Lakers Gameday | 11/01/09 | Hawks

Box Score
Play by Play

97 Time Kobe Bryant has reached the 40-point mark in his career after another 41.

64.7 Shooting percentage from L.A.’s bench (11-of-17), including Josh Powell’s 3-of-3 and Luke Walton’s 4-of-6.

20 Turnovers for the Hawks, due primarily to 14 steals from an aggressive Lakers defense.

3 Blocked shots for Ron Artest, who had his best all-around game this season. He added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists, not to mention the praise of his teammates and head coach for a terrific defensive effort.

2 More assists Lamar Odom needed to reach a triple-double (11 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists).

Mike Trudell,

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Lakers use third quarter run to blow past Hawks

By Bryan Chu, for

LOS ANGELES For about five minutes, the defending champs appeared untouchable.

After a seesaw battle much of the game, the Lakers had a masterful stretch in the third quarter, scoring 18 unanswered points and clamping down on the Hawks defensively on their way to winning 118-110 on Sunday at Staples Center.

"We picked up our intensity tonight," Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said. "It started with #37 (Ron Artest). He picked up the energy level defensively and I told him, the game was on him. I felt like the energy really changed the complexity of the game and we all kind of rallied behind him."

Bryant led all scorers with a season-high 41 points on 15-for-29 shooting, a night-and-day difference to Friday's performance against the Mavericks when he missed 13 of 19 shots and finished with 20 points.

In a game that saw 15 lead changes and six ties early on, the Hawks (2-1) kept pace with the Lakers (2-1) for the entire first half mostly behind the scorching hand of guard Joe Johnson, who finished with a team-high 27 points.

The All-Star guard recorded 18 points and connected on 7-for-8 from the field in just nine minutes in the first half, but then was swallowed up by the Lakers defense the rest of the game. He made just one shot in eight attempts after halftime, mostly because of Artest's play.

"I'm faster this year, its going to be tough for a lot of players," Artest said.

For the game, the Hawks recorded 20 turnovers. During their explosive run, the Lakers tallied six steals.

Woodson was particularly disappointed in his team for giving up so many points early.

"We scored enough points tonight," Woodson said. "You win on the defensive end a lot of the nights and we didnt do that tonight."

What Woodson was talking specifically about was the Lakers third quarter deluge.

After Atlanta's Mike Bibby hit a 3-pointer to bring the Hawks to within 74-70 at the 6:44 mark, the Lakers went on their 18-0 run.

It was a combination of a swarming Lakers defense and telegraphed passing by the Hawks. The stretch included several uncontested fastbreak dunks by Bryant, Artest and Andrew Bynum, who finished with 21 points.

"We had no presence at all," Johnson said. "We didnt help each other at all and we didnt take ownership to guard out own man. They got way too many layups, way too many offensive rebounds."

A pair of timeouts by the Hawks couldnt slow down the Lakers run either. Finally, it was a Zaza Pachulia layup that stopped the bleeding as the Hawks trailed 90-72 with 1:43 left in the third quarter. Just when the dunk fest was over, however, the Hawks turned the ball over and Lamar Odom passed it to Bryant for a double-pump, two-hand reverse dunk.

In the third quarter alone, Bryant had 14 points himself and the Lakers, who shot 52.9 percent for the game, outscored the Hawks 34-18.

Lamar Odom missed a triple-double by two assists, tallying 11 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.

For the Hawks, Jamal Crawford had 17 points and Bibby chipped in with 15.

Saddled with foul trouble, Josh Smith was a non-factor for the Atlanta, recording seven points, making just three of 10 attempts.

Marvin Williams and Smith were both held scoreless for the first 19 minutes of play, until Williams hit a pair of free throws and Smith had a breakaway dunk for a Hawks 45-44 lead. Despite shooting 43.2 percent from the field in the first half, the Hawks stayed in the game from the charity stripe, making 16 of 17 compared to the Lakers nine of 10.

In the early going, the Lakers second lineup has coughed up leads, but against the Hawks they kept the pace. The reserves combined to hit 8-for-12 from the field and scored 21 of the Lakers 64 first half points. There was a brief Sasha Vujacic sighting; he hit a 16-foot jumper from the right wing in the second quarter. However, the bench did struggle a bit late. The second unit let a 24-point lead dwindle to 14, prompting Jackson to insert the entire starting lineup with under six minutes to play in the contest.

With the Atlanta loss there are now five undefeated teams (Boston, Orlando, Miami, Denver and Phoenix) in the NBA.


On the Lakers’ performance tonight:
“I was a little disappointed in the discrepancy, again, of the foul shooting in the first half. We were making a lot of unconscionable fouls; fouling jump shooters and in penalty situations that weren’t necessary. I think we played really smart, as I’d like us to play even more smarter. We had a good run in the 3rd quarter. The affects of the ability of Ron to defend tonight, it was nice thing to happen for him.”

