Lakers Gameday | 01/13/10 | Mavericks
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Kobe's late basket lifts Lakers past Mavs 100-95
By JAIME ARON
Posted Jan 13 2010 11:13PM
DALLAS(AP) Kobe Bryant went from having a slow night because of a sore back to nailing the game-winning jumper with 28 seconds left, lifting the Los Angeles Lakers to a 100-95 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference.
Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki became the 34th player in NBA history to score 20,000 points when he hit a 14-foot jumper early in the fourth quarter. He scored 15 of his 30 points in the quarter, including a tough 3-pointer that tied it at 95 with 42.5 seconds left. He also grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds.
Bryant played only nine minutes in the first half and was hardly part of the action while in the game. He scored eight points in the third quarter, but made only 1 of 4 shots in the final period - the one that counted the most, a 20-footer over Josh Howard with 28 seconds left to make it 97-95.
Dallas' Erick Dampier missed a pair of free throws that could've tied it. After Los Angeles' Andrew Bynum made 1 of 2 foul shots, the Lakers double-teamed Nowitzki in the corner, forcing him to pass. Howard ended up taking a wild shot.
Bynum had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Lamar Odom had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Ron Artest had 16 points and 11 rebounds to help the Lakers end a three-game road losing streak. While they won for only the second time in five games, it was their second victory over the Mavericks in 10 days.
Dallas lost its second straight, both at home despite getting 18 points from Howard in his first start since Nov. 11. Jason Kidd added 11 points and 11 assists.
Copyright 2010 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
Was this one of your best wins of the season…
“You know, we have had other really good wins. When you have 30 it is hard to recall all of those, especially when you suffer from Alzheimer’s. I shouldn’t make fun of that, that was not appropriate. But, anyway, it was good to have Luke (Walton) in there, he had four assists, team leader in assists. He changed the game for us because we had an answer when he was in there and did a good job.”
On the play of the whole team…
“I thought Ron (Artest) went out and played aggressive both at the start of the game and in the third quarter which is really good. Lamar (Odom) pushed the ball and did the things that we wanted him to do and got himself going in this ballgame which is great. And then Drew (Andrew Bynum) was kind of like rock for us out there tonight.”
On Jordan Farmar being a sparkplug…
“Ya he was, he struggled from the field and he had his game and he played well.”
On Kobe Bryant’s play in the second half…
“I thought he played opossum tonight a little bit, he sat out the first half so he could play the second and then, you know, once he got going it wasn’t any chance to rest him. I looked over at him in the second quarter and he said ‘I can’t go, you know’, so I said let’s re-start at halftime and see if you can go and he came back at the end of the half and said ‘I think I might be able to go let’s give it a shot’”
What got Ron Artest going tonight…
“He had really good position and I thought he was decisive with the ball. They were some of the same stuff, but he was pretty decisive with the ball and knew what he wanted to do when he got the ball down there.”
On keeping Dallas in check…
“Tempo was very good, we controlled that. They pushed it a little bit in the third quarter and I thought they were going to try and speed the game up, but we were able to match up.
Did you have no option but to leave Kobe Bryant in the game in the second half…
“No, oh no. It was just a matter of sitting him down and getting stiff again because he sat down, so we opted to stay with him.”
Do you think Kobe was moving better in the second half…
“Oh ya, he felt better. Decidedly. Um, we bypassed Shannon to leave Kobe in the ballgame which is always an issue for me to keep a guy on the bench that is a good player like that.”
Lakers Ron Artest
On their mindset knowing that Kobe wasn’t healthy
“Our mindset was the same, just go out there and play hard. I asked Kobe before the game I said ‘Are you alright?’ He said ‘No, I might not make it.’ So everybody said we’ve got to step it up. In the second half I said, ‘Are you ok?’ and he ‘Yeah, I’m good now’. But Dallas didn’t know that so they played him one-on-one and he hit that big shot.
Could you see why this team won the championship last year…
“It’s a new year. We’ve been down that road where we know our potential, and what it could be. Now we’ve got nine losses so it’s our time we start worrying about what we have right here right now. Those losses snuck up on us really fast. It’s not comfortable with nine losses. From here on out we’ve got to give more effort.”
