasoft and bydumb are not like shaq..ok
go back a lil farther and I'm thinking about Jabbar now hmmmmmmmmm.. yes players will commit tos and the like bu this frontline seems to do it excessively to the detriment of games.. to many games this season(posted this b4 btw) gasol and bynum have looked like the reincarnation of kwame brown misses passes..tos missing dunks n layups getting stripped all the time ...and the stupid hand clapping ish...come on..someone said it b4 people blame Kobe but u know how much assosts he'd have if those guys keep a handle on the ball when it's passed to dem...

KB Blitz,

So long long ago ( 3 mos. ) we said some things about Pau & Bynum.
Some posters took exception to our comments.

Isn't it interesting that towards the end of the season new bloggers/posters
are mentioning the same things?

MM,

Though your post is understandably biased. The officiating, especially late in the game, was bad for both teams. They seemed to get every pivital call incorrect. It really did seem to balance out, at least last night.

The Lakers make one additional free throw, though, and we are talking about Kobe's last regulation shot being his seventh game winner of the season.

It must have been Miami's celebrated free throw defensive scheme...

--FEARless

"Maybe this offense works better without the dominant center."


I suppose maybe it can, however, remember this dude named Shaq we had, he was kinda sorta dominant and we one 3 straight.

We have lost several games this year just because of some sloppy passing, turnovers, poor FT shooting and, like it or not, Kobes playing rover defense. We lock down on D and play crisp focused offense and we become close to unbeatable. Time will tell if they can do that in the playoffs.

Anybody Kobe guarding will have a big game, he gamble to much on "D". Always putting the team in help defense, not a smart move for the leader of this team.

Aztronut,

Great summary. It really matched the feeling of the game which was this game was the Lakers to loose right up until Kobe missed that three at the end. However, I must correct you on one point, 3-10 from three point land is not an unfavorable result. When you team is shooting anything above 30% from three, you keep shooting. 3-10 on threes is the same as 45% on twos. And shooting threes has the added affect of stretching the defense, which puts more pressure on Bynum, because he has to cover way more ground, and minimizes the affect of the mysteriously ineffective O'Neil.

There is a reason why all the high scoring teams (except the Lakers) take a ridiculous number of threes per game. Most of the time it works, and that has the net effect of raising your scoring average.

BTW, does anyone know what happened to O'Neil? He is simply a shell of his former self.

Also, I really hate to point this out, and I'm surprised you didn't mention it in your recap, Aztronut. But, the game turned when Pau got posterized. He became completely innefective after that. He couldn't catch. He couldn't finish. He clanked free throws (well, they ALL did that). I thought he was battling right up until that happened to him.

Drew doesn't have the maturity to know what to do with the swarming double-teams he was getting -- which is understandable and forgivable given his age. But, Pau has no excuse.

Pau has been our biggest enigma this season. Not Fish. Not Kobe. Not Drew (he doesn't play very many late game minutes, anyway). Not LO (surprisingly). Not RonRon (the perfect citizen -- never thought I'd hear myself say that). It has been Pau's inconsistent responses to being bullied in the post.

Sometimes, he responds in kind, and makes us think Pau Gasoft is a thing of the past. Sometimes he wilts under the abuse. And so far, all season long, he's been missing both free throws when he's been in a high-pressure free throw position. I'm trying to figure out what is the difference. Why is it that he can sometimes bully a guy back, but not others?

Is it a Home/Road game thing?

--FEARless

Todd - i think you just did the calculations for me. Kobe had 28 shots, and Gasol and Bynum combined for 20. I wouldn't lay it on Kobe for Pau and Drew's lack of touches. Frankly the Lakers' frontline was not good yesterday. I agree that the Lakers haven't found the right chemistry on a consistent basis with Kobe, but lately it's been because of his teammates. When Kobe's shot wasn't falling the past few games, he facilitated and set teammates up. Against Miami, Kobe had the hot hand and the Lakers' frontline didn't.

