Lakers Gameday | 01/15/10 | Clippers
Play by Play
- GAME RECAP
- HAMBLEN PREVIEW
- GAME PREVIEW
- INJURY REPORT
- GAME NOTES
Bryant, Gasol lead Lakers' rout of Clippers
By GREG BEACHAM
Posted Jan 16 2010 1:19AM
LOS ANGELES(AP) Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, Pau Gasol returned from a six-game injury absence with 20 points and six rebounds, and the Lakers re-established their dominance in Los Angeles with a 126-86 victory over the Clippers on Friday night.
The 40-point margin of victory was the Lakers' largest over the Clippers since the Staples Center's junior tenants moved to Los Angeles in 1984.
Andrew Bynum had 20 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers, whose rivalry got a bit more heated in a third-quarter confrontation between point guards Baron Davis and Derek Fisher. Davis got a flagrant foul for throwing an elbow into Gasol's chest before exchanging pointed words and technical fouls with Fisher.
Eric Gordon and Craig Smith scored 17 points apiece for the Clippers, who got the defending champions' attention nine days earlier when they ended a nine-game losing streak to the Lakers with a 102-91 victory.
The Lakers took control with an impressive third quarter, scoring 12 straight points early and eventually expanding a three-point halftime lead to 24 with a 33-11 run.
The Clippers lost their third straight in a lifeless effort - but at least Davis, who had 14 points and seven assists, put up a fight.
The trouble started when Gasol and Fisher cornered Davis near the Lakers' bench late in the third quarter. After Fisher made an aggressive swipe at the ball, Davis responded with a swinging elbow to Gasol's chest, knocking the 7-footer back.
Davis and Fisher then confronted each other face-to-face, with Davis shouting and gesturing while Bryant got in between. Davis then shoved his way free of Bryant and continued yelling at Fisher while being led away.
A sore back and the white brace on his broken finger didn't stop Bryant from making some of the second half's biggest shots. He hit a 3-pointer from two steps behind the line to put the Lakers up by 20 in the third quarter, and another 3-pointer put the Lakers ahead 100-70 early in the fourth before sitting down with 8:23 to play.
Gasol's return from a hamstring injury meant the Lakers had all 13 players available for the first time this season. Gasol missed the season's first 11 games with another hamstring injury, while Luke Walton and Ron Artest also have missed stretches.
The Lakers still aren't totally healthy, given Bryant's litany of minor injuries, but they've maintained the NBA's best record (31-9) despite their woes.
The Clippers had won four straight before this skid in the first three games in a stretch of four in five nights. Despite the slump, coach Mike Dunleavy claims his club wasn't deflated by Wednesday's news that No. 1 draft pick Blake Griffin will miss the entire season with a broken left kneecap.
NOTES: The Lakers will reach the midway point of the regular season Monday night against Orlando in a rematch of last season's NBA finals. ... Los Angeles' NBA teams faced each other one night after the NHL's Los Angeles Kings beat the Anaheim Ducks in the same building. UCLA's men's basketball team will host USC on Saturday. ... Gordon was both excited and surprised to hear he'll compete with Toronto's DeMar DeRozan in a ``dunk-in'' for a spot in the All-Star weekend slam dunk contest. Saying the invitation surprised him because he rarely gets a chance to dunk in games, the 6-foot-3 Gordon promised ``a few surprises'' on Feb. 12. ... Courtside fans included actors Will Ferrell and Bryan Brown, ``Family Guy'' creator Seth MacFarlane and Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, who agreed to a new two-year, $10.95 million contract earlier in the day.
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’ Coach Phil Jackson on tonight’s game:
“Well we had a good second half. I think we were ready to have a good half. I didn’t think we played particularly well the first half. In that regular time game, we ended up coming out on top.”
On which part of their game the Lakers emphasized in order to beat the Clippers:
“Well we just wanted defense. It’s about playing some defense. Them being active and reacting to what they were doing and I thought we did a much better job of putting hands up. We were aggressive defensively and that changed the whole concept of the game.”
On Kobe Bryant:
“Kobe was determined to get the ball inside. He wants to attack inside. He helps direct that out there.”
On Derek Fisher’s performance in tonight’s game:
“The game ball went to Fisher to be honest with you. He had eight rebounds. He led us in rebounding and had a career high.”
