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Category: Post Game Wrap

Lakers 108, Phoenix 88: Second verse, same as the first

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes the camera battery kicks it before a postgame Jordan Farmar dunks against Phoenixvideo can be recorded. Sunday night at Staples, there was a little of all three. With a 108-88 victory, their ninth straight, the Lakers made losers out of the Suns, and as you can see, we ran out of talking picture juice. But honestly, had Andy and I recorded something, it would a) likely have forced us to miss games and head to Cannes to seal some sort of three picture deal, so good it would have been, and b) sounded a lot like the one from the first time these teams met, a 121-102 win for the purple and gold back on Nov. 12.

There were certainly strong similarities between the two games, beyond the large margin of victory. Start with another great performance from Kobe Bryant. Sunday night, he went for an easy, breezy 26 on 9-16 shooting, including a pair of triples in four attempts, with seven boards and three assists to round out the line. Just as it was in November, the Lakers built out a nice halftime lead (10 points) and increased it in the third quarter (up to 21). 

But the biggest similarity was in the style of game the Lakers played. It was smart. It played to strengths. It was efficient. It was disciplined.

And once again, it nourished fans both figuratively (Monday morning is always better after a 20 point win) and literally (tacos for all the people). Breakdown below...

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Lakers 108, Miami 107: Game winning shot strengthens Kobe Bryant's All Star bid

Because you'd rather watch this guy...

...instead of these guys...

Kamenetzkys Acting Stupid

...we'll skip the traditional video introduction. Breakdown below...

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Lakers 110, New Orleans 99: Feeling seven up, they're feeling seven up

I'm not sure that lighting does me any favors.

Anyway, the breakdown, plus heaps of video, is below...


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Lakers 106, New Jersey 87: Who are they to stand in the way of history?

League rules mandated 48 minutes of basketball had to be played, but practically speaking the Kobe Bryant protests a foul call against the Nets Lakers' 106-87 romp over the Nets Sunday night at Staples was over the instant iconic PA announcer Lawrence Tanter introduced Trenton Hassell and Josh Boone as New Jersey's starting small and power forwards. A few things were abundantly clear: A) this was not going to be a fair fight, B) an obvious lack of high end NBA talent and a brutal run of injuries meant Jersey had come by its (heretofore) 0-16 record honestly, and C) it mattered not if they were coached by Lawrence's Frank, Tanter, Taylor, Welk, or Arabia (or in this case, Tom Barrise, manning the sidelines for Frank, fired by the Nets Sunday morning), New Jersey was a virtual lock to tie the NBA's record for worst start to a season. 

The Lakers used a 17-4 run at the end of the first quarter- one in which the Nets scored all of 12 points- to remove "virtual" from the equation. 36 minutes later, the Nets had indeed lost their 17th consecutive game, officially making share of history the only thing they've won all year.

The monumental disparity in talent between the two squads makes it tough to draw many- any- real lessons about the home team's play. Truly this was a night for rubbernecking this wreck of an NBA franchise. Still, a few notes: 

  • Just as they did Saturday night, the Lakers didn't toy with an inferior opponent like an orca might a penguin. Nope, they just got down to eating, never leaving even the slightest ray of hope for the Nets. No question the Lakers haven't played top shelf teams of late, but the trend has been to get ahead early, and it's a positive one.
  • Kobe Bryant made five three pointers tonight, one shy of his total for the month of November. Phil Jackson said after the game that it was important for Kobe, who dedicated his summer to post work and has practically lived there to this point in the season, to again find a rhythm in his face up game. Kobe downplayed it, but doesn't strike me as the sort to be satisfied with the 20% clip at which he was hitting triples coming into the game, and noted that he spent time over the course of the day working on his jumper.
  • Jordan Farmar hit three of his four attempts from downtown, and finished with 15 points. He and Shannon Brown both seem to be benefiting from Phil Jackson's move to shorten the guard rotation, basically at the expense of Sasha Vujacic.

Truly, this night was about the Pluto Nash-esque train wreck that is the once-proud Nets. That doesn't mean we don't have Lakers video. Click below for the moving pictures.


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Lakers 101, Thunder 85: Just your average YouTube-makin', Black Eyed Peas-singin', Jay-Z Jumbotronin' Sunday night win

Sunday funday, indeed.

Breakdown below.

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Lakers 106, Pistons 93: Don't trust anyone over 40. Unless it's Kobe. Then trust him 100 times.

Order, she has been restored.

Breakdown below...

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Houston 101, Lakers 91: Kobe Bryant's groin was one of many painful things

Well, that sucked.

Breakdown below...

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Lakers 121, Phoenix 102: The power of positively smart thinking

Fair to say the Lakers handled the first half of their toughest back-to-back to date with style. 

Breakdown below.

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Lakers 114, Memphis 98: Kobe Bryant dominates the post

Gave myself a nice shave of the dome before heading to the arena tonight. With a machete and some Barbasol, far as you know.

More breakdown below.

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Lakers 103, Houston 102 (OT): Postgame chat

Well, it took five extra minutes and a lot of anxiety, but the Lakers pulled out back-to-back road wins in Kobe Bryant drives by Trevor Ariza 11.4 overtime, this time against the Houston Rockets.  Like the previous night's muddy, often ugly work in Oklahoma City, there were aspects enjoyable, along with some elements I could have done without.   But it's a win, and I'll always accept a "W" with very little arm twisting.

The Good
  • 24 hours removed from treating the ball like it was a greased pig (26 turnovers vs. Oklahoma City), the Lakers took considerably better care of the rock.  Only nine gaffes this time around. In a game where you don't play even close to your best, it helps to minimize the damage on some level. By contrast, Houston had nineteen turnovers. 
  • Some terrific defensive teamwork by Derek Fisher and Andrew Bynum on high screen and roll coverage down the fourth quarter stretch, which sparked dry Houston possessions. The Lakers then capitalized, which allowed them get back into the game and force the bonus period.  While the defense was anything but perfect on the night, it definitely got better as the game progressed.
  • Despite some missed assignments and bunnies, Drew's 17/17 effort was pretty strong. 
  • 41 points for Kobe Bryant, with six in OT.  As the minutes increased, so did the degree of difficulty for many of those shots.  There's a reason the guy is often referred to as the game's best closer.
  • "Traded" players Ron Artest and Trevor Ariza trading threes to force OT.  You can't script that stuff, but you'd sure like to, so it's awesome when real life has a sense of drama.
  • Not an incredible effort from the bench, but trending upward.
  • Getting 'er done.  Bottom line.

The Not as Good

  • Houston beating the Lakers 54-48 on the glass, with seventeen offensive boards.  It's a team of midgets.  Granted, they're midgets talented at rebounding, but they're also just a crew of hustlers.  You have to expect that and meet the energy.  The Lakers didn't and allowed way too many second and third chances.  And on a related note, too many layups.
  • By and large, the ball movement was stagnant, with way too few looks inside to capitalize on LA's size advantage.
  • Fisher: 0-5 with a goose egg in the scoring column.  Granted, he had some huge plays in critical moments (including defense and a steal on Houston's final possession), but they needed more from him on the offensive end.  And his overall D on Brooks was spotty.
  • Allowing Carl Landry to score 20 off the bench and Chuck Hayes to score 14... period. 
  • Lamar Odom's first half.  1-8 for a trio of points.  Ouch!
Jabber box below for the chat.

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