Lakers Gameday | 03/02/10 | Pacers
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Lakers beat Pacers 122-99 for third straight win
By BETH HARRIS
Posted Mar 03 2010 1:02AM
LOS ANGELES(AP) Kobe Bryant scored 24 points, hitting 14 of 15 free throws, and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away with a dominating third-quarter run for a 122-99 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.
Andrew Bynum added 16 points and Pau Gasol had 14 points and 16 rebounds for the defending NBA champions, who fell behind early before improving to 14-0 against the Pacers at Staples Center.
Jordan Farmar scored 19 points, including 10 in the fourth when he ran the offense while Bryant rested his myriad of injuries.
The Lakers won their third in a row heading into a stretch of three road games in four days, capped by Sunday's contest at Orlando.
Troy Murphy had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Dahntay Jones scored 16 points, Josh McRoberts had 15 and Earl Watson finished with 10 assists for the Pacers. They dropped to 7-24 on the road and have lost eight of their last 10 overall.
Bryant nearly matched his career average of 24.9 points against Indiana, though most of his offense came at the line. He was just 5 of 14 from the field, missing all four of his 3-point attempts.
Bryant hit a 21-foot fadeaway to beat the halftime buzzer, keeping Los Angeles ahead 60-54.
That momentum carried into the third, when the Pacers closed to 62-61 before the Lakers took over. They went on a 35-10 run that produced a 98-71 lead heading into the fourth.
Derek Fisher's 3-pointer gave the Lakers the game's first double-digit lead, 75-65. Ron Artest and Lamar Odom hit consecutive 3-pointers, then Shannon Brown made two straight 3s before Farmar capped the burst with a fast-break slam dunk.
The Pacers dissolved in a series of miscues, with their seven turnovers leading to 10 points. Bynum and Brown came up with big blocked shots, too. Indiana's offense broke down, with the Pacers making 7-of-20 shots in the quarter.
Fans began pouring out of Staples with nearly 6 minutes remaining. During a timeout, Odom and Gasol gazed at the overhead scoreboard checking out other NBA scores. Bryant spent the rest of the game on the bench along with the other starters.
After trailing most of the opening quarter, the Lakers got a boost from Brown, Farmar and Adam Morrison in the second. Their early scoring put the Lakers back in front, and Gasol and Bryant kept them there with eight points apiece.
Still, the Pacers were better at the line and from 3-point range in the first half, with Murphy already exceeding his scoring average by the break.
NOTES: The Pacers haven't beaten the Lakers in Los Angeles since Feb. 14, 1999, when the Lakers still played at the Forum. ... The Lakers' 14-0 mark at Staples includes three playoff wins against Indiana. ... Los Angeles reached 100 points for the first time since defeating Golden State 104-94 on Feb. 16.
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:
“Tonight’s team resembled the team that I have seen before. It looked like they got something back in the third quarter, came up with some steals and shot some balls. They made things happen on the offensive end. We came out of the game pretty well and we can now start on the road with a good win. Everyone came out ok with this win. It is a good win for us. Kobe is still not shooting with the rhythm he needs to shoot the ball well, but he is looking like he is getting better.”
On Ron Artest’s game tonight:
“His defense was very good. I don’t think he had a steal in the first half, but he had five in the game. Again it is about getting used to the team in the second half and getting accustomed to the players they are playing against. He is finding a way to tackle the defensive end and come up with those balls.”
On what Lakers need to work on for the road:
“We shot 50% for the first half, we turned the ball over eight times, which is not great, I would like to have that under five. Other than that I think we shot the ball pretty good, I think our guys are playing ok. Some rhythm things are not there, connections, it’s about guys being connected so they know the next move and can anticipate each other. Those are some of the things we need to work on. We have to have tighter games on the road so we will probably have a shorter leash on the bench.”
On Kobe Bryant’s performance:
“He felt like his outside game wasn’t going well so he had to take the ball to the basket. The foul line was the way he scored for us tonight and that certainly is part of the plan. You have to take care of yourself when you go to the basket a lot, especially when you are injury prone. I think he found a way to play tonight, which is very admirable.”
On Lakers first quarter starts:
“I have not been impressed with our last week or so in the first quarter. I felt like we have not gotten off to good starts and have not connected well when we play. That will come along and it is just a product of Kobe getting back into the line-up and as well as a feel for getting back to the guard position.”
Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant on how the progression of the Lakers’ lead during the game tonight:
“[We] just got used to their style of playing; it’s a different style of play, they get to the post and they play our high post off of us. We just kind of had to settle down a little bit and get back in transition.”