MM

Fearless - The post wasn't "understandably biased." I thought the refs made some bad calls yesterday including the non-call on Wade's foul against Bryant, which could've secured a Lakers win in regulation. Though I manage the Lakers blog and have a great time doing it, I'm not rooting for any team in particular. I'm a fan of the sport and am just providing coverage in as much of an objective and thorough manner as I can. If I criticize something, there aren't any partisan interests involved. It's simply me pointing out what I see. Others may disagree with any premise I have, but I never arrive to conclusions wearing a jersey of a certain team or player.

MM

Maybe with this Lakers team does need a decent center, however I think they could do better than Bynum. I should remember that as good as Kobe is, he is not Michael. Michael did not need a dominant center because he was a strong defender and appeared to be alot stronger than Kobe. Also a smarter player that wasn't always looking for the outside shot. In reality Kobe is trying to play for his team not to lose as opposed to Michael playing to win. At least this is how it appears this year. I do realize if it wasn't for Gasol, we wouldn't have won it all last year, however wouldn't it be ironic if the same dude was responsible for winning it all last year could be the goat for losing this year? It is time to stop being Pau Gasoft, get some intestinal fortitude and earn the money the Lakers paid for the extension on your contract. Kobe, stop hogging the ball and pass to the players that got you W's when you were out the four games. Bynum, as Bill Walton would say, "THROW IT DOWN BIG FELLA"!!!. Don't just stand there clueless. And Fish, you need to play like it was 2004, that every possession has only 0.3 seconds left. You used to be a heck of defender, what happened? I know with your age your offense slows down, but you can still play some D once in a while. By the most with all talent the Lakers have, there is no excuse to struggle every game and try to turn switch on in the fourth quarter. You need to play 48 minutes, not 12 minutes.

FEARless,

First, thanks for the compliment...

“Great summary. It really matched the feeling of the game which was this game was the Lakers to loose right up until Kobe missed that three at the end.”

But I do take exception to your supposed “correction”...

“I must correct you on one point, 3-10 from three point land is not an unfavorable result. When you team is shooting anything above 30% from three, you keep shooting. 3-10 on threes is the same as 45% on twos...”

3-10 ~> 30%...3-10 = 30%, hope that makes sense to you since this blog doesn’t have an equation editor. I consider the break even point of threes to be 33.3% and I believe the league average is higher than that. At 50% FGs (twos) and 1/3 of threes the team is averaging a point for every shot and I think that should be the goal! Of course, this is all just personal opinion and YMMV, as it apparently does.

“I really hate to point this out, and I'm surprised you didn't mention it in your recap... the game turned when Pau got posterized. He became completely innefective after that. He couldn't catch. He couldn't finish. He clanked free throws (well, they ALL did that). I thought he was battling right up until that happened to him.”

I did point out in my notes that he was abused by Beasley on that posterizing put-back, twice I believe, although I didn’t see that as a turning point in the game as you apparently did. I thought that he played poorly, as did most if not all of the Lakers, throughout.

“Is it a Home/Road game thing?”

I don’t think so, I just think that most everybody had an off night, even Kobe although you wouldn’t know it from looking at his point total. This was a total team loss IMO and everyone deserves some blame, if I was into casting blame that is, which I am usually not.

Thank you again for reading and responding, I always enjoy your comments...

Caliphilosopher,

"Thanks for the analysis. One question for you - did you think that the switch to zone defense for Miami was the turning point for the game?"

Thanks for the compliment. While I thought the the Heat's zone was a great adjustment coming out of the half and won them the third quarter, I don't necessarily think that it was the definitive turning point in the game. I think the Lakers eventually adjusted to it and had numerous chances to win down the stretch and in OT. I think that this was more of a game that the Lakers lost than one that the Heat won.

As Lombardi used to teach his players, "we never really lose a game, we just run out of time to win"...

bronxlakerfan,

"Nice job with the summaries. I appreciate your fine work."

