Lakers Gameday | 10/18/08 | Lakers 108 vs FC Barcelona 104 - Preseason Game 4

Team 1 2 3 4 F
FC Barcelona 19 25 24 36 104
Los Angeles Lakers 29 24 30 25 108

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  • Lakers beat Gasol's old team 108-104

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant scored 28 points and the Los Angeles Lakers beat FC Barcelona, Pau Gasol's old team, 108-104 on Saturday night in an exhibition game.

    Gasol, who was born in Barcelona and lives there during the offseason, spent five years with the team he helped beat at Staples Center. He finished with 13 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes.

    Juan Carlos Navarro, the only member of FC Barcelona who played for Spain at the Beijing Olympics, scored 34 points in 41 minutes. As per the custom at games between teams from different countries, the Lakers and the Barcelona players exchanged gifts moments before the player introductions.

    The U.S. Olympic team beat Spain 118-107 in the gold medal game despite 21 points from Gasol and 18 from Navarro. Bryant was on the U.S. team that brought back America's first Olympic basketball championship since 2000.

    Gasol and Navarro also were teammates with the Memphis Grizzlies last season before Gasol was traded to the Lakers on Feb. 1 in a multiplayer deal that sent Kwame Brown to Memphis. Navarro is one of four players on this FC Barcelona squad with NBA experience, along with Andre Barrett, Daniel Santiago and Ersan Ilyasova.

    The Lakers were the fourth NBA team FC Barcelona has played against, and the first on American soil. They lost to Denver by 34 points in the 1989 McDonald's Championship at Rome, lost to the Grizzlies by nine points in October 2003, and beat Philadelphia 104-99 in October 2006. They also played a team of NBA All-Stars to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their team, and lost.

    The Lakers took the lead for good early in the first quarter, building their margin to 40-19 with an 11-0 run capped by Chris Mihm's two free throws with 7:56 left in the second quarter. Barcelona stormed back with a 23-3 burst, slicing the deficit to 43-42 on David Andersen's 21-footer with 1:47 left in the half.

    The defending Western Conference champions converted 20 Barcelona turnovers into 35 points through the first three quarters, and the visitors couldn't recover. Bryant scored 12 points in the third, going to the bench with 1:38 left in the quarter and the Lakers ahead 79-67. The reigning NBA MVP was 10-for-14 from the field in 27 minutes.

    Jordan Farmar, Trevor Ariza and DJ Mbenga helped keep Barcelona at bay despite a 17-point fourth quarter by Navarro. Navarro's 3-pointer cut the margin to 101-94 with 1:16 to play, and the visitors got as close as four after Navarro made one of two free throws with 46 seconds left. But Mihm responded with a clutch three-point play to help secure the win.


    FC Barcelona - LAKERS PREVIEW
    by Mike Trudell, Lakers.com

    Among the best clubs in one of Europe’s best leagues (Spain’s Liga ACB), Regal FC Barcelona is set to take on the Lakers at 7:30 p.m. at STAPLES Center in the first of five games in seven days for L.A.

    While Barcelona promises to provide a good challenge with its efficient, solid-shooting team, earning a Laker win is less important than continuing to build on a solid week of practice.

    “Right now we’re concentrating on trying to get our stuff together,” said assistant coach Brian Shaw. “Whatever opponent we have to play we’ll adjust to.”

    Featuring Spanish National Team star, former Memphis Grizzly and Pau Gasol’s best friend Juan Carlos Navarro, the Spanish side lost in the ACB Super Cup semis to another solid club - TAU Ceramica - with whom it is currently tied atop the new season’s standings.

    Here’s what Barcelona’s website had to say about Navarro:

    “Extremely talented offensive player who impresses fans with his remarkable scoring prowess. His rapid three-pointer shots and speed on approaching the hoop have brought him the nickname the Bomba, given to him by Coach Agustí Cuesta when he managed the junior side. One of Juan Carlos Navarro’s main virtues is his ability to decide when, how, where and with who he wants to play at any given time. This, combined with great technical skills and rapid execution, has made him into one of Europe’s top players.”

    Silky writing aside, no one knows Navarro’s skill level better than Gasol, who said Juan Carlos was always the better player as they grew up in Barcelona’s club together … At least for three years or so, when Gasol leapt past everybody. Shaw said that the Lakers wouldn’t talk about Barcelona too much until shootaround on Saturday morning, and that he expected Gasol to do much of the talking about player tendencies and the like.

    Shaw added that the Lakers coaches would like to see “better communication defensively” particularly on the pick and roll, and that they’d have to execute against some expected zone defense employed by the Spanish club.

    Regal FC Barcelona does have some other players whom you may remember, such as former Seton Hall star Andre Barret, a quick, skilled point guard from the Bronx who played for the Clippers, Rockets and Magic.

    At first surprising is that the Spanish giants have just four players from Spain, in addition to one player each from Italy, the U.S., Czech Republic, Slovenia, Australia, Turkey and Puerto Rico. Talk about the United Nations…

    Make sure to check Lakers.com for live updates throughout the game.


