Lakers Gameday | 12/26/09 | Kings
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Lakers bounce back by beating Kings in 2 OTs
Posted Dec 27 2009 1:25AM
SACRAMENTO, Calif.(AP) Kobe Bryant scored 38 points and the Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from a humbling Christmas Day loss to Cleveland by beating the Sacramento Kings 112-103 on Saturday night in double overtime.
After Lamar Odom opened the second overtime with a putback basket, Bryant connected on a pair of 3-pointers to put the Lakers in front 109-103 with 2:37 left. Los Angeles outscored the Kings 11-2 in the second OT.
Beno Udrih scored 23 points for the Kings, who held the Lakers scoreless in the final 3:35 of the fourth quarter to force overtime. Tyreke Evans had 18 points, Donte Greene had 16 and Omri Casspi added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Pau Gasol had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who avoided losing consecutive games for the second time this season. Shannon Brown scored 15 points and Odom had 13 points and 15 rebounds.
The Lakers lost 102-87 to Cleveland on Friday before a national TV audience and are in a stretch of four games in five days, concluding Tuesday at home against Golden State. They played without starting forward Ron Artest, who the team said suffered a concussion on Christmas evening, falling while carrying boxes down a flight of stairs and injuring his left elbow at his Los Angeles home.
Artest was treated at UCLA Medical Center, undergoing a CT scan and receiving stitches in the back of his head and his elbow. The team said a neurologist examined Artest on Saturday. He is day to day and didn't travel with the team on its Saturday flight to Sacramento.
The youthful Kings were stagnant on offense late in the first overtime and it carried over into the second, when their only basket was a driving layup by Evans with 3:01 remaining. The Kings lost a game earlier in the week against Cleveland when they were outscored 13-0 in overtime.
After the Kings scored the first seven points in the first overtime, they went scoreless over the final 2:40 as the Lakers rallied. Gasol tipped in a missed shot by Derek Fisher from close range, tying the game at 101 with .04 seconds left.
The victory moved the Lakers (24-5) past idle Boston for the best record in the NBA.
Seemingly bothered by a sore right arm, Bryant missed all four shots in the fourth quarter, when he began passing and shooting with his left. Yet Bryant did slap the ball away Evans in the closing seconds as the Kings never got a shot off, forcing overtime with a 94-all tie.
Bryant was his usual self offensively, but it was Brown helping the Lakers pull away in the fourth quarter. Brown scored eight points over a two-minute stretch, his three-point play putting Los Angeles ahead 92-85 with 4:23 remaining.
An enthusiastic crowd, only the second sellout of the season, loudly booed the Lakers when starting lineups were announced and began chanting ``Beat LA!'' It was reminiscent of the crowds that cheered the Kings in the Chris Webber era, when Sacramento was typically battling the Lakers for supremacy in the Western Conference.
Despite Bryant making his first five shots and scoring 16 points in the third quarter, the Kings would not back down. It took a late 3-pointer and a breakaway dunk by Bryant in the final 1:04 to pull the Lakers even at 78 heading into the fourth.
Udrih capped off a highly productive first half by dribbling past Bryant and hitting a 3-pointer with a second left to give Sacramento a 57-55 lead. Making a rare start, Udrih scored 13 points and Greene had 11 for the Kings. Bryant had 14 points and Gasol added 12 for the Lakers, who shot 55 percent.
NOTES: Greene took an elbow from Andrew Bynum in the second quarter that opened a cut on his chin that required six stitches. Greene returned to start the second half. The teams meet again New Year's Day in Los Angeles. New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia watched the game from courtside seats.
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
Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson
regarding Kobe Bryant’s arm injury
“He had to go into the locker room and have it adjusted, immobilized as we call it. He told me when he got back on the court ‘keep me close to the basket, I can’t shoot the ball. I have no feeling in my arm right now.’ Obviously, he got feeling back in his arm in the second overtime.”
On staying close despite playing poor offensively
“Our defense held us in. We gave up a 16-point fourth quarter. Then we reassumed our defense in the second overtime when we got some of our guys back in there.”
On the play of Shannon Brown
“Shannon was good today. He is a guy who, size-wise, can play a guy like (Tyreke) Evans. So we needed a guy with that size and strength who can bang him.”
On his impressions of the game
“We didn’t adjust well in the first half with those turnovers. You can’t have those kind of turnovers. We kind of had a clumsy lineup out there. We weren’t really comfortable out there on the floor. Those turnovers turned into 15 points (in the first half). We kind of settled down in the second half and played the right way.”
Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant on whether his arm felt better later in the game
“Not really. I had to try and stay in a good shooting range. I couldn’t bring it back. So I just had to change it up a little bit.”
On bouncing back after a disappointing game
“We did fine. We are a mature enough team to understand it is only one game. It doesn’t make a season at all.”
Lakers Guard Shannon Brown on his strategy for guarding Tyreke Evans
“I just tried to make him indecisive. He is a rookie. He is a great talent, but he is a rookie and this is the NBA. So I just tried to make him indecisive or make passes he didn’t want to make, or take shots he didn’t want to take, or make him drive when he didn’t want to. So you just try to make it difficult for him.”
Kings Head Coach Paul Westphal
“We’re going to start winning some of these soon. It was wonderful to be in that building tonight – to have the support of this town rocking like that. Guys played their hearts out and it’s so disappointing. Can’t lie – we wanted that game so bad and did everything to get that last rebound with four-tenths of a second after we made them miss. It’s tough. We want to get to the place where the Lakers are – where somehow, someway you find a way to win those games – we’re working hard on it. We have a lot of the ingredients. We definitely have the heart and we will get there, particularly with support like that.”
“We stopped being aggressive. We started playing against the clock which is not what we want to do. We started killing the clock before we got into our offense, when as we grow we will learn to keep attacking with what got us the lead. I’d have to say that we took a step backwards momentum wise at that point and just were trying to hang on instead of take the win and we’ve got to learn that.”
“Well as everybody knows, you don’t really shut Kobe (Bryant) down. He was a little quiet there for awhile. They were trying to go inside and our big guys were doing a good job on the mismatches. They were trying to exploit (our post players) and then Donte (Green) stayed down and made (Kobe) make field goals, which is what we want – we don’t want him shooting a ton of free throws. I thought that we defended him as well as we can reasonably expect to. The guy is, as everybody knows, an unbelievable player.”
“I’d say most of the way we were competitive – we made it to the second overtime before we fell apart tonight. It’s definitely a learning experience. We’re ramming our head against the wall and it hurts, and we’re going to lower our head and keep ramming it ‘til we knock it down. These guys are sold out to competing and seeing how good they can get. It hurts – if it didn’t hurt, there’d be something wrong with them.”
Kings Guard Donte Greene
“It hurts a lot especially when you play so hard. We tried to go out there and play. It definitely felt good to be out there, but it just hurts to lose another one.”
On what they need to do to close out games
“We are trying to still find it. I guess we need to have composure and be able to execute. The ‘we are young’ excuse is kind of too played out now. We are a good team and we just need to learn how to close out down the stretch. As coach says, growing pains, it hurts a lot. Especially when we could have beat the Lakers. It’s just tough.”
How he feels about tonight’s game
“It feels bad, especially when you know you had them. When we just relaxed for that one second, Kobe got two three’s. That is what hurt us. We can’t relax.”
On the Kings and Lakers’ rivalry
I knew from last year, when I got a little taste of it. It is definitely serious. It’s nothing to play with. We came out ready to play. We just couldn’t close it down the stretch. We need to work hard and work on keeping our composure down the stretch.
Kings Guard Tyreke Evans
“It was the worst I have ever played in the NBA. We had the lead and we had a couple bad plays down the stretch. Their players came up with the loose balls and we weren’t able to get the bucket in the end.”
On being able to close games out
Toward the end of the game we were just trying to get the win and when we had the seven-point lead we needed to keep it up. There is no way in the world we should have lost that game. I just thought that things didn’t go our way. Kobe took over the game. Toward the end of the game I slipped and lost control. I tried to kick it toward Omri (Casspi), but Kobe got a hand on it. They were able to go and then get a fastbreak.
This is definitely the worst I have felt after a game. I had two chances and I really had one chance to win the game and I didn’t pull it out. I was trying to get the last shot, I should have just went right away, but I didn’t want them to get the last shot.
Lakers vs. Kings Game Preview
By ALAN FERGUSON
Posted Dec 26 2009 1:59AM
Los Angeles Lakers fans weren't too happy with the officiating in the team's last game, and the Lakers' performance left plenty to be desired as well.
Fortunately for the Lakers, their next game is in Northern California against a Sacramento Kings team they've handled on the road over the previous three seasons.
The Lakers will try to bounce back from one of their worst defeats of the season with their sixth win in seven tries in Sacramento.
Los Angeles fans had seen their team win 23 of its first 27 games and 11 in a row at home before the Lakers fell behind by 20 in the first half Friday against Cleveland. That may have displeased the crowd at Staples Center, but Lamar Odom's ejection with 4:04 left and Kobe Bryant drawing the team's fifth technical foul elicited a more extreme response in the 102-87 defeat.