Lakers Guard Derek Fisher
On Dirk’s performance and if her turned out to be a better player than he thought he’d be
“I don’t know if anybody saw what he’s become. He’s a phenomenal talent, he ca score the ball, he can shoot the ball as well as a handful, to maybe 10 guys in the history of our game. He’s done a world of good for this franchise and I would assume the city of Dallas, and he deserves all the success that’s come upon him.”
Was this a gut check kind of game with Kobe hurt and Pau out?
“That was the idea coming into tonight’s game, just to continue to search for what it’s going to take for us collectively as a team to play the type of game we need to play, particularly on the road. Tonight was closer to that. With the injuries we seemed to play with a pace and composure and understanding of what we wanted to accomplish against the team we were playing against. We played a little more chess tonight maybe because of Kobe’s injuries, we had to and that helped us. Obviously we didn’t feel like our season was on the line in any way, but we did take these guys very seriously it being a back-to-back and the fourth in six nights. We weren’t going to allow ourselves to use any type of excuse in terms of why we couldn’t put ourselves in a position to win.”
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
“Basketball is a game of reactions and plays that are made and if Damp makes a dunk and makes a free throw, we’re all singing another tune. You can’t deprogram a guy from making the right basketball play. Against San Antonio last year, Dirk made countless plays like that and if he hadn’t, we wouldn’t have won the series. It doesn’t come down to that play. I can count up a dozen other mistakes we made that contributed to it coming down to one play that everybody puts a microscope on. You can’t give up points at the end of the second and third quarters. We’ve got to do a better job of handling those situations. If the team is not doing well, it’s on me as the coach. We’re going to spend more time on late-quarter, closing out more. I thought that those were two huge momentum plays in the game along with a lot of others.”
(on first quarter vs. rest of game)
“We had seven assists on eight field goals in the first quarter. We were moving the ball well. But then we hit a stretch where we were struggling to get the ball in the hole and so we reverted to some one-pass shots. That’s something that we cannot allow to happen. We were ball movement team. When we move it a lot, we hit great shots. When shots aren’t going in, you have to trust and stay with it. We had 24 assists for the game, which is a pretty good number, and they had 16. I think we’re a team that has to have a certain balance. It’s tough when we have to pile on and tell Dirk to go win the game for us in the last three minutes. It’s not fair to him. A lot of that could have been eliminated had we made several other basketball plays that may have been totally unrelated to offense.”
(on playing from behind and team defense)
“When you play from behind, it’s dicey at best. Look at the whole league. When you enter the fourth quarter behind, you’re going to lose most of the time. That’s how it is. There is a collection of little things we have to be better with that would take us out of these situations. Neutral rebounds, couple unnecessary gambles that led to reactions. They add up. They shoot 49 percent basically and if they shoot 50, it’s four in the last five games when an opponent has shot 50-or-better against us. Our problems are at the defensive end. That’s the biggest thing we’ve got to work to resolve. We’ve shown we can be a good defensive team. We’ve just got to keep with it.”
“He’d rather have the win than 20,000 points. That’s where the disappointment is. You get a guy who is pure basketball heart. He’d do anything to win any ball game and he wouldn’t care how many points he scored. That’s what really makes him special along with the other things you guys have seen on a daily basis for over a decade. The shot making, the plays, the 3s. All that stuff. It’s very disappointing. But it was a special moment when the crowd stood and applauded for what seemed like several minutes, and it was well deserved.”
Mavericks Shawn Marion
On the game…
“This was a fight. We were going back and forth and trading buckets for a long time it seemed like. And then when we needed a stop we couldn’t get it and then Kobe hit that big shot towards the end of the fourth quarter and we got a good look at a three, but we didn’t knock it down. They just cruised in on into the finish line from there. We just couldn’t get those stop tonight. I think for the most part we were trading buckets back and forth and when you trade buckets back and forth, at the end of the day, that is not going to cut it, it’s not enough. You have to get some stops consecutively and when we needed it we couldn’t get it tonight.”
On the differences in the two teams…
“They got some stops when they needed to and we didn’t. Our defensive has kinda been slacking and the individual challenge is that we have been backing off a little bit and we need to be stepping forward instead of stepping back. You got to get it. We have a long road trip coming up here pretty soon and not many more home games and then we hit the East Coast, so we got to get it together and attack it and stay after it.”
