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Category: Game Thread

Lakers somehow beat Dallas, 96-91

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Things could be worse for the Lakers. They can still win big games.

They lost a 14-point lead and couldn't make free throws in the final minute but held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks, 96-91, Wednesday at American Airlines Center.

Pau Gasol had 24 points and Andrew Bynum had 19 points and 14 rebounds as the Lakers' big men covered for one of Kobe Bryant's worst games this season. He had 15 points on four-for-15 shooting and committed seven turnovers.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Mavericks

Derek Fisher made big shots on consecutive possessions in the final minutes, a three-pointer and a driving hook that put the Lakers ahead, 89-82. Fisher finished with 15 points.

Bryant found Bynum for an alley-oop dunk, giving the Lakers a 93-86 lead with 1:05 to play. But the Lakers couldn't close out the game at that point. Matt Barnes, Bryant and Gasol each missed two free throws as Dallas closed to within 93-91.

Luckily for the Lakers, Barnes got the offensive rebound off Gasol's second missed free-throw, was quickly fouled and made both from the stripe to give the Lakers a 95-91 lead with 18.9 seconds left. The Mavericks didn't score again.

Vince Carter had 20 points for Dallas (21-13), but 18 were in the first half.

The Lakers (20-13) hadn't been back to Dallas since the Mavericks eliminated them here in the Western Conference semifinals last season.

The Lakers improved to 6-11 on the road.

Dallas forward Lamar Odom missed the game because of family reasons, the Mavericks said.

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-- Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Lakers forward Pau Gasol tries to put up a shot during the first half of Wednesday's victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Credit: Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press

Lakers tied with Dallas at halftime, 48-48

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Almost everything is going awry for the Lakers.

They lost a 14-point lead in the second quarter and were tied with the Dallas Mavericks, 48-48, at halftime Wednesday at American Airlines Center.

The Lakers were comfortably ahead until a Dallas surge late in the second quarter.

Pau Gasol has 16 points and Andrew Bynum has nine points as the Lakers have worked their post game to near perfection. Kobe Bryant has only five points on one-for-six shooting.

Vince Carter already has 18 points for Dallas (21-12).

Gasol was everywhere in the first quarter, scoring 12 points and feeding Bynum for two alley-oop dunks as the Lakers took a 25-21 lead into the second quarter.

The Lakers (19-13) hadn't been back to Dallas since the Mavericks eliminated them here in the Western Conference semifinals last season.

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Steve Blake, feeling stronger, is now able to lift Lakers

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-- Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Dallas guard Vince Carter, left, tries to get past Lakers guard Steve Blake during the first half of Wednesday's game. Credit: Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press

Lakers defeat the Trail Blazers, 103-92

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The Lakers showed again why they need to secure homecourt advantage through as many rounds as possible in the playoffs: They're nearly unbeatable at Staples Center.

They are now an impressive 14-2 at home after holding off a second-half charge from Portland during a 103-92 victory Monday night at Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant had 28 points on 13-for-26 shooting for the Lakers, who lost most of a 30-point lead before hanging on after the Trail Blazers had closed to within 10 points in the fourth quarter. Andrew Bynum added 14 points and 19 rebounds and Pau Gasol had 16 points and 12 rebounds.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Blazers

The Lakers reached the 100-point threshold for only the fifth time this season after getting a boost from reserve point guard Steve Blake, who had a season-high 17 points against his former team by making five of six three-pointers.

Now comes a much trickier stretch for the Lakers: back-to-back games on the road against Dallas and Oklahoma City starting Wednesday in Dallas. The Lakers are 5-11 on the road and would like to improve that record at least a smidgen before heading into the All-Star break this weekend.

Lakers 80, Trail Blazers 66 (end of third quarter)

This is how bad things were going for Portland: After Nicolas Batum blocked Steve Blake's shot late in the third quarter, the ball went back to Blake and the Lakers' reserve point guard made a three-pointer.

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Lakers lose to the Suns, 102-90, in Phoenix

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The Lakers can't get away from their poor play on the road, losing to the Phoenix Suns, 102-90, Sunday at US Airways Center.

The Lakers are 13-2 at home but a substandard 5-11 on the road.

Kobe Bryant's numbers looked nice at first glance (32 points, seven rebounds, five assists) but he committed an unsightly 10 turnovers and made only one of eight three-point attempts. Overall, he made 11 of 24 shots.