After each of those calls during the nationally televised game, fans unleashed a shower of foam fingers, which were given away beforehand. A water bottle also hit the floor following Bryant's technical.
"I've never seen an L.A. crowd react like this before,'' coach Phil Jackson said. "I like their enthusiasm. I don't like their demonstrative manner. ... It wasn't a well-refereed game. It wasn't a very well-played game, so I think it was a reaction to that."
Despite a still-bandaged right index finger, Bryant scored 35 points - his fourth time reaching that mark since suffering his injury on Dec. 11 - and added nine rebounds and eight assists.
However, Ron Artest and Pau Gasol were the only others to reach double figures as the Lakers (23-5) shot 36.5 percent. They also allowed the Cavaliers to connect at a 54.3 percent clip for their worst defensive performance of the season.
If the last 12 meetings with the Kings are any indication, the Lakers have a good shot to bounce back Saturday. They've averaged 117.0 points while posting a 9-3 mark since Jan. 4, 2007.
Los Angeles has also averaged 117.2 points in earning five victories in its past six trips to Arco Arena.
However, the differences for Sacramento heading into its first meeting with Los Angeles this season are an improved offense led by rookie scoring leader Tyreke Evans and a 10-4 record at home.
The Kings (13-15) rank fifth in the league with 103.9 points per game and Evans, the fourth pick in June's draft, accounts for 20.4 per game.
Evans is coming off one of his best performances of the season, scoring 28 on Wednesday night against Cleveland. Despite Evans' third consecutive 20-point game, the Kings were denied a third straight win in a 117-104 overtime loss.
"We took these guys right down to where we had the last shot in regulation," coach Paul Westphal said. "If things had gone a little differently we would have big smiles on our faces. I won't act like there wasn't a lot of great things that happened."
Westphal's team will likely have to slow down the Lakers' top two scorers, Bryant and Gasol, on Saturday. Bryant has scored at least 20 points in 15 of the last 16 matchups and eight straight in Sacramento. Gasol has reached 20 in his past four contests at Arco Arena.
These teams meet again New Year's Day in Los Angeles.
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
Kobe Bryant (avulsion fracture, right index finger) will play.
Luke Walton (pinched nerve, back) is out.
Sean May (strained right hamstring) is questionable.
Kevin Martin (left wrist, navicular fracture) is out.
Francisco Garcia (surgery - right forearm, wrist) is out.
SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers won last season’s series with Sacramento 3-1 and have now taken three straight season series from the Kings 3 games-to-1. The two franchises have met 269 times overall and 105 times since the Kings moved to Sacramento. The Lakers lead the all-time series with the Kings 183-86 (75-30 vs. Sacramento). In their last 10 meetings, the Lakers are 8-2 against Sacramento. The Lakers are 13-7 all-time against the Kings at STAPLES Center and have gone 6-4 in their last 10 home contests. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 games at ARCO Arena including a 5-1 mark in their past six trips to the state capitol. Two seasons ago, on April 6, 2008, the Lakers defeated the Kings by 22 points, their largest victory in Sacramento since a 23- point win 3/23/89. In 2006-07, the Lakers were whistled for 42 personal fouls in their 132-128 overtime victory January 4, 2007 at ARCO Arena, establishing a new Los Angeles era franchise record. The Lakers last committed 42 personal fouls back on 2/17/57 versus St. Louis when the team was still in Minneapolis. Additionally, the Lakers and Kings combined for 80 personal fouls and 102 free throws on the night, which was, at the time, the most fouls committed by two teams in more than seven years. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 23-13 against the Kings. In 47 career games against the Kings including 39 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 25.7 points. Pau Gasol has also averaged 20+ points for his career against the Kings, posting 21.1 points per game in 29 meetings (all starts). The Lakers and Kings haven’t met in the postseason since the 2002 Western Conference Finals. While Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher both played in that series, no Kings remain on the current roster from that playoff series.
BRYANT NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR 26th TIME , PASSES JORDAN FOR MOST POW AWARDS ALL-TIME
After three Western Conference Player of the Week awards in each of the past two seasons, Kobe Bryant earned his SECOND WC Player of the week award this season for games played Monday, December 14 through Sunday, December 20. The award is the 26th of Bryant’s career (24 Western Conference POW, 2 NBA POW), tying Michael Jordan (23 NBA POW, 2 Eastern Conference POW) for the most Player of the Week Awards all-time while further surpassing Magic Johnson’s 18 NBA POW awards as the franchise’s all-time leader. Jordan and Johnson, however, earned the majority/all of their Player of the Week nods before the award was separated by Conference prior to the 2001-02 season. Since the Player of the Week was separated by Conference, Bryant’s 24 awards rank first among all players, three ahead of LeBron James (21).