Thank you very much, I'm glad that you enjoyed it!

Aztro - I gotta send the kudos to you too. Your game recaps are really good and filled with great insight.

Thanks for being such an impassioned reader of the Lakers blog.

MM

MM,

"I gotta send the kudos to you too. Your game recaps are really good and filled with great insight."

Thanks Mark, that really means a lot to mean coming from you, you're a real professional and I'm totally serious about that!

"Thanks for being such an impassioned reader of the Lakers blog."

You're very welcome, and I'm sorry if I get a little too "impassioned" sometimes, because when I do I tend to take it out on you. Please don't let me get under your skin in the wrong way. I have a tendency to do that to people and that's what created the dysfunctional relationship I had with the previous management of this blog on my first go 'round here, which I take complete responsibility for BTW. I'm trying to be on my best behavior for my repeat performance, so you just imagine what my worst is like...

Keep up the good work!

aztronut - Thanks for the feedback. And no worries. No harm, no foul. There's so many places to read Lakers coverage so I think every fan justifiably expects high quality standards regarding the content and the website itself.

As far as the frustration part, don't sweat it. Try to keep in mind though that may be a good perspective to have regarding Tony as well. I forwarded you and other readers concerns about anything regarding the site. But when I say there's no update, it doesn't mean Tony is ignoring it or anything else. Unfortunately, like many businesses, there's many layers of bureaucracy outside of staff control to implement certain things. Some of these issues you're talking about also involves Tribune, which is based in Chicago. Only bringing this up so you fully understand I'm aware of your concerns as is Tony. But like everyone else's concerns, we'll fill you in as soon as any progress is made.

Thanks,

MM

MM,

You pointed out a very "glaring" missed call that could have won the game for the Lakers, yet there was also a less "glaring" missed call that could have also sunk the Lakers when Pau clearly kneed the ball out of bounds late in the game under his own basket, and the officials gave the ball back to the Lakers.

Had that call been correctly made, it could have put the game virtually out of reach. The only reason that call's impact seems diminished is because the Lakers lost anyway.

That, to me, seems to be the two most critical calls both going the wrong way and benifiting the other team.

That is all I meant. However, it is highly unlikely that any person is able to write without any bias at all. You don't have to be like me, who wears my bias like a badge of honor, but you will be biased on some level.

I'm not even really trying to be objective. I'm a homer and I know it. I just don't think that this game's outcome was really affected by the officiating. The Lakers got enough calls to go their way to win. That is really all you can ask for on the road.

Aztronut,

If the goal is one point per shot attempt, wouldn't 90% of that goal be considered "pretty good" and not unsatisfactory? 3-10 is exactly 90% of your stated goal. And, like I mentioned, it is equivalent to 45% shooting from 2-pt range. Which is closer to the league average, I believe.

Plus, I meant to say "30% and above", from 3-pt range. Sometimes what you leave out of a sentence is as important as what you put in. :)

Anyway, neither point sheds any light on to what must happen next. Namely, the Lakers must do some real damage tonight.

--FEARless

Mark,

Sorry I butchered that previous comment up so bad since it was intended to be complementary and ended up as gibberish. I’m not sure what happened...brain cramp I guess, but here’s what it was supposed to look like...

MM,

"I gotta send the kudos to you too. Your game recaps are really good and filled with great insight."

Thanks Mark, that really means a lot to me coming from you, you're a real professional and I'm totally serious about that!

"Thanks for being such an impassioned reader of the Lakers blog."

You're very welcome, and I'm sorry if I get a little too "impassioned" sometimes, because when I do I tend to take it out on you. Please don't let me get under your skin in the wrong way. I have a tendency to do that to people and that's what created the dysfunctional relationship I had with the previous management of this blog on my first go 'round here, which I take complete responsibility for BTW. I'm trying to be on my best behavior for my repeat performance, so you can just imagine what my worst is like...

Keep up the good work!


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