The Lakers were beaten badly in fastbreak points, 21-6, and they made only three of 18 three-point attempts (16.7%). They also made only 17 of 25 free throws (68%).

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Suns

The Lakers trailed by 27 points at one time in the third quarter.

Jared Dudley scored 25 points for the Suns (13-19). Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 15 rebounds.

Andrew Bynum had 16 points for the Lakers but didn't play as much as usual in the second half, replaced by Troy Murphy as the Lakers tried to shoot their way back into the game.

The road troubles are a worrying sign for the Lakers, particularly with games Wednesday and Thursday at Dallas and at Oklahoma City. First they take on Portland on Monday night at Staples Center.

The Lakers beat the Suns without much hassle last Friday, 111-99, but that was at Staples Center, of course.

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--Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant tries to get past the tight defense of Suns forward Grant Hill in the first half Sunday evening in Phoenix. Credit: Roy Dabner / EPA

Lakers trail Phoenix at halftime, 63-40

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The Lakers can't get away from their poor play on the road, trailing the Phoenix Suns at halftime by a surprisingly one-sided score, 63-40, Sunday at US Airways Center.

The Lakers are 13-2 at home but a substandard 5-10 on the road.

The Lakers were outrebounded by the smaller Suns in the first half, 27-22, and missed all six of their three-point attempts.

There was a discrepancy at the free-throw line, the Suns making 18 of 19 with the Lakers making six of nine.

Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum each had 12 points for the Lakers. Four Suns players scored in double figures, led by Jared Dudley and Grant Hill with 13 points each.

The lopsided score was strange because the Lakers just beat the Suns without much hassle Friday at Staples Center, 111-99.

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Lakers face tougher challenges on the road

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Pau Gasol fights frustrations as he struggles in the win over Phoenix

--Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Lakers point guard Derek Fisher tries to cut off a drive by Suns forward Grant Hill in the first half Sunday evening in Phoenix. Credit:  Matt York / Associated Press

Lakers beat Atlanta Hawks, 86-78

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The Lakers beat the Atlanta Hawks, 86-78, after holding the Hawks to 34.4% shooting Tuesday at Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant had 10 points and made only five of 18 shots as the Lakers improved to 12-2 at home. Pau Gasol also shot poorly, scoring 20 points on nine-for-22 shooting.

Andrew Bynum was their most consistent shooter, making seven of 10 shots and finishing with 15 points. He also had 15 rebounds.

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-- Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Lakers forward Pau Gasol, left, dunks during the first half of Tuesday's victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Lakers lose to New York, 92-85

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The Lakers learned all about "Lin-sanity," losing to the New York Knicks while second-year point guard Jeremy Lin ripped right through them.

Lin had 38 points and seven assists for the Knicks, who won, 92-85, Friday at Madison Square Garden.

The first Chinese-American player in the NBA, Lin has led the Knicks to a four consecutive victories since he started receiving significant playing time.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Knicks

The Lakers (15-12) weren't just awful in stopping Lin. They were bad pretty much everywhere, shooting 37.5% and committing 17 turnovers. Kobe Bryant had 34 points on ragged 11-for-29 shooting.

Andrew Bynum had a forgettable night, scoring three points on one-for-eight shooting. Derek Fisher and Steve Blake missed a combined 14 of 18 shots.

The Lakers fell to 4-10 on the road, their overtime victory in Boston the previous night more of a fluke than a trend, apparently.

The Knicks (12-15) played without two starters: Carmelo Anthony was sidelined by a strained groin and Amare Stoudemire was away from the team because his brother died earlier this week.

The Lakers fell to 2-3 on their season-long six-game road trip, which ends Sunday in Toronto.

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-- Mike Bresnahan

Photo: New York guard Jeremy Lin reacts after a Knicks' basket during the Lakers' 92-85 loss Friday. Credit: Andrew Gombert / EPA

Lakers finally break 100 and win on road, beat Minnesota, 106-101

Lakers1_350Finally, times two.

The Lakers won a road game and ended a team-record 13-game streak of games under 100 points, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 106-101, Sunday at Target Center.