On not getting the key plays at this point in the season…
“It is frustrating, but you know, like tonight, Josh got back in the starting lineup, you know, which was good, but at the same time, he had maybe played three games lately. But, at the same time, everybody is still trying to get a feel for each other out there and you can tell that we don’t know each other just yet. But, at the same time there are some good things happening as well, so when you can throw all that out the window because when you play defense it don’t matter what the outcome or situation is. If you play good defense, most of the time you are going to win the game and the defense has been slacking. So, we have to address that and everything else should take care of itself. We just have to stay aggressive and attack the basket and for the most part we have to stop people.”
On wanting to get the win for Dirk on the night he scored his 20,000th career point…
“Well I wanted to win for all reason. He hits the 20,000 plateau that is an amazing accomplishment for him, but you know it kinda sucks when you can’t get the win when he gets the mark. At the same time it is frustrating, we just got to get it together. We got to get it together now and get it going. We haven’t really hit our stride, we haven’t done nothing yet. Even though we are in second place, it seems like we just coasting a little bit. We don’t have that chemistry down to the fullest on both ends of the floor and we got to get that I can’t wait till we get it.”
Lakers vs. Mavericks Game Preview
By MATT BEARDMORE
Posted Jan 13 2010 1:11AM
The Los Angeles Lakers can't find a way to win on the road lately. Not having Kobe Bryant available could make that task even more challenging.
With Bryant nursing a new injury, the Lakers will try to snap their longest road losing streak in nearly three years Wednesday night when they make the first of two regular-season visits to Dallas to meet the Southwest Division-leading Mavericks.
Since its 112-103 double-overtime victory in Sacramento on Dec. 26, Los Angeles (29-9) has dropped four straight road games. Tuesday's 105-85 loss to San Antonio gave the Lakers their longest road losing streak since a five-game skid from March 4-15, 2007.
"I thought they played poorly," said coach Phil Jackson, whose team is averaging 92.3 points on 41.4 percent shooting while losing three of four overall.
Already admitting recently that a splint over his broken right index finger is affecting his shooting touch, Bryant suffered back spasms Tuesday and did not play in the fourth quarter after scoring all 16 of his points in the first half.
"I could barely move,'' Bryant said. "I tried to orchestrate some things for my team, couldn't walk. I literally couldn't walk. It's the only way I don't play.''
Bryant said he's "pretty sure" he'll play against the Mavericks. If he does, he'll try to avoid scoring fewer than 20 points in three straight games for the first time since April 2-7, 2005.
Pau Gasol will likely miss his sixth consecutive game after straining his left hamstring in Los Angeles' 131-96 victory over the visiting Mavericks on Jan. 3.
Bryant was held to 15 points in that matchup, but six other Lakers scored in double figures as Los Angeles recorded a season-high point total, shot a season-best 63.4 percent and posted the largest margin of victory in the history of this Western Conference rivalry.
"It's a lot easier to play against teams like Dallas because you know the focus is going to be there,'' Bryant said after that game.
The Mavericks (25-12) didn't look like an elite team in Saturday's 111-93 loss to Utah, but they will try to rebound with a solid effort against the defending champions.
"We want to see how good we are," Dirk Nowitzki told the Mavericks' official Web site Monday. "I always said regular-season games don't mean that much, but it's still a fun game."
Nowitzki, who is averaging 19.2 points and shooting 35.7 percent in his last five games against the Lakers, is 16 points shy of becoming the 34th player in league history with 20,000 points.
"All of the individual goals will be nice once my career is over, I can look back - hey, I scored 20,000 points, I got an MVP (in 2007)," he said. "... All that is sweet, but it doesn't mean that much to me as of right now. I'm still trying to chase my dreams and that's winning a championship."
For that to happen, though, the Mavericks need to get healthy. Josh Howard (left thigh contusion) and Drew Gooden (dislocated right ring finger) are both questionable after missing Saturday's loss, while center Erick Dampier missed Tuesday's practice with soreness in his left knee. With Dampier sidelined in the Jan. 3 loss with a knee problem, Lakers center Andrew Bynum hit all eight of his shots and scored 19 points.