On Andrew Bynum getting the ball early in the game:
“There’s no doubt about it. He starts quickly. He usually has the stamina to do great in the first quarter or so. That’s why we emphasize that.”
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on tonight’s game:
“We played well. We were well rested, came out and executed pretty well and had a big win.”
On difference in the second half:
“Execution. We executed much better and didn’t miss too many assignments.”
On Derek Fisher’s performance:
“Fisher got his hands on a lot of balls tonight. He had some big rebounds and he made Baron Davis work. Baron is a handful and Derek did a good job in terms of staying in front of him and making it a little harder than it was the last game.”
On Pau Gasol’s performance:
“I thought he looked great. It is all about match-ups and you have to be aggressive. Pau is a phenomenal player and he will just figure his way through. As a player you have to be aggressive and play your game. Guys have got to play their game. When you are on offense it is free flowing and Pau is a great player and he will find his way through the course of the game. Other players cannot second guess themselves and not be aggressive.”
Lakers forward Pau Gasol on how he felt after returning from injury:
“I felt pretty good. I was a little bit tired and it got a little tight, but I expected that. It felt good. Everything was loose. It was fun, obviously, for me to play basketball and be with the guys out there again and have a good win.”
On the team effort tonight:
“When we play together and we move the ball and we play defense the way we did, especially in that second half, we’re a tough team to beat. Things are working out.”
Clippers’ Coach Mike Dunleavy on the second half of the game tonight:
“Well, second half I thought that offensively we struggled scoring; without Kaman we didn’t have our low post game to kind of go back at them. You know, they were playing an inside-out game with us and we tried to play more of a perimeter game against them.”
On the first half of the game tonight:
“First half I thought we did a better job getting stops… and be able to score in transition on them.”
On what he told his players after the game:
“I thought it was a tale of two halves… First half, we defended well, getting them to do what we wanted to do. Second half, we didn’t and obviously that pulled the plug on it kind of early based on we have a game tomorrow night. You know, one thing about the NBA, you’ve got another game relatively soon you can bounce back for it and that’s what we’ll try to do.”
On if Kaman will play tomorrow:
“I don’t know. We’ll go through the same process as we did today. He’ll come in, he’ll try it and if he has no pain he’ll play. If he feels pain, you know, then we’ll hold him out.”
On the advantages of the Lakers having two 7-footers:
“Always, every time you make a mistake they have a guy that can make you pay the price. That’s the thing about their team that if you’re giving weak side help and you come up on one of the bigs their pretty easy targets to find, you know, if both guys are around the rim that’s easy and they’re pretty good finishers. So a lot of times they’ve got a good bailout opportunity if there’s any kind of let down by the other players that big has to go help against penetration.”
Los Angeles Clippers’ Eric Gordon on the game tonight:
“It was real tough for us. Like in the first and second half, a lot of things headed the wrong way. But we played real tough, especially in the first half.”
On the difference between the first and second half of the game:
“Nothing was different. We just didn’t fight and play hard in the second half. A lot of things headed the wrong way. It felt like they were hitting a lot of jump shots. They did what they needed to do.”
On Kobe Bryant’s performance tonight:
“He had a pretty good performance. He’s going to do whatever he needs to do. But when you got Gasol and Bynum together, they put up big numbers. That’s hard to guard.”
Los Angeles Clippers’ Baron Davis on his performance tonight:
“I think my back kind of tightened up. I wasn’t able to be as explosive as I was in the first half, and keep that momentum.”
On the Lakers tonight:
“I thought that they did a better job of just guarding the perimeter and moving and forcing turnovers and getting deflections. When you’re playing against a solid defensive team like that, it’s important to get the ball and they were doing a good job. And when we did have opportunities to fast break and get easy buckets, we didn’t convert. So it’s tough when you’re playing against a team that’s that good on the offensive end and the defensive end. I thought defensively we didn’t have the same intensity and the focus which we did in the first half.”
Los Angeles Clippers’ Craig Smith on the difference between the first and the second half of the game:
“It was real different. We just weren’t as aggressive, especially on the defensive end. They were getting easy buckets in the transition, getting to the line. They were just being more aggressive. They were the aggressor. You know, we fought. And you got Kobe out there too, making 80 foot three-pointers.”
