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Lakers vs. Raptors: Lakers beat Raptors because of inspired bench play

Lakers 120, Raptors 110 (final)

The Lakers can think their bench for their inspired play in the victory over the Raptors on Sunday, a win  that allowed L.A. to finish with a 5-1 record on a six-game trip that began with a loss in Chicago.

Three of the Lakers' reserves scored in double figures, and the bench accounted for 57 of L.A.'s 110 points.

Andrew Bynum, who missed the first 24 games recovering from right-knee surgery, played his best game in a reserve role. Bynum had 16 points on four-for-six shooting, eight-for-10 free throws.

Bynum also had seven rebounds in 18 minutes.

Shannon Brown had 15 points on five-for-seven shooting off the bench for the Lakers.

Matt Barnes had 12 points off the bench for the Lakers.

Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 19 points and eight rebounds, and Kobe Bryant, playing with a sprained right pinkie finger, had 20 points.

The Lakers improved to 11-5 on the road; they have the most road victories in the league.

 

Lakers 86, Raptors 79 (end of third quarter)

The Lakers came out strong in the third, opening a 16-point lead in the quarter, looking as if they were prepared to blow out the Raptors.

But that didn't happen.

The Lakers fell asleep on defense, allowing the Raptors to close to within four points at one point.

But Shannon Brown made a three-pointer late in the third and Matt Barnes made two free throws later to help the Lakers take a 10-point lead.

That was until Leandro Barbosa threw up a 42-foot shot that banked in off the backboard for a three-pointer as time expired, drawing the Raptors closer to the Lakers entering the fourth.

  

Lakers 57, Raptors 49 (end of first half)

The Lakers were much better defensively in the second, limiting the Raptors to just 15 points in the quarter after giving up 34 in the first quarter.

By the end of the first half, the Lakers had the Raptors shooting just 41.9% from the field.

The Lakers then went inside to Pau Gasol, who had 10 points by the half.

The Lakers shot 53.8% from the field in the first half.

 

Raptors 34, Lakers  28 (end of first quarter)

Well, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson was right.

His Lakers did start the game slow against the Raptors.

Offensively, the Lakers did well, making 52.6% of their shots, getting nine points from Kobe Bryant.

But it was on defense where the Lakers had problems, allowing the Raptors to make 60% of their shots in the first quarter.

Amir Johnson, who attended Westchester High, hit the Lakers for 12 points on six-for-six shooting.

 

Lakers vs. Raptors

The Lakers have had tough games against the Raptors at Toronto's Air Canada Centre in the past, and they expected Sunday's game to be no different.

"We've had our difficulties up here over the years," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said before his team played the Raptors.

Part of the problem is that the game starts at 1 p.m., which is 10 a.m. West Coast time.

The Lakers seem to have a hard time adjusting to the time difference.

-- Broderick Turner

 

 
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Special report for the haters...

Lakers +9 with Luke on the floor so far in this game. He was there for the 6 minute stretch where they turned a 6 point deficit to a 3 point lead. And Luke was in the heart of it - he defended PF pretty well and was aggressive in the offense.

and more importantly...

New Jersey is +14 with Sasha on the floor today! Machine has 7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in 16 minutes.

Just goes to show, Lakers castoffs are good enough to contribute a lot to some of the lesser teams in the league.

And after playing mostly solid basketball for his few minutes on the floor, Luke makes a STOOOOOPID pass to give Toronto 3 points at the end of the third.

Bad move Luke.

Nets beat Atlanta. The starters got them in a deep hole, but the bench mob got them back in the game - LED by Sasha with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.

They were +14 with Jordan on the floor and +23 with Sasha on the floor.

And of course, the Lakers were +15 with Luke on the floor. Would have been +18 if not for his terrible pass at the end of the 3rd.

Luke with 9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.

Wow... another .500 team bites the dust, can't wait till Christmas Day BEATDOWN. Hey...where's the KY?

GO Heat

The Lakers will be nice and rested for the stupid Christmas Day game, should they decide to show up against this year's version of the LeBrons. They fly home, scrimmage the Bucks on Tuesday, and then have the equivalent of an All-Star break until they have to reluctantly lace 'em up again on Christmas. No excuses, but they hate playing on Christmas Day every year and it really showed last year. Hopefully they can come in with a better attitude this year. If not, people like Justa Hater can waste their time gloating.

LongTimeLakerFan - I actually like Luke, when healthy very positive energy.

The whole team played good...Luke, Shannon, LO...I had good game...Andrew is coming around...had his best contributions so far...

But still very long time till playoffs...Glad we are coming back home...

Actually, it was 6-1 on a seven game trip, starting down the hall at the Clip joint.

Lakers did just enough to win today and that was a good thing. I love how Phil gave the bench its head and let them run most of the 4th quarter. Those minutes that are taken out of Kobe, Lamar and Pau's ledger will pay dividends down the road. Plus, the bench met the challenge of the Raptor run and sustained the lead. Great experience for them as well.