On Ron Artest’s ability to play great defense one-on-one against the opposing team’s best scorer:
“That’s why he’s here, because he puts guys in a straight jacket. Really good players, that’s a responsibility.”
On the Lakers’ play on the road:
“You know on the road it’s a different style of play, a different game entirely. We can’t take the game we play here at home and take it on the road; we’ll have to adjust a little bit. Keep your energy up, obviously keep the intensity up, but on the road you really have to execute.”
Lakers’ player Jordan Farmar on how the Lakers shot a high percentage of field goals made tonight:
“I think we were just playing in a good rhythm. Everybody was unselfish making the extra pass. Guys getting good looks and when you get good looks you shoot a higher percentage.”
On the Lakers’ defensive efforts tonight:
“I think we played a good game but we still can improve team defense; helping each other out, seeing where the other team is going to try to exploit us as a unit or where our weaknesses are and just helping each other out as a group collectively.”
Lakers’ player Lamar Odom on how the Lakers were able to pull away in the second half:
“Team defense, move the ball, everybody got involved then we were able to stretch the lead out.”
On what the Lakers are going to concentrate on the most for the upcoming away game in Miami:
“Just stay focused, play our team game, move the basketball, play defense... We’re going to make sure everybody gets some rest and stays focused.”
Pacers Coach Jim O’Brien on tonight’s game:
“They’re a terrific basketball team. Much appeared to us. That’s the story of the game.”
On Ron Artest’s defense on Danny Granger:
“Danny needs to move. He didn’t do a good job of moving without the basketball. He needs to move in order to be the type of player that he can be.”
On the Lakers tonight:
“They dominated inside and they got one of the two greatest players in the world on the perimeter and the rest of the cast isn’t that bad. That’s why they’re the world champions.”
On Kobe Bryant tonight:
“He’s trying to do whatever to score. I thought Brandon Rush did a really good job on him. He finds the way. If he’s not knocking down shots, he’ll get to the foul line. He’s a very aggressive player.”
On Josh McRoberts getting a career-high points tonight:
“It’s irrelevant. Try to do it in a winning effort so it’s really irrelevant.”
Pacers Danny Granger on the impact Ron Artest has had for the Lakers on defense:
“I think they always were a good defensive team. Ron made them better but when you have two seven footers inside that are long and athletic it means they can pressure the ball so much. Once you get Ron, you still have to go past their two big guys. That’s why they’re the world champions.”
On this disappointing season:
“It’s been frustrating considering we were so close to making the playoffs the last year. This year, we just kind of took a step back. Our offense really struggles this year. Last year was a lot more efficient.”
Pacers Earl Watson on what the Lakers did effectively tonight:
“They kind of used our defense to their advantage. They saw we was fronting. What they was doing was rotating their corner guy in order to kind of help inside of the front and they was just skipping for threes. I think they hit those threes, that kind of gave them that nice cushion.”
On whether this season has been frustrating for him:
“I don’t think anything in life is frustrating. It’s just an obstacle. You just got to figure it out. It builds character. It builds mental toughness.”
Pacers Roy Hibbert on Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum:
“They’re long, athletic, talented. They’re defending champs but I thought we had a real good chance of beating them tonight and it slipped away.”
On whether he even envisioned being 20 games below .500:
“We hope not to. It is what it is. We’re just going to try to win as many games for till the end of the season.”
Lakers vs. Pacers Game Preview
By MATT BEARDMORE
Posted Mar 01 2010 1:13PM
Kobe Bryant is still trying to find his shooting form after being sidelined five games last month. A matchup with the Indiana Pacers could help the two-time scoring champion get back on track.
Bryant and the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers close out their three-game homestand Tuesday night when they try to win their 11th straight at Staples Center against the Pacers.
Bryant, among the league leaders with 27.5 points per game, is averaging 21.3 on 42.7 percent shooting in four contests since a sprained left ankle sidelined him Feb. 6-18. Bryant missed 14 of 17 shots in Sunday's 95-89 victory over Denver, scoring 14 points while handing out a season-high 12 assists.
"God knows I love the triangle (offense), but I kind of had to get into a playoff mode a little bit today - just put the ball in my hands and let me make the decisions," he said. "But I missed a lot of shots.''
