Lakers Gameday | 10/28/08 | Lakers 96, Blazers 76

Lakers LogoLos Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant driving past Travis Outlaw Portland  LogoPortland Trail Blazers
Injury Report Injury Report
  • Sasha Vujacic (G) - Ankle (Day-to-Day)

  • Kobe Bryant (G) - Knee (Day-to-Day)

  • Team 1 2 3 4 F
    Portland Trail Blazers 14 20 19 23 76
    Los Angeles Lakers 24 25 23 24 96
    • Raef LaFrentz (C) - Shoulder (Mid-March)

    • Martell Webster (G) - Foot (Two Months)


  • 23 - points for Kobe Bryant who exploded with eleven points in the third quarter. He lead the Lakers, with his twenty three points and eleven rebounds.
  • +20 - for Derek Fisher who also contributed with five rebounds,two assists and six points.
  • 15 - points scored by Pau Gasol who again shot great from the floor. Seven for ten shooting, while adding seven boards and one assist.
  • 9 - total points added from Lamar Odom and Jordan Farmar. The bench mob was great in this game keeping the pace the starters had set for the game.
  • 8- points scored by each of the two starters Andrew Bynum and Vladimir Radmanovic. Vladimir shot effectively from beyond the arc, and also grabbed five boards.
  • 70% - shooting from beyond the arc by the Lakers that helped them cruise by the first game of the season. From the field they shot forty seven percent.
  • ---Francisco Gomez,
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    Jordan Farmar
    J. Farmar
    Derek Fisher
    D. Fisher

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    Los Angeles Lakers Portland Trail Blazers
    Derek Fisher
    D. Fisher
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    Vladimir Radmanovic
    V. Radmanovic
    Pau Gasol
    P. Gasol
    Andrew Bynum
    A. Bynum
    Steve Blake
    S. Blake
    Brandon Roy
    B. Roy
    Travis Outlaw
    T. Outlaw
    Lamarcus Aldrige
    L. Aldridge
    Greg Oden
    G. Oden


    Lakers open with 96-76 win over Trail Blazers

    LOS ANGELES(AP) Kobe Bryant had 23 points, 11 rebounds and five assists Tuesday night, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 96-76 season-opening victory over the Portland Trail Blazers and spoiling rookie Greg Oden's debut, which was cut short by another injury.

    Bryant orchestrated a well-balanced offense for the Lakers, who also played tenacious defense.

    Pau Gasol had all of his 15 points in the first half as Los Angeles moved in front to stay. Trevor Ariz added 11 points and Andrew Bynum, back after sitting out the last part of last season with a knee injury, had eight points and three rebounds.

    Oden's first NBA game didn't last long; the 20-year-old center left the game late in the first half with an injured right foot after taking four shots and going scoreless. He had five rebounds, one turnover, blocked one shot and picked up two fouls while playing 12:51.

    X-rays were negative and the injury was diagnosed as a sprain. Oden will undergo an MRI on Wednesday.

    Oden, taken by Portland with the first pick in the 2007 draft, missed all last season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee.

    Travis Outlaw led Portland with 18 points and Rudy Fernandez had 16.

    The Lakers were in control of the game virtually from the start, but the Trail Blazers briefly made it interesting when they cut the deficit to 49-41 early in the third quarter. Bryant, however, hit a 3, made a reverse layup, then sank four consecutive free throws to build the lead back to 17 points, and Los Angeles led 72-53 heading into the final 12 minutes.

    The Lakers were Western Conference champions last season and lost to Boston in the NBA finals.

    Los Angeles opened a 46-24 lead when Bryant pulled up and hit an 11-footer with 3:06 left in the second quarter and was up 49-34 at halftime.

    Gasol had 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting by the break, the only Laker in double figures. Bryant, who had six points, did have five assists.

    Outlaw and Fernandez were high scorers for Portland with nine points each in the first half, when the Trail Blazers shot just 31 percent from the field. They finished at 34.5, to the Lakers' 47.

    Gasol had nine points in the first quarter to help Los Angeles pull out to a 24-14 lead by the end of the period. The Blazers went 7-of-24, including Brandon Roy missing all six of his shots, in the first 12 minutes and no Portland player had more than four points.

    He missed his first nine but finished 5-of-15 for 14 points.