On Ron Artest’s contribution offensively tonight:
“I’m sure he’s going to have offensive games with bigger numbers than that, but it was nice to get him back in the offense flow.”

On Ron Artest’s affects defending Joe Johnson tonight:
“Well obviously I think, [Joe] Johnson had 18 points in the first 8-9 minutes of the game. Fortunately, when they took him out we were able to get back in the ball game since we weren’t that far behind at the time. But when he came back in he only scored about 9 points the rest of the way. So it definitely gave us some help”

On what the Lakers did tonight better than in Friday’s game:
“Turnover and fast breaks I think will stand out here. You know, 27 points off their turnovers was better, even though we managed to screw up a few of them, it was pretty good.”

On Lamar Odom’s performance early this season compared to early last season:
“I haven’t looked into that too much but I think his shooting is better.”


On what went wrong for his team tonight:
“Well, I don’t know if we did well in the first half. You’re talking about 64 points. I mean, that’s not us as a team. Granted, the Lakers come off a tough loss to Dallas and they’re the world champions. They got offensive weapons. You’re not going to win on the road giving up 64 points in a half. We got to get back to the mindset that we’re going to defend and rebound the ball and not turn it over. I thought tonight we were so sluggish with the basketball and throwing it all over the gym and they had a lot to do with it because they got up in us defensively and we went the other way.”

On taking Joe Johnson out towards the end of the first quarter:
“Well, I pulled him because he (nearly) played the whole quarter. I pulled him at I think a minute or two. He’s got to rest sometimes. I feel confident in our bench. We scored enough points tonight. You win on the defensive end a lot of nights and we didn’t do that tonight. "

On the Lakers:
“Well, they’re the world champions. Until somebody dethrones them, they the best team in basketball. This is just one game for our team. It’s a big test tonight but we’ll bounce back. "

On his starters’ defense:
“Well, I’ve got to get our starters defending. They getting 64 points; it was most of our starters that started the game and played the most minutes in the first half. You can’t be on the road giving that many points up. "


Kobe Bryant on tonight’s adjustments:
“I think we picked up our intensity. And it all started with #37. He picked up the energy level defensively and I told him, the game was on him. I felt like the energy really changed the complexity of the game and we all kind of rallied behind him.”

On Ron Artest:
“You can’t look at the numbers. Obviously you know he’s good with putting up big numbers. Like I said, I felt like his energy changed the pace of the game.”

On the upcoming road games:
“Stay focused and understand it’s the first road game that we’ve had all year. Pre-season we didn’t have any. It’s going to be our first time competing in hostile environment.”


Andrew Bynum on tonight’s adjustments:
“In the third quarter we played better defense and the rest of the game.”

On the upcoming road games:
“We just need to come out and play better D. Night in and night out.”

On his performance:
“For me, I got to do a better job on the boards. Especially when we play small teams, I need to get rebounds, be kind of more active.”

On Pau Gasol:
“Life without Pau, we’re doing ok. Obviously with him back, we create normal match-up problems for the other teams. Second unit is going to be stronger, because if he’s in at the end of the first and I come back in the second, with the second unit we’ll be a stronger team.”

‘Atlanta Hawks’ POST GAME QUOTES

Joe Johnson on the Hawks defense:
“We had no presence at all. We didn’t help each other at all and we didn’t take ownership to guard our own man. They got way too many lay ups, way too many offensive rebounds. We can’t beat a team like that on the road.”

On whether the turnovers were the Hawks fault offensively or due to the Lakers defense:
“A little bit of both. You have to give them credit. They are the champs. They played great defense but offensively we just didn’t have it and we turned the ball over left and right.”

On the Hawks disappearing offensively in the 3rd and 4th quarter:
“We couldn’t just get a good look. We just didn’t have great ball movement like we did in the 1st half. Everyone stopped playing one-on-one. It’s typical of a young team on the road. Everybody thinks they got what it takes to get us back in the game.”

Mike Bibby on how the team :
“We gave up too many points. We were scoring but just kept giving up too many points. They had a lot of fast breaks points and [the many] turnovers killed us.”

Mike Bibby comparing tonight’s game with last season’s win over the Lakers in Atlanta:
“We made it tougher for them out there and we kind of let them do what they wanted to do out here and obviously they did what they wanted to do.”

Jamal Crawford on the Hawks performance and on what they can improve on:
“It was ok. It’s tough when you lose. You can always find stuff to do better but if we just hang together as a team we’ll do better.

On the Hawks defense against the Lakers offense:
“We gave up too many points. We were playing pretty good defense in the early season and preseason but we gave up a lot of points tonight.”