On Kobe Bryant’s performance tonight:
“It was solid. He came out aggressive, especially in the second half. Pushed his team.”
Lakers vs. Clippers Game Preview
By Bryan Chu, for NBA.com
Posted Saturday January 16, 2010 2:43AM
LOS ANGELES (NBA.com exclusive) -- For a brief moment in early January, the other Los Angeles team was turning heads with a stretch of quality wins, including one over the defending champions.
But recently a pair of tough losses, the news of Blake Griffin's season-ending surgery, and then Chris Kaman's recent sore back sidelining him have left the Clippers reeling. And against the Lakers on Friday, it also didn't help the Clippers' cause that Pau Gasol was returning from injury.
Using a huge second half, the Lakers took it to the Clippers, trouncing their in-house rivals for a season-high margin of victory, 126-86, at Staples Center.
Asked what winning by 40 points does, Kobe Bryant shrugged it off, "nothing," he said.
Fighting a balky back and fragile finger, Bryant had a game-high 30 points on 10-for-20 shooting. Andrew Bynum added 20 points and seven rebounds.
After missing six games with a strained left hamstring, Gasol finished with 20 points, six rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes. He was also a perfect 12-for-12 from the line.
"I felt pretty good," said Gasol, whose team is now 20-3 with him and 11-6 without. "I was a little bit tired and it got a little tight, but I expected that."
The Lakers (31-9) take back the season series lead 2-1 from the Clippers (17-21), who have now dropped three straight.
In the loss, Eric Gordon and Craig Smith both recorded 17 points. Baron Davis, who said his back tightened up in the second half, had 14 points and seven assists. Sebastian Telfair added five points and a season-high 11 assists.
The Clippers controlled the tempo for most of the first half. They lead 41-32 with 7:19 left in the second quarter.
The second half was a different story.
Up by a slim 53-50 margin, the Lakers clamped down on defense and opened up on a 12-0 run and ended up outscoring the Clippers 36-17 in the third quarter and then 37-19 in the fourth. Their largest lead in the game was 45.
"I thought in the second half, they were real scrappy," Davis said. "They were playing with a little bit more aggressiveness.
"That's what they do, they slap, grab and they try to bully you. That's what they were able to do -- they were able to bully us tonight."
At the 3:06 mark in the third quarter and down by 80-60, Davis couldn't take the bullying any longer.
Pinned in the corner with Gasol and Derek Fisher draped all over him, Davis swung his elbows and hit Gasol in the right arm. He then got in Fisher's face before teammates pulled him away.
"I just felt like there were too many slaps," Davis said. "I got slapped in my face a couple times. They just kept slapping me in the corner. What else was I supposed to do?"
Gasol said: "I was a little surprised he acted that way."
After the dust settled, Davis and Fisher where whistled for a technical. A flagrant one was also given to Davis.
For the game, the Lakers shot 50 percent to the Clippers' 40.3 percent.
The Lakers also recorded a season-low seven turnovers to the Clippers' 19.
Kaman missed his third straight game with a sore back and is questionable for Saturday's game against the Cavaliers, Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said after the game.
"We're missing him," said Clippers center Marcus Camby, who had four points and 11 rebounds.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson said the Clippers wanted it more in their second meeting of the season, a Clippers' 102-91 victory on Jan 6. The Clippers showed that same demeanor again early, dominating the glass and controlling the tempo.
The Clippers opened up the second quarter on an 11-0 run to go up 36-28 with 9:34 left. Gordon was a big part of the early lead scoring 12 in the first half.
Jackson called a timeout and Shannon Brown promptly sank back-to-back jumpers. The Clippers were sloppy with the ball and the Lakers used a 7-0 run and a late 8-0 surge to go up, 47-45, a lead the Lakers would not relinquish.
Even with the Clippers misfortunes of late, Dunleavy seems to be optimistic.
"We have some really good wins on the year," Dunleavy said. "If you look at our players, our top six guys, we can compete, statistically, against anybody else in the league.
"I think our psyche is good. I think where we stand going forward, we're in a very positive mode."
Ron Artest (sprained right index finger) is probable.
Kobe Bryant (back spasms/avulsion fracture, right index finger) is probable.
Pau Gasol (strained left hamstring) is probable.