The bench combined for 57 points....that'll work. Baby Bynum had his best game yet with 16 and 7 and a blocked shot. Matt Barnes and Shannon played with energy and purpose. Blaker ran the offense and helped maintain the spacing so vital to the triangle. The Lakers basically beat Toronto with one hand tied behind their backs.

No Laker played more than Lamar's 33 mins. 6 guys in double figures...very good. If you want to nitpick, one can talk about the Raptors scoring 110 pts. but to me it doesn't really matter. This game was never in doubt. We move on.


GO LAKERS!!!!

Ltlf,


I did not know you like Luke, Sasha and Farmar so much.


So would you do a trade to NJ for Sasha and Farmar back to the Lakers for Barnes and Blake, how about it? Then maybe keep Luke and get rid of Artest, to give Luke playing time, maybe?


This is what I think Lakers bench have improved since the departure of Farmar and Sasha and can improve further with the departure of Luke. Derrick Caracter should be playing instead of Walton at PF or Ebanks at SF instead of Walton.

OMG--NY Giants MAJOR FAIL

Bwahaha, I bet Kobe's lovin' it right now!

whowwwwwwww

DeSean Jackson in 14 seconds won the comeback in NY

Kobe is in Heaven

sorry, OFF TOPIC

but SPECTACULAR -

and he toyed with the defense to kill the clock down to 2 sec before he crossed the baseline.

---------------------------

on a Lakers note - great Killer B's

i was surprised that PJ left them in for so long, but they did a great JOB - they looked like a very good, solid, deep benchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

and Kobe had some BOUNCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

broken pinky, no problem

OMG--NY Giants MAJOR FAIL

Bwahaha, I bet Kobe's lovin' it right now!

The only way Caracter can get better is to play him minutes, get his development going. In 2011 Finals, carcater can match up power per power against Celtics bench of Perkins, Jermaine Oneal and Glen Davis, where Walton can't, if Walton is even not injured by June.

LTLF

looks like the Lakers are a continuous workshop of NBA basketball. :-)

We allowed a team without its best player to score 110 points..That is not good.

We allowed a team without its best player to score 110 points..That is not good.

Posted by: keen observer
=======

We won..That is good.

Agree with Art: The Lakers won against the 76ers when neither team was able to score while they won against Toronto when both teams couldn't miss a basket.

We know this team can win championships so all that matters right now is they get wins to keep in the HCA race, no matter how ugly the wins are.

The Lakers beat up on those Sister's of the Poor teams like they are nothing; because they aren't anything. Tell Ms. Kobe and Paula Gasol and Ms. Fisher and sister Bynum and the rest of the girls; the boys are coming to pay them a visit, on Christmas. And, they ain't looking for no cookies and milk. They are coming to get some of that azz!

This is what I think Lakers bench have improved since the departure of Farmar and Sasha and can improve further with the departure of Luke. Derrick Caracter should be playing instead of Walton at PF or Ebanks at SF instead of Walton.

Posted by: Staples 24 | December 19, 2010 at 01:21 PM
=====

I find it interesting that you would say that after a game like today. I get the idea of giving these second round rookies some minutes to develop them, but Luke was the calming influence that the Lakers needed today and Coach Eleven Rings is a master of match ups. You can expect to see more of Luke in the future in certain situations.

The Lakers beat up on those Sister's of the Poor teams like they are nothing; because they aren't anything. Tell Ms. Kobe and Paula Gasol and Ms. Fisher and sister Bynum and the rest of the girls; the boys are coming to pay them a visit, on Christmas. And, they ain't looking for no cookies and milk. They are coming to get some of that azz!

Posted by: Shakespeare | December 19, 2010 at 02:46 PM
=======================================================

Unless what you meant to say is, "They are coming to kick some azz" in which case, not happenin'. Instead of coming around here talking smack, you need to go relieve some of that pressure in your boy's swollen melon since we all know he can't hack being the go to guy in pressure situations. Matter of fact, maybe Lebron and Bosh should wear some shades on christmas so they won't be permanently blinded by Phil, Kobe and Fish's championship rings. Just a thought. All I know is, they better buck-up when they come out this way cause the Los Angeles Lakers are men not to be trifled with by Man-boys with self-given nicknames.

Furthermore. Let this run in your head for the night.

Score so far.

Wannabe Global Icon: Zero rings.

Future Hall-o-Famer who's sole purpose is to die the bestthere ever is? Five and counting.

Have fun catching up.

REPOST from Seely_Iggy: Hi Dan, I don't mean to sound like I'm putting down the efforts of the L.A. Times Blog Bench (hey, there's a nice ring to it, the "Blog Bench"). You guys did what you could with what little you had and that is appreciated too. But it sure will be nice to have MM back. And thank you for the ban on MM ever leaving again *lol*. That should work.