That wasn't the case for Bryant in Los Angeles' 118-96 victory in Indianapolis on Jan. 27. Playing in front of a Conseco Fieldhouse crowd that showered him with chants of "M-V-P," Bryant hit 10 of 15 from the field and finished with 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
"It just means the home team is struggling and there's a lot of Lakers fans in the building,'' he said.
There will be plenty of Lakers fans in the house Tuesday when Los Angeles (45-15) tries to improve upon its West-leading 28-5 home record with its 11th consecutive victory at Staples Center against Indiana (20-39).
Including three losses in the 2000 NBA finals, the Pacers are 0-13 all-time at Staples Center since it opened in 1999.
In the teams' last meeting in Los Angeles, Bryant scored 36, including a game-winning fadeaway jumper with three seconds left that lifted Los Angeles to a 121-119 victory Jan. 9, 2009. Bryant is averaging 28.1 points, 5.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds in Los Angeles' last 10 home games against the Pacers.
Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who had 20 points in last season's matchup at Staples Center and 27 with 12 boards in the Jan. 27 victory at Indiana, could have another big game if Pacers coach Jim O'Brien opts for a small starting lineup. With Troy Murphy guarding the 285-pound Bynum and 6-foot-9 Danny Granger matched up with Pau Gasol in this season's first meeting, Los Angeles grabbed a season-high 62 rebounds to Indiana's 42.
"I don't know whether Jim was baiting us or not, but he started Murphy on him (Bynum),'' said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. "Drew is a plus-7-footer with probably 30 pounds, 40 pounds on him at least. It's almost an impossible feat for them to cover Drew.''
The Pacers have been outrebounded by an average of 8.1 while losing seven of nine.
With little hope of making the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, Indiana opens a four-game western swing looking to build off Saturday's 100-90 victory over Chicago.
"It feels real good to get a win,'' Granger said after his 30-point outing helped the Pacers snap a three-game slide. "We've been struggling a little bit lately and you just have to stay positive. The season is closing out and we have to keep pushing ahead."
Granger had 14 points - nine below his average - in the January loss to the Lakers.
Indiana, which has lost five of six on the road, posted its last victory in Los Angeles on Feb. 14, 1999 - a 101-99 victory at The Great Western Forum.
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
Kobe Bryant (strained tendon, left ankle / avulsion fracture, right index finger) is probable.
Andrew Bynum (bruised right hip) is probable.
Sasha Vujacic (sprained right shoulder) is out.
Luke Walton (pinched nerve, back) is out indefinitely.
Jeff Foster (sore lower back) is out.
Tyler Hansbrough (inner ear infection) is out.
SEASON & SERIES
The Lakers lead their season series with Indiana 1-0 after splitting last season’s series with the Pacers 1-1. Last season’s matchups included a pair of buzzer beaters, with the Lakers losing in Indiana on a Troy Murphy tip-in at the buzzer 12/2/08 but winning in Los Angeles on a Kobe Bryant game winning shot 1/9/09. This will be the 73rd meeting between the two franchises with the Lakers leading the all-time series 53-19. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 games against the Pacers but have won four of their last five overall. During the 2007-08 season, the Lakers snapped a four-game losing streak at Indiana with a 134-114 victory 11/2007, but are still just 4-7 at Conseco Fieldhouse since it opened in 1999 following their loss there last season. At STAPLES Center, however, the Lakers are 10-0 all-time against Indiana in the regular season and 3-0 in the playoffs. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 13-6 against Indiana in the regular season and 4-2 in the playoffs. In 24 career games (21 starts), Kobe Bryant is averaging 24.9 points against the Pacers and owns the series scoring record with 45 points 1/9/06 vs. Indiana at STAPLES Center. In 16 career games (all starts) against Indiana, Pau Gasol (21.2 points) is also averaging 20-plus points versus the Pacers for his career with a high-game of 31 points. Only Bryant, Derek Fisher and current Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw were on the court for Los Angeles in the 2000 NBA Finals versus Indiana while no players remain from the Pacer’s 2000 Eastern Conference Champion team. Additionally, Pacers forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. is the son of former Lakers head coach and current Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. as well as a former Lakers ball boy.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES FOR EVERYONE
In the Lakers 95-89 victory February 28th vs. Denver, Lamar Odom (20 points, 12 rebounds), Pau Gasol (15 points, 14 rebounds) and Kobe Bryant (14 points, 12 assists) all posted double-doubles, marking the 5th time this season that three Lakers have recorded double-doubles in the same game (12/19 at NJ: Bryant, Gasol, Odom; 12/29 vs. GS: Bryant, Gasol, Odom; 1/13 at DAL: Bynum, Odom, Artest; 1/27 at IND: Bynum, Gasol, Odom). Prior to this season, three Lakers had last posted double-doubles in the same game back on March 4, 2008 at Sacramento. In the 2007-08 campaign, three Lakers posted double-doubles in the same game three times: 3/4/08 at SAC, 1/29/08 vs. NY and 11/9/07 vs. MIN. Prior to the 2007-08 season, three Lakers had not posted double-doubles in the same game since 3/27/05 vs. Philadelphia: Bryant (34 points, 10 rebounds), Chris Mihm (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Caron Butler (13 points, 10 rebounds).