    Notes: Along with the usual cast of celebritiess that included actors Jack Nicholson and Denzel Washington, soccer's David Beckham was sitting courtside. ... Bynum averaged 13.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks and shot a league-best 63.6 percent from the floor in 35 games before injuring his knee. ... Portland, coming off a .500 season, hasn't made the playoffs since 2002-03, the league's longest current streak. ... Late in the first quarter, the Lakers' Lamar Odom drove the lane, glanced to his right and whipped a perfect pass to Sasha Vujacic in the corner. Only Vujacic was in his warmup jacket beyond the sideline and had stood up from the bench to watch Odom go to the hoop. Vujacic caught the ball and smiled, and Odom could only grin sheepishly.

    Copyright 2008 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited

    by Mike Trudell,

    You know how many players from the 2007-08 L.A. Clippers are on the organization’s current roster?


    In fact, the squad is almost as new as the Clips sparkling new practice facility in Marina Del Rey. As such, it would have been nice for Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, Eric Gordon, Ricky Davis and the rest of the newcomers to spend a good amount of time on the preseason floor with mainstays Chris Kaman, Cuttino Mobley and last year’s first-round pick Al Thornton. But due to a slew of minor injuries, it just didn’t happen.

    Which is why watching the Lakers absolutely destroy a talented young Portland team 96-76 Tuesday night at STAPLES Center had to be at least a bit disheartening to L.A.’s other basketball team. The Lakers just aren’t the best team against which to try and figure out your roster. As for Wednesday night’s contest, Camby’s the only Clipper expected to miss the 7:30 p.m. tip in an KCAL HD televised game.

    To learn as much as we could about the team that will play host to the Lakers tonight, we called up Clippers radio play-by-play voice Brian Sieman.

    Have a listen if you like.

    A few points for those of you that like cliff notes:

    • Baron Davis is healthy and fully ready for the season, telling Sieman that he’d like the Clips to stay at around .500 while they learn to play with each other leading into a second-half run.
    • Marcus Camby won’t play against the Lakers but, to no one’s surprise, will almost certainly play against the team that traded him against his will (Denver) on Friday.
    • Ricky Davis has been fantastic in the preseason and Sieman expects him to contend for Sixth Man of the Year honors.
    • Anything fewer than 15 points a game will be a disappointment for Al Thornton, who averaged 16+ after the All-Star break last season.
    • Eric Gordon is an explosive scorer with a smooth stroke who mustn’t be ignored despite his youth.

    See you at STAPLES…

    Blazers and Lakers 10/28 Preview

    Kobe Bryant carried the Los Angeles Lakers all the way to the NBA finals last season, but fell short in his quest to win a fourth title.

    The league's reigning MVP again has his sights set on a championship run, and the return of emerging star Andrew Bynum could make that journey easier.

    The Portland Trail Blazers, meanwhile, also have a center they are counting on to one day help them to a championship, as former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden is set to make his NBA debut after sitting out all of last season.

    Bryant and Bynum look to get off the Lakers off to a strong start to the season Tuesday night when they host the young and talented Blazers, who are seeking their first playoff appearance in six years.

    Los Angeles finished a Western Conference-best 57-25 last season and advanced to the finals for the first time since 2004, losing to Boston in six games. The Celtics won by frustrating league MVP Bryant defensively and dominating under the basket.

    Controlling the paint likely would have been harder for Boston to do had the 7-foot, 285-pound Bynum been healthy. Los Angeles is counting on him to take some of the defensive pressure off Bryant and give the 10-time All-Star better looks at the basket, while also strengthening the team's play down low in 2008-09.

    "It was just about getting stronger over the summer, not necessarily about getting tougher," said Bryant, whose 28.3-point average ranked second in the league last season. "Boston was a stronger team. What we want to shore up is becoming a better defensive team."

    Bynum was helping the Lakers do that last season before dislocating his left kneecap in January. He averaged 13.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting a league-best 63.6 percent from the field in 35 games before his injury.

    "I feel fine, the knee is fine," said Bynum, who turned 21 years old Monday. "I'm definitely 100 percent."

    With Bynum in the middle and 7-foot Pau Gasol at power forward, the Lakers' rebounding and shot blocking figure to improve.

    Gasol was acquired from Memphis on Feb. 1 and averaged 16.9 points and 9.3 rebounds in 21 playoff games for the Lakers.

    "We're in much better position now than we were (last season at this time)," said Bryant, who helped lead the United States to a victory over Gasol and Spain in the gold-medal game at the Beijing Olympics. "We're the favorites for a reason. We got all the tools here, now it's on us to do the work."

    The Trail Blazers are not considered title contenders like the Lakers, but Portland is expected to make a run at the playoffs now that all its key parts are in place.

    The Blazers, who haven't been to the playoffs since 2002-03, finished 10th in the West last season at 41-41. They posted a .500 record for the first time since 2003-04 despite playing without Oden, the top pick in the 2007 draft.