Kobe Bryant had 35 points and Pau Gasol scored 28 for the Lakers (12-9), who improved to 2-7 on the road. Bryant set a franchise record in the second quarter when he made his 9,936th career field goal, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Wolves

Bryant made 14 of 29 shots in the game and now has 9,946 career field goals.

Bryant and Gasol played the entire second half. The Lakers held an 18-point lead with 4:53 to play in the third quarter, somehow trailed by two in the fourth quarter, but managed to push past Minnesota.

Metta World Peace started for the first time this season, replacing Matt Barnes in the lineup and finishing with two points in 33 minutes.

The Lakers hadn't scored more than 100 points in 13 consecutive games, a team record for futility since the shot clock was introduced in 1954.

The Lakers looked better against Minnesota than they did Saturday in Milwaukee. Gasol made only six of 18 shots in that game, which the Lakers lost, 100-89.

Gasol made 11 of 15 shots against Minnesota

Kevin Love had 33 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota (9-11).

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--Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives around Timberwolves guard Wayne Ellington in the first half on Sunday in Minneapolis. Credit: Jim Mone / Associated Press

Pacers 98, Lakers 96 (final)

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That went downhill fast.

The Lakers looked like they were headed to another home victory in the final minutes before Indiana rallied, becoming the first visiting team to win at Staples Center since the Chicago Bulls in the Dec. 25 season opener.

The Lakers are now 9-2 at home.

Less than a week after he made a late three-pointer to beat Dallas, Derek Fisher tried to be the hero again, taking a short floater with his team trailing by a point with about 15 seconds left. But the shot missed and the ball went out of bounds to the Pacers.

The Lakers fouled Darren Collison, who made two free throws to give Indiana a 97-94 lead with 8.7 seconds left. Kobe Bryant's long three-point shot from the top of the key was off the mark with 2.4 seconds left and the Pacers got the rebound.

The Lakers had held a 94-91 lead when Fisher made an open jumper after Collison had fallen down.

But the Pacers rallied, with center Roy Hibbert making a hook shot to pull them to within a point. After Pau Gasol missed a jumper, Hibbert fed Collison for a driving layup that gave Indiana a 95-94 lead.

Matt Barnes then missed a three-pointer for the Lakers, and the Pacers grabbed the rebound and called timeout with 47 seconds left.

Bryant scored 33 points on 14-for-30 shooting and Andrew Bynum finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.

Hibbert, playing with cotton stuffed in his nose after taking a shot to the face early in the game, had 18 points as one of six Pacers to score in double figures.

The Lakers reserves had opened the quarter by scoring the first six points to open an 84-77 lead. But the Pacers were undeterred, with Hibbert scoring six consecutive points on a putback and a pair of hook shots.

Collison's three-pointer eventually tied the score at 86-86 before the teams started their back-and-forth battle to the finish.

Lakers 78, Pacers 77 (end of third quarter)

Wanted: perimeter defense.

The Lakers didn't have much during a third quarter in which Indiana made five of seven three-pointers to take the lead before Kobe Bryant's baseline jumper at the buzzer put the Lakers back on top.

Continue reading »

Lakers almost a no-show against Miami in 98-87 loss

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The Lakers continued to suffer on the road, losing to the Miami Heat, 98-87, in a bland offensive display Thursday that wasn't as close as the score showed at American Airlines Arena.

Kobe Bryant had 24 points on eight-for-21 shooting, starters Matt Barnes and Derek Fisher combined for five points, and there wasn't much of anything for their followers to enjoy.

The Lakers trailed after three quarters, 77-56, making the score somewhat more respectable with a late scoring burst.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Heat

LeBron James played despite skipping the Heat's shoot-around earlier in the day because of flu-like symptoms. He had 31 points, eight assists and eight rebounds.

Bryant was the main story, continuing his cold shooting after a rough game Tuesday against Dallas in which he missed 15 of 22 shots. He had six points in the first half against Miami.

Pau Gasol had one of his best games this season, scoring 26 points on 11-for-19 shooting and taking eight rebounds.

Dwyane Wade did not play for the Heat because of a sprained ankle. He was averaging 19.6 points.

The Lakers (10-6) play in Orlando on Friday.

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Andrew Bynum maintains top vote for All-Star game

--Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant goes for the steal as Heat forward LeBron James works in the post Thursday night at American Airlines Arena in Miami. Credit: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

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