"Damp was out and Bynum had a field day in the paint," Nowitzki said. "He's like 7-3, with a 7-8 wingspan. He's so long, it's unbelievable."
Bynum had his double-double streak snapped at three Tuesday with 23 points and eight rebounds. He is averaging 18.4 and 12.0 during Gasol's five-game absence.
The Lakers, who have won seven of eight in this series, are one win shy of becoming the first NBA franchise with 3,000.
Copyright 2010 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
Ron Artest (sprained right index finger) is day-to-day.
Kobe Bryant (back spasms / avulsion fracture, right index finger) is day-to-day.
Pau Gasol (strained left hamstring) is doubtful.
Sasha Vujacic (strained right hamstring) is day-to-day.
Luke Walton (pinched nerve, back) is probable.
Tim Thomas (strained right Achilles’) is doubtful
Drew Gooden (sprained right ring finger) is probable (1 game missed)
Josh Howard (left thigh contusion) is probable (1 game missed)
SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers have split the first two games of their season series with the Mavericks 1- 1 after sweeping last season’s series with the Mavericks 3-0 and taking the 2007-08 series 3-1. The Lakers last lost a season series to Dallas in 2006-07 (1-3), their first series loss to the Mavericks since the 1986-87 season and only the third time ever (1983-84). This will be the 124th overall meeting between the two franchises with the Lakers holding a 94-29 series advantage. In their first meeting of the season (10/30/09), the Lakers lost for just the 11th time in 62 home games against the Mavericks, ending their 6-game win streak against Dallas as well as their four game home win streak against the Mavs. In their last meeting at STAPLES Center (1/3/10), the Lakers established a new series record for margin of victory over Dallas, defeating the Mavericks by 35 (131-96), surpassing the old 33-point margin of victory established 12/1/93 (124-91). Overall, the Lakers are 7-3 against the Mavericks in their last 10 games. In Dallas, the Lakers have gone 4-6 over their last 10 games but have won two straight at American Airlines Center. The Lakers are 17-4 all-time against the Mavericks at STAPLES Center and 7-3 in their last 10 home games overall. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 25-11 against the Mavericks. In their first meeting of last season, Jason Kidd posted his 101st career triple-double and his fourth ever against the Lakers. In December of 2005, Kobe Bryant established a new series record with 62 points against the Mavericks in a 112-90 victory at STAPLES Center. In that contest, Bryant single-handedly outscored the Mavericks 62-61 through three quarters. In 2007-08, Bryant again went over the 50-point mark against the Mavericks, scoring 52 points in the Lakers 108-104 overtime victory March 2 at STAPLES Center. In 45 games (39 starts), Bryant is averaging 25.2 points for his career against Dallas.
LAKERS ONE WIN AWAY FROM 3,000
With their next victory, the Los Angeles Lakers will become the first NBA franchise to 3,000 wins. The Lakers (2,999-1,850) recorded 457 wins over twelve seasons as the Minneapolis Lakers and 2,542 wins since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season.
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM
With a victory over Milwaukee on January 10, the Lakers snapped their SECOND two-game losing streak of the season. Last season, the Lakers suffered just FOUR two- game losing streaks all season, a mark which was historically good. According to Philadelphia 76ers stats guru Harvey Pollack, no team has gone through a season without a single two-game losing streak; six teams have had just one two-game skid, 13 teams (including the 1949-50 and 1986-87 Lakers) have had two two-game losing streaks, 11 (including the 1971-72, 1989-90 and 1999-00 Lakers) have had three two-game streaks and five teams, including last season’s 2008-09 Lakers championship squad, went through a season with four two-game losing streaks total.
Since the acquisition of Pau Gasol on February 1, 2008, the Lakers have yet to lose three consecutive games. Los Angeles has now lost two-straight games 10 times overall since acquiring Gasol (8 regular season, 2 playoff streaks). Of those 10 two-game losing skids, the Lakers have played the third game of the streak without Gasol four times, snapping two-game losing streaks with victories 3/18/08 at Dallas, 3/30/08 vs. Washington in overtime, 11/17/09 vs. Detroit and 1/10/10 vs. Milwaukee. The Lakers last three-game losing streak came just a week before the trade, with consecutive losses at San Antonio, at Dallas and vs. Cleveland from 1/23/08 through 1/27/08.