    The 7-foot, 250-pound Oden missed the season after microfracture surgery on his right knee, but he appears ready to go after averaging 11.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in six preseason games.

    "I'm excited,'' the 20-year-old center said. "I'm ready to get back and doing what I'm used to doing. There's really nothing else I can say about that. It's just a lot of excitement built up.''

    In addition to Oden, the Blazers have a pair of emerging young stars in guard Brandon Roy and forward LaMarcus Aldridge.

    The 24-year-old Roy averaged 19.1 points, 5.8 assists and 4.7 rebounds last season and made the All-Star team. Aldridge, 23, averaged 17.8 points and 7.6 rebounds, boosting his scoring by 9.0 points per game from his rookie season of 2006-07 - the second-best such improvement in the league.

    "For the past two seasons it's been like, 'They're young, they're going to need some time,''' said Roy, who averaged 21.5 points and 12.0 assists in the two games he played against Los Angeles last season - both wins. "It doesn't feel like that this season.''

    The Lakers and Blazers split their four meetings in 2007-08, each team winning twice at home.

    Los Angeles has won three straight home games over Portland and 12 of the last 14 meetings at Staples Center.

    Bryant has averaged 37.1 points in 11 games against the Blazers since the start of the 2005-06 season - his highest scoring average against any West opponent in that span.

    Copyright 2008 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
    Tonight we face a familiar coach running the same system we have seen for years but with some new faces. The Clippers have nine new players this season.

    Since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season, the Lakers are 32-16 in ROAD OPENERS (first road game of the year) after last season’s November 2 victory at
    Phoenix. In their last 12 road openers, the Lakers are 10-2 and have won their last three straight overall.
    This will be the third time the Lakers have opened their road schedule against the Clippers with the previous two meetings resulting in victories: 103-102 win at San Diego
    (10/12/79) and 114-102 OT win at LA Clippers 11/6/92 (both games were season openers for the Lakers as well).

    Tuesday’s game against the Trail Blazers is the first of a set of back-to-backs with Portland and the LA Clippers. This is the fourth time in the last five seasons (not in 2007-08) that the Lakers have opened the year with back-to-back games. 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.

    The Lakers 96-76 opening night victory over the Portland Trail Blazers was the team’s first wire-to-wire victory of the season. Last season, the Lakers did not record their
    first wire-to-wire victory until December 16 vs. LA Clippers. In 2007-08, the Lakers ranked second in the NBA behind only the Dallas Mavericks (18) with 15 wire-to-wire
    victories (games in which they never trailed). The Lakers also posted four such victories during the 2008 postseason, going wire-to-wire against the Jazz in Games 5 and 6
    of the Western Conference Semifinals versus Utah and Games 2 and 4 of the Western Conference Finals versus San Antonio. Conversely, the Lakers played just two
    games last season in which the opposite was true, having never led in their 11/23/07 loss at Boston and 1/17/08 loss to Phoenix.


    The Lakers swept their season series with the Clippers 4-0 in 2007-08 for the first time since the 2002-03 season (4-0) after splitting their meetings 2-2 in each of the previous three seasons. The two teams have met 177 times overall and on 111 occasions since the Clippers moved to Los Angeles. Overall, the Lakers have lost just two series in franchise history (1992- 93 & 1974-75) to the Clippers. The Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Clippers. At home against the Clippers, the Lakers are 14-4 all-time at STAPLES Center and have gone 7-3 in their last 10 home contests. In their 119-82 victory 3/7/08, the 37-point margin of victory was the Lakers largest margin of victory over the Clippers since they moved from San Diego to Los Angeles prior to the 1984-85 season. On the road against the Clippers, the Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 games as a visitor at STAPLES Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 25-7 versus the Clippers. In 46 career games versus the Clippers including 38 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 25.1 points. Additionally, Bryant has posted two 50-point games against the Clippers, most recently 4/12/07 vs. LAC (other: 50 points 1/7/06 @ LAC). With the departures of Elton Brand and Corey Maggette this offseason, no Clippers remain from Lamar Odom’s time. Current Clippers Head Coach and General Manager Mike Dunleavy led the Lakers to a 101-63 record in two seasons with the team (1990-92) including a Western Conference Championship in 1990-91. Lakers forward Vladimir Radmanovic averaged 10.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 29.5 minutes in 30 games (11 starts) with the Clippers in 2005-06. Lakers forward Josh Powell played the 2007-08 season with the Clippers, averaging career-highs in points (5.5), rebounds (5.2) and minutes (19.2) in 64 games (25 starts).