Sasha Vujacic (strained right hamstring) is probable.
Luke Walton (pinched nerve, back) is probable.
Chris Kaman (Sore lower back) is questionable.
Blake Griffin (Stress fracture of left patella) is out.
Kareem Rush (Torn right ACL) is out.
SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The season series between the Lakers and Clippers is currently tied 1-1, after the Lakers swept last season’s series with the Clippers 4-0 for the second consecutive year. The two teams have met 183 times overall and on 117 occasions since the Clippers moved to Los Angeles with the Lakers leading the all-time series 137-46 (91-26 vs. LAC). Overall, the Lakers have lost just two series in franchise history (1992-93 & 1974-75) to the Clippers. The Lakers are 9-1 in their last 10 games against the Clippers, with their nine game win streak snapped in their most recent meeting 1/6/10. At home against the Clippers, the Lakers are 17-4 all-time at STAPLES Center and have gone 7-3 in their last 10 home contests. 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 30-8 versus the Clippers. In their first meeting of 2008-09, the Lakers defeated the Clippers 117-79 with their 38-point margin of victory marking the Lakers largest margin of victory over the Clippers since they moved from San Diego to Los Angeles prior to the 1984-85 season. The previous mark of 37 was established just a year earlier in a 119-82 victory 3/7/08. In their meeting on January 21, 2009, Andrew Bynum recorded a career-high 42 points while becoming the first Lakers player other than Kobe Bryant to record 40-plus points since 2003. In addition, Bryant posted his 16th career triple-double in that game with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. In 52 career games versus the Clippers including 44 starts, Bryant is averaging 25.0 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 prior to the 2008-09 campaign, no Clippers remain from Lamar Odom’s time with the team (1999-03). 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 title in 1990-91. Lakers forward Josh Powell played 64 games (25 starts) with the Clippers (2007-08), averaging 5.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in 19.2 minutes.
LAKERS FIRST NBA FRANCHISE TO 3,000 WINS
With their 100-95 victory at Dallas January 13th, the Los Angeles Lakers became the first NBA franchise to 3,000 wins. The Lakers (3,000-1,850) recorded 457 wins over twelve seasons as the Minneapolis Lakers and 2,543 wins since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season.
FOURTH QUARTER ADVANTAGE
The Lakers victory over the Mavericks on January 13th marked the 30th time this season that they have held a lead in the fourth quarter and gone on to win the game. With 30 wins on the season, the Lakers are the only team in the NBA to not lose a single game when leading at any point of the fourth quarter or in an overtime period thereafter. By comparison, the Cavaliers rank second in holding fourth quarter leads, having surrendered three on the season through January 13th games.
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.
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 six games (1/5/10 - 1/13/10) 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-plus Lakers have posted double-figures 13 times. In the 17 games this season without him in the lineup, only three times have five players scored in double-figures. In games played without Gasol since he joined the Lakers, Los Angeles is 18-10 overall (6-4 in 2007-08, 1-0 in 2008-09 and 11-6 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 24,940 career points, Kobe Bryant is now 60 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 144 days of age as of January 14th, should Bryant reach 25,000 points in the next month-plus, 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 (987 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.
With their 95-77 victory over Milwaukee January 10th, the Lakers posted their 5th wire-to-wire victory of the season. The Lakers recorded their 1st wire-to-wire victory of the year with a 104-88 win 11/8 vs. NO, their 2nd with a 130-97 win 11/28 @ GS, their 3rd with a 108-88 win 12/6 vs. PHX and their 4th with an 88-79 win 1/5 vs. HOU. Last season, the Lakers claimed nine wire-to-wire victories (games in which they never trailed) during the regular season, tied for 3rd most in the league (Phoenix) behind Cleveland (14) and Orlando (13). The Lakers also won in wire-to-wire fashion twice during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29 vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston). Additionally, the Lakers were one of only two teams last season (Cleveland) to never lose in wire-to-wire fashion during the regular season. In the playoffs, however, the Lakers played two games in which they never led, falling twice to Houston in the Conference Semifinals (5/10/09 at HOU and 5/14/09 at HOU). This season, the Lakers have lost one game in wire- to-wire fashion (98-107 loss 1/8 @ POR), their first regular season wire-to-wire defeat since 1/17/08 vs. PHX.