On how the Hawks can improve as a team:
“[We just need to] keep communicating. Communication is key because even if the guy gets beat, you tell somebody else and someone else can cover for him. We just need to continue to talk and we’ll get better


Lakers vs. Hawks Game Preview


The Los Angeles Lakers' favorable schedule over the first six-plus weeks of the season was expected to help them vault to the top of the Western Conference standings.

That won't happen if they keep repeating their latest performance.

Coming off their worst loss at Staples Center in two seasons, the Lakers try for their fourth straight home win over the Atlanta Hawks, who are looking to improve to 3-0 as they open a four-game trip.

With 17 of their first 21 games at home and only one two-game trip until mid-December, the defending champion Lakers were expected by some to open the season with an extended winning streak.

Dallas, though, ended those thoughts with Friday's 94-80 victory in Los Angeles.

The Lakers (1-1) shot 39.5 percent from the field and scored 35 second-half points in their worst home defeat since a 110-91 loss to Boston on Dec. 30, 2007.

"That was one of the longest nights we've had in this building,'' coach Phil Jackson said Friday. "We should refund the money to our fans. Every time we got momentum we shot ourselves in our own foot.''

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 20 points, but missed 13 of 19 field-goal attempts. He is shooting 37.8 percent from the floor this season, making him largely to blame for Los Angeles' 40.4 team mark - worst in the Western Conference.

Bryant made 7 of 9 free throws versus Dallas, but the Lakers were outscored 25-9 at the foul line.

"We probably wanted it a little too much and that's what resulted in some of the (19) turnovers, shots going in and out,'' said Bryant, who averaged 13.5 points on 35.5 percent shooting as the Lakers and Hawks split two games last season. "You've got to get stops. Keep teams off the free throw line. We were just a little stagnant, but it will be better.''

Getting forward Pau Gasol back on the court could help, but he is questionable for Sunday after missing the first two games with a strained right hamstring. Gasol, originally drafted by the Hawks with the third overall pick in 2001, posted his third career triple-double with 12 points, 13 boards and 10 assists in the Lakers' 96-83 win over visiting Atlanta on Feb. 17.

Lakers center Andrew Bynum has been solid through two games - averaging 20.0 points and 11.5 rebounds - but he'll need some help as Los Angeles faces Atlanta's talented young frontcourt.

Hawks forward Josh Smith scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds and moved past Shaquille O'Neal to become the youngest player in NBA history to record 900 career blocks during Friday's 100-89 victory over Washington.

"That's impressive, to see somebody block that many shots,'' Hawks forward Marvin Williams said of the 23-year-old Smith. "He's got it figured out. He should write a book or something."

First-year Laker Ron Artest could give Bynum some help against Hawks center Al Horford, who is averaging 17.0 points, 14.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks.

Hawks swingman Joe Johnson has shot 50 percent or better from the field in six of his last seven games visiting the Lakers. He hit 8 of 16 and scored 20 points with 15 assists in Atlanta's last win over the Lakers at Staples Center - 114-110 on Feb. 15, 2006.

Los Angeles has won 15 of its last 18 home meetings with the Hawks.

Copyright 2009 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

Pau Gasol (right hamstring strain) is out.
Luke Walton (sore back) is probable.

None to report.

For the 17th time since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season, the Lakers opened the regular season at home. In those games, the Lakers now have a record of 13-4. Overall, Los Angeles has a mark of 35-15 in their 50 REGULAR SEASON openers. With their victory over the Clippers on October 27th, the Lakers have now won 6-of-their-last-7 opening night games and are 16-2 in their last 18 opening night games overall dating back to 1992.

Additionally, the Lakers improved to 3-0 in regular season openers against the Clippers, defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 114-102 in overtime 11/6/92 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena and the San Diego Clippers 103-102 10/12/79 at the San Diego Sports Arena.

In HOME OPENERS (first home game of the year), the Lakers are now 33-17 since moving to Los Angeles. With their victory over the Clippers on Tuesday, the Lakers improved to 15-3 in their last 18 HOME openers overall.

The 2009-10 season marks the 10th title defense for the Lakers since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season. In SEASON OPENERS coming off of an NBA Championship, the Lakers are now 8-2 overall but just 3-2 when the season opener is at home. In HOME OPENERS following an NBA Championship, the Lakers are 6-4.