Bryant led the Lakers to a 4-0 week, which included wins over the Bulls, Bucks, Nets and Pistons, averaging 34.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.50 steals. During the week, Bryant recorded his 5th 40-point game of the season with 42 points 12/15 at Chicago, scored 39 points including a game-winning buzzer beater in overtime 12/16 at Milwaukee, posted a double-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds and five assists 12/19 at New Jersey and totaled 28 points, four assists and five steals 12/20 at Detroit; all while playing with an avulsion fracture to his right index finger.
This is the 24th time Bryant has earned Player of the Week honors (11/4/01, 1/20/02, 11/3/02, 12/8/02, 1/12/03, 2/2/03, 2/23/03, 2/17/04, 3/22/04, 11/13/05, 12/18/05, 12/25/05, 1/22/06, 4/16/06, 3/18/07, 3/25/07, 1/13/08, 3/2/08, 4/6/08, 12/28/08, 1/11/09, 3/15/09, 11/22/09, 12/20/09) since the award was separated by Conference. He has twice earned NBA Player of the Week honors (4/16/00, 12/24/00), giving him 26 total career POW awards. The NBA began the Player of the Week award in 1979-80.
GASOL CRASHING THE BOARDS
With eight double-doubles and 126 rebounds over his last eight games, Pau Gasol is currently enjoying the best rebounding stretch of his career. Entering the season with a career-high 19 rebounds 4/9/09 vs. Denver, Gasol has bettered his career-high three times during this run (20 reb. 12/11 vs. Minnesota, 20 reb. 12/12 at Utah, 22 reb. 12/16 at Milwaukee). With 26 points and a career-high 22 rebounds 12/16 at Milwaukee, Gasol became the first Laker to record a 20pt/20reb game since Lamar Odom posted 23 points and 21 rebounds 3/24/08 at Golden State. Prior to that, the most recent Lakers player to record a 20/20 game was Shaquille O’Neal in 2004.
Additionally, with 20 rebounds 12/12/09 at Utah and 20 rebounds 12/11/09 vs. Minnesota, Gasol became the first Laker to record 20 rebounds in consecutive games since Lamar Odom posted 22 rebounds 3/23/08 vs. Golden State and 21 rebounds 3/24/08 at Golden State. The only other Laker to record back-to-back 20-plus rebounds in the past 30 years is Vlade Divac, who did so 2/24/95 vs. Charlotte (24 rebounds) and 2/25/95 vs. Los Angeles Clippers (20 rebounds). Prior to that, the most recent Lakers player to post consecutive 20 rebound games was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (20 rebounds 1/24/78 vs. Philadelphia, 21 rebounds 1/27/78 vs. Milwaukee).
Kobe Bryant scored 40 points 12/22/09 vs. Oklahoma City, marking the 102nd time in his career that he has scored 40+ points in a game and the 6th time this season, further surpassing his total for all of last season (4). Bryant’s 46 points 2/1/08 at Toronto moved him past Elgin Baylor (88 40+ games) for 3rd all-time and into 1st in Lakers franchise history. In the history of the NBA, only two players have more career 40-point games: Wilt Chamberlain (271) and Michael Jordan (173). The Lakers are now 71- 31 all-time in games that Bryant scores 40+ points and are 6-0 in such games this season. Bryant holds the Lakers franchise record for 40-point games in a single season, recording 27 during the 2005-06 campaign. Bryant also holds the franchise record for most consecutive 40-point games (9), established during the 2002-03 season, which is tied for the fourth longest such streak in NBA history (Michael Jordan) behind Wilt Chamberlain, who twice posted streaks of 14 and once had a 10-game streak.
JUST ADD GASOL
Since Pau Gasol made his season debut 11/19 vs. Chicago, the Lakers are now 15-1 while defeating teams by an average of 12.3 points per game (197). Additionally, with Gasol’s return, all five starters have scored in double-figures five times whereas in the previous 11 games without him in the lineup, not once did that occur. In games played without Gasol since he joined the Lakers, Los Angeles is 15-7 overall (6-4 in 2007-08, 1-0 in 2008-09 and 8-3 in 2009-10). With Gasol in the lineup, the Lakers are 101-23 (.815) in the regular season since he joined the team in February of 2008 (22-5 in 2007-08, 64-17 in 2008-09 and 15-1 in 2009-10) and 30-14 (.682) in the playoffs.