=====================================

Hey Seely_Iggy, no offense taken. I agree with you. Not only did MM's and my vacations overlap, we were thinner than usual on the bench because a certain basketball editor who mainly posts about a certain EC team (neither names shall I mention b/c I know the reactions they elicit), was on a little R&R that overlapped ours.

i hearned that (I dig your handle, by the way), THANKS for the kudos and Fisher inference. In the summer, I have more time to fill in for MM with opinions and analysis since the workload is much lighter. From September through now, and then again from mid-March until the Lakers are done, we're crushed with workload in the office.

And look at that, JUSTA HATER and ouchhhhhhh are even (kind of) playing nice on the blog. Way cool.

alekesam, I'm going to remove part of your comment about LeBron that could be found offensive by some. I know it kind of upsets the balance of your post. Please watch how you frame your remarks. Thanks

Just swooping through comments to see if all is well. Take care.

Staples 24,

>>>So would you do a trade to NJ for Sasha and Farmar back to the Lakers for
>>> Barnes and Blake

No. You completely missed my point.

Last season, Farmar was maybe the 9th or 10th best Laker and Sasha was maybe 11th or 12th best.

This season, before he was traded, Sasha was like the 13th or 14th best player on the team... WELL behind Blake, Barnes, and Brown, and maybe behind Caracter and Ebanks as well.

Yet those guys are good enough to actually be strong contributors to a lowly team like the Nyets.

The Lakers CASTOFFS are good enough to help New Jersey beat a decent Atlanta team. I just wanted to point out to all the people who've been having a kniption fit because Sasha was still even on the roster and who celebrated his getting traded like it was New Years, that Sasha's not that bad a player. We're fortunate to have someone better in Shannon, but Sasha's not bad.

I hope Luke can stay healthy. If he can play at the level he played at today for the whole season and the playoffs, that would give the Lakers one more dimension to how they can play. Basically, Luke played PF today, taking Caracter's minutes. That won't fly vs big PFs, but today he did very well.

Luke got the ball to Bynum deep in the post 3 times - two layups and Drew got fouled once. He also stole the ball from Toronto a couple of times.

Whether Luke gets minutes or not (and I doubt he'll get this many minutes against bigger teams), it's good to see that he's healthy enough to contribute.

Why is it that Phil Jackson repeatedly benches Artest for the last half of 4th quarters?

The fact that the Lakers have played every Christmas game since 3 guys were wandering the desert guided by some star just isn't fair...they should have a rule like the All Star coach rule, you can't coach more than 2 years in a row....c'mon there are alot of good teams in the league, expose them, people are getting sick of seeing the Lakers vs Shaq, and Lebron vs whoever beat him in the playoffs the year before....

My bad, Dan. It does mess up the balance a bit but if it's going to keep the forum from being civil, then no worries. I'll try to infer next time instead of being so...blunt. =)

I just found it odd someone would want to 'get some azz' as oppossed to 'kicking some azz', that's all.

I love tht way steve blake plays. he doesn't score alot but his baskets are timely and something about the way he shoots it just seems like if we really need it he will make it. this is something that sasha should have been providing for the team but was never able to do. glad to see sasha gone and a big welcome to blake .

Blake is mentally stronger than Sasha, that's why. Plus, Blake just has a better overall game.

Trading Sasha was purely a salary dump, but a very valuable dump because of the luxury tax and there is money now to get a big man who is under age 35. PJ has favored Shannon for two years now because of his upside potential, but nobody can debate the role Sasha played in 2008 when he made 3's. Unfortunately, each mistake by Sasha and Farmar got magnified because they were playing with all stars. It will be interesting to see if they can bring a new attitude to the Nets and develop their games.

Meanwhile, Blake and Barnes have developed their games and are getting sufficient minutes to be happy. Whether or not Shannon stays happy remains to be seen. He shoots a lot when he is on the floor and the Lakers are affected by his shooting because of his shot volume. Shannon has earned this opportunity but very few players on their fourth team in 4 or 5 years become starters. Billups was able to hone his game after being traded several times. Maybe Shannon can do this and be the heir to D Fish. Who knows?

This Laker team is now mature, but they are too old to spend their energy during the regular season. Three straight finals appearances suggests they need to rest most of the year and turn the switch on with 10 games left. HCA will
mean nothing if Kobe, Pau or LO is not healthy come playoffs.

So I am happy to watch the killer B's develop this year, but I don't see this Laker team winning more than 56 games unless they avoid injuries. If they can somehow three-peat, it will be truly remarkable given that their competition is vastly improved over last year (celtics, heat and spurs)

Check out the Grinch getting back at Ron Artest for standing up the kids...

http://www.funnyordie.com/search/a?q=The+Grinch+that+Stole+Ron+Artest&x=16&y=7

Check out the Grinch getting back at Ron Artest for standing up kids at Christmas...

http://www.funnyordie.com/search/a?q=The+Grinch+that+Stole+Ron+Artest&x=16&y=7


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