    (/NBAE/Getty Images)

    Lakers LogoLos Angeles Lakers

    INJURY REPORT
    • Sun Yue (mononucleosis) is probable.
    • Sasha Vujacic (moderate sprain, left ankle) is doubtful.
    • Luke Walton (right ankle surgery) is out.
    Barcelona Logo FC Barcelona

    INJURY REPORT

    None


    LAKERS BEST
    Points
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    28
    Rebounds
    Lamar Odom
    L. Odom
    8
    Assists
    Jordan Farmar
    J. Farmar
    5
    Plus/Minus
    Pau Gasol
    P. Gasol
    +13

    POST-GAME NUMBERS
  • 28 - points for Kobe Bryant who shot an impressive 10-14 from the field.
  • +13 - for Pau Gasol who played a solid game against his former team, he added three rebounds and two assists. Andrew Bynum also contributed thirteen points towards the win.
  • 10 - points accumulated by both Trevor Ariza and Chris Mihm.
  • 8 - rebounds by Lamar Odom to lead the Lakers, Lamar had five assists and seven points.
  • 55% - field goal percentage which is the highest the Lakers have shot in the pre-season.
  • ---Francisco Gomez, Lakers.com
    PHOTOS

    PROBABLE STARTERS *All starters are probable and subject to change
    Los Angeles Lakers
    Guard
    Derek Fisher
    D. Fisher
    Guard
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    Forward
    Pau Gasol
    P. Gasol
    Forward
    Vladimir Radmanovic
    V. Radmanovic
    Center
    Andrew Bynum
    A. Bynum
    FC Barcelona
    Guard
    Jaka Lakovic
    J. Lakovic
    Guard
    Lubos Barton
    L.Barton
    Forward
    Gianluca Basile
    G. Basile
    Forward
    Ersan Ilyasova
    E.Ilyasova
    Center
    Daniel Gregg Santiago Lynn
    D. Santiago

    GAME NOTES
    NOTES & CONNECTIONS

    REGAL FC BARCELONA BACKGROUND
    Among the few guarantees going into any basketball season, 2008-09 included, is that F.C. Barcelona will start with ambitious intentions of being a top contender again in every competition the team plays. That comes as no surprise, knowing that Barcelona has won seven of the last 14 Spanish League titles, and in the spring of 2003 conquered a triple crown - victories in the Spanish League, Spanish King's Cup and, above all, the Euroleague Final Four. The club's first continental title was won at Palau Saint Jordi in Barcelona before its home fans and stands as the brightest moment in club history, made possible by Dejan Bodiroga, Gregor Fucka, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Juan Carlos Navarro and coach Svetislav Pesic. Their signature triumph punctuated a great history of accomplishment at the club. Over the years, Barcelona had already clinched several European trophies - Saporta Cups in 1985 and 1986 and Korac Cups in 1987 and 1999 - to go with its tremendous national success. In Spain, Barcelona has piled up 19 national cup victories, the first four coming way back in the 1940s, and 14 Spanish League titles, all but one of them coming after 1980, not to mention 15 more second-place domestic finishes. But until 2003, Barcelona had one vacancy in its trophy case. The team had reached the Final Four as many as seven times before, and lost another continental final in 1984, so the euphoric relief that came with its 2003 Euroleague victory in front of nearly 17,000 fans remains a fresh, joyous memory that the team hopes to repeat. Even though Bodiroga earned MVP honors and became the big hero for Barcelona fans, others who gave the club it's winning legacy - like Nacho Solozabal, Chicho Sibilio, Juan Antonio "Epi" San Epifanio, Audie Norris, Arturas Karnisovas, Sasha Djordjevic and head coach Aito Garcia Reneses - could also share in the glory the club had worked hard for many years to achieve. Since then, Barcelona has returned to the Final Four once, in 2006, losing against eventual champion CSKA Moscow in the semifinals. Barcelona won the Spanish King's Cup title in 2007, when it also reached the Euroleague Quarterfinal Playoffs and the Spanish League finals. The 2007-08 season was a truly rare on in which Barcelona did not raise any trophy at all. Even with that, the team returned to the Spanish League finals and the Euroleague playoffs but Tau Ceramica and Maccabi Tel Aviv, respectively, stood on its way to success. A season without trophies only assures that Barcelona's hunger for the next one is even greater as it looks ahead to 2008-09.

    LAKERS UPDATES

    SHOOTOUT
    For the NINTH consecutive season, the Lakers will host a four-team shootout at STAPLES Center from October 18-19. This season, the Toronto Raptors will face the LA
    Clippers in the first game Saturday, October 18 at 4:30 pm followed by the Lakers taking on Regal FC Barcelona at 7:30 pm. The following day on Sunday, October 19,
    the match-ups will be determined by the outcome of Saturday’s games, winners playing winners, losers playing losers. Regardless of outcome, the Lakers will play in the
    second game at 7:30 pm. Since the inception of the STAPLES Center shootout, the Lakers have gone 10-6, 4-4 in the FIRST game and 6-2 in the SECOND.

    BACK-TO-BACK
    The Lakers STAPLES Center Shootout is one of two sets of back-to-back games that they will play during the 2008 preseason; the other coming when the Lakers travel to
    Anaheim to face Charlotte October 23 and then head to Ontario where they will meet Oklahoma City October 24. This year, the Lakers will play 19 sets of back-to-back
    games during the 2008-09 regular season after having played 17 sets of back-to-backs in each of the previous two seasons. Last season, the Lakers were 13-4 in the first
    game and 12-5 in the second game of back-to-backs.

    LAKERS vs. SHOOTOUT OPPONENTS
    While the Lakers have never faced FC Barcelona or Toronto in the preseason, they have played the Clippers 20 times in the preseason dating back to September of 1979,
    meeting not only in Los Angeles but also in Anaheim, CA, Anchorage, AK, Fresno, CA, Las Vegas, NV, San Diego, CA and St. Louis, MO. The Lakers have gone 13-7 against the
    Clippers in the preseason but lost their most recent meeting 80-107 earlier this month in Fresno, CA. The Lakers and Clippers have met three times in the STAPLES Center
    Shootout with the Lakers going 1-2 in those games, including a 96-112 loss to the Clippers last season in the second game of the event on October 21, 2007.