Wednesday’s game in Dallas is the second of a back-to-back set with the Spurs and Mavericks. This season, the Lakers are 7-3 in the first game and 6-3 in the second game of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 20 sets of back-to-back games, the most the team has played in a single season since playing 22 sets of back-to- backs during the 1999-00 campaign. Last year, the Lakers played 19 sets of back-to-backs, going 14-5 in the first game and 14-5 in the second as well. Charlotte, Detroit and Milwaukee lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2009-10 while New Orleans (15) and San Antonio (17) will play the fewest sets this season.
WITH OR WITHOUT PAU
After missing the Lakers first 11 games of 2009-10 with a strained right hamstring, Pau Gasol made his season debut 11/19 vs. Chicago, playing 22 games before missing the Lakers last five games (1/5/10 - 1/12/10) with a strained left hamstring. In 22 games with Pau in the lineup this season, the Lakers are 19-3 while defeating teams by an average of 9.9 points per game (218). Additionally, in games which Gasol has played, all five starters have scored in double-figures five times and five or more Lakers have posted double-figures 13 times. In the 16 games this season without him in the lineup, only twice have the Lakers had five players score in double-figures. In games played without Gasol since he joined the Lakers, Los Angeles is 17-10 overall (6-4 in 2007-08, 1-0 in 2008-09 and 10-6 in 2009-10). With Gasol in the lineup, the Lakers are 105-25 (.808) in the regular season since he joined the team in February of 2008 (22-5 in 2007-08, 64-17 in 2008-09 and 19-3 in 2009-10) and 30-14 (.682) in the playoffs.
BRYANT NEARS 25,000 CAREER POINTS
With 24,930 career points, Kobe Bryant is now 70 points shy of 25,000 for his career. Should Bryant reach the 25,000-point milestone, he will become the 15th NBA player in the league’s history to do so. Currently 31 years and 143 days of age as of January 13th, should Bryant reach 25,000 points in the next month, he would become the youngest player in NBA history to do so, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (31 years, 186 days). Karl Malone (33 years, 228 days) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 years, 249 days) are the second and third youngest respectively to reach the 25,000 points milestone. In terms of games, Bryant (986 games) should become the 9th fastest to 25,000 career points, behind Dominique Wilkins (960) but ahead of Hakeem Olajuwon (1,057). Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest in terms of games to reach 25,000 points, doing so in 691 games. Michael Jordan (782) and Abdul-Jabbar (889) rank second and third behind Chamberlain.
Earlier this season, with a second-quarter basket November 6th against the Grizzlies, Kobe Bryant (31 years, 75 days) became the youngest player in NBA history to score 24,000 points, reaching the milestone ahead of Wilt Chamberlain (31 years, 113 days). In terms of games, of the 17 players to now have scored 24,000 points, Bryant is the 9th fastest to do so in terms of games (954). Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest in league history to score 24,000 points, doing so in just 653 games.
Last season, with 34 points February 10 vs. Oklahoma City, Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to score 23,000 points (30 years, 171 days), reaching the milestone FIVE days younger than Wilt Chamberlain (30 years, 176 days). In terms of games, of the 21 players to score 23,000 points, Bryant was the 11th fastest to do so, reaching the mark in 917 games. Earlier in the year, with 28 points December 2 at Indiana, Bryant became the 22nd player in NBA history to score 22,000 points and in doing so, became the 2nd youngest player ever to 22,000 points (30 years, 101 days), one day older than Wilt Chamberlain (30 years, 100 days) who scored his 22,000th point on 11/26/66. The youngest player in league history to accumulate 15,000 – 20,000 and 23,000 – 24,000 points, Bryant became the 12th fastest to 22,000 points in terms of games, reaching the mark in 881 career games. Through his career, Bryant has been 29th fastest to 15,000, 22nd fastest to 16,000, 20th fastest to 17,000, 16th fastest to 18,000, 15th fastest to 19,000, 15th fastest to 20,000, 12th fastest to 21,000, 12th fastest to 22,000 and 11th fastest to 23,000 points in terms of games.