1972-73: Season opener: 129-94 victory at K.C. Omaha (10/11/72)
1980-81: Season opener: 99-98 victory at Seattle (10/10/80)
1982-83: Season opener: 117-132 loss vs. Golden State (10/29/82)
1985-86: Season opener: 121-116 (2OT) victory at San Antonio (10/26/85)
1987-88: Season opener: 113-109 victory vs. Seattle (11/6/87)
1988-89: Season opener: 116-113 victory at Dallas (11/4/88)
2000-01: Season opener: 96-86 victory at Portland (10/30/00)
2001-02: Season opener: 98-87 victory vs. Portland (10/30/01)
2002-03: Season opener: 82-87 loss vs. San Antonio (10/29/02)
2009-10: Season opener: 99-92 victory vs. LA Clippers (10/27/09)

Home opener: 126-104 victory vs. Portland (10/20/72)
Home opener: 114-103 victory vs. Houston (10/12/80)
Home opener: 111-129 loss vs. Cleveland (11/5/85)
Home opener: 128-110 victory vs. Denver (11/9/88)
Home opener: 92-97 loss vs. Utah (11/1/00)

The 2009 preseason marked the second consecutive year that the Lakers went 6-2 in exhibition games. Since the Lakers first year of complete preseason records in 1982- 83, their best preseason finish was a 7-1 mark in 1987-88. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers have had three winning preseasons, going 6-2 in each of the last two preseasons and 6-2 in 2005-06 as well. Overall, Jackson’s Lakers teams have posted preseason records of 6-2 (2009-10), 6-2 (2008-09), 3-4 (2007-08), 4-4 (2006- 07), 6-2 (2005-06), 3-5 (2003-04), 4-4 (2002-03), 4-4 (2001-02), 3-5 (2000-01) and 3-5 (1999-2000).

The 2009-10 Lakers preseason roster includes 12 players from last season’s NBA Championship team, one more than in 2008-09 when the Lakers brought back 11 players from the Western Conference Championship squad. This will be the 4th consecutive season in which the Lakers have returned at least 11 players, having brought back 12 players to start the 2007-08 season and 11 to start the 2006-07 campaign. However, only Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher remain from the Lakers 2000-02 title runs with Fisher rejoining the team prior to the 2007-08 season after spending the previous three years in Golden State and Utah. The longest tenured Laker after Bryant and Fisher is Luke Walton, who joined the team as a rookie in 2003-04. Shannon Brown, Andrew Bynum, Jordan Farmar, Pau Gasol, DJ Mbenga, Adam Morrison, Lamar Odom, Josh Powell & Sasha Vujacic all return from a year ago while Ron Artest is the lone new addition to the Lakers roster.

With his first two free throws of the Lakers April 10 game at Portland last season, Kobe Bryant moved past Charles Barkley (23,757) for 17th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Barkley reached his scoring total in 1,073 games over 16 seasons in contrast to Bryant, who did so in his 946th career game. In all last season, Bryant (23,853) passed Robert Parish (23,334) for 18th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, Adrian Dantley (23,177) for 19th, Elgin Baylor (23,149) for 20th, Clyde Drexler (22,195) for 21st, Gary Payton (21,813) for 22nd and Larry Bird (21,791) for 23rd. Additionally, in passing Baylor, now only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (24,176) and Jerry West (25,192 points) have scored more points with the Lakers than Bryant. Next on the NBA’s all-time list are Allen Iverson (23,983) and Patrick Ewing (24,815).

A season after earning his record 10th NBA Championship as a head coach, Phil Jackson (1,042-435) is now just three wins shy of tying Charlotte Bobcats head coach Larry Brown (1,045-847) for 5th on the NBA’s all-time coaching win list. The only coach in league history to win better than 70 percent of his games (.705), Jackson ranks 12th in all-time regular season games coached and 1st in playoff games coached (300), won (209) and playoff winning percentage (.697). Last season, Jackson became the fastest coach in NBA history to reach 1,000 career victories, needing 1,423 games to reach the mark. Earning induction in his first year of consideration, on September 7, 2007, Jackson was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

On Sunday, September 20, Pau Gasol posted 18 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots in leading Spain to an 85-63 victory over Serbia at the final of the 2009 European basketball championship in Poland. Gasol, who was named tournament MVP, helped Spain earn its first European title after six runner-up finishes. With the victory, Gasol is currently a member of the reigning NBA Champions, the reigning FIBA World Champions (led Spain to the 2006 FIBA World Championship while earning tournament MVP honors) and the reigning European Champions. Additionally, last summer, the highly decorated Spaniard helped his country to a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as well, coming up just short with a loss to a United States team led by Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant in the Olympic finals.

On October 1, 2009, the NBA announced that Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers tops the list of most popular NBA jerseys in Europe for the second straight year. Coming off his fourth NBA title in 2009, Bryant also has the most popular jersey in the U.S. The top four most popular jerseys remain unchanged from last year with Kevin Garnett (Boston) at No. 2, Pau Gasol (LA Lakers) at No.3 and LeBron James (Cleveland) at No. 4. The Most Popular NBA Jerseys in Europe list is based on sales from retail locations across Europe during the 2008-09 NBA season.