BRYANT MOVES TO 13th ON NBA’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
Kobe Bryant, who earlier this season moved past Jerry West (25,192) for first on the Lakers all-time scoring list and 14th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, passed Reggie Miller (25,279) for 13th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with his first field goal of the night 2/24 at Dallas. Next on the all-time list ahead Bryant (25,331) are Alex English (12th/25,613), John Havlicek (11th/26,395) and Dominique Wilkins (10th/26,668).
Bryant passed West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West’s retired number). Less than a month earlier, with 22 points 1/5 vs. Houston, Bryant moved past Patrick Ewing (24,815) for 15th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. In November, with his free throw at the 6:07 mark of the third quarter 11/19 vs. Chicago, Bryant moved past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (24,176) for 2nd on the Lakers all-time franchise scoring list while with 41 points 11/6 vs. Memphis, Bryant moved past Allen Iverson for 16th on the all-time list. Bryant has been steadily moving up the list the last few years and last season alone, passed Charles Barkley (23,757) for 17th, Robert Parish (23,334) for 18th, 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.
BRYANT NOW 5th ON NBA FRANCHISE CAREER POINTS LIST
With his 29th point February 1 at Memphis, Kobe Bryant surpassed Jerry West as the Lakers all-time leading scorer. Additionally, having scored all his points with the Lakers, Bryant moved to sixth on the NBA’s franchise career points list. On February 24 at Dallas, Bryant (25,331) moved past Reggie Miller (25,279) for 5th on this list. To date, only four players in league history have scored more points for a single franchise than Bryant.
FISHER REACHES 9,000-POINT CAREER MILESTONE
After a pair of free throws in the opening quarter, Derek Fisher’s first field goal of the game with 1:31 remaining in the first half pushed him past 9,000 points for his career 2/23 at Memphis. With the Lakers, Fisher has scored 6,242 career points, moving past Wilt Chamberlain (5,985) and Happy Hairston (5,993) this season and into 17th place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. Next on the Lakers all-time scoring list are Elden Campbell (16th/6,408) and Vlade Divac (15th/6,531).
1,000th CAREER GAME
In the Lakers 96-81 victory over the Utah Jazz on February 10, Derek Fisher played in his 1,000th career regular season game. Of his first 1,000 career games, 816 came in a Lakers uniform. Fisher currently ranks 9th (822 games) in franchise history for games played behind Byron Scott (8th/846). Bryant, who played 999 career games before having to miss the next five due to a sprained left ankle, played in his 1,000th career regular season contest 2/23 @ Memphis, posting 32 points (13-19 FG), seven rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks while connecting on the game-winning three-pointer with 4.3 seconds remaining. Bryant (1,003), who entered the season ranked 2nd on the Lakers all-time games played list, is just the 2nd Laker in franchise history to reach the 1,000-game milestone, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,093) in that exclusive club. In terms of playoff games, Bryant (175 games) currently ranks 3rd in franchise history behind Abdul-Jabbar (180) and Earvin “Magic” Johnson (190) while Fisher (160) ranks 5th in franchise history behind Michael Cooper (168).
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 six games (1/5/10 - 1/13/10) with a strained left hamstring. In 43 games with Pau in the lineup this season, the Lakers are 34-9 while defeating teams by an average of 8.4 points per game (361). Additionally, in games which Gasol has played, all five starters have scored in double-figures eight times and five-plus Lakers have posted double- figures 24 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 120-31 (.795) in the regular season since he joined the team in February of 2008 (22-5 in 2007-08, 64-17 in 2008-09 and 34-9 in 2009-10) and 30-14 (.682) in the playoffs.
On February 6th at Portland, Kobe Bryant missed his first game since March 7, 2007, snapping a streak of 235 consecutive games played. Bryant’s streak ranked 5th among active players prior to his absence. In that contest, however, both Derek Fisher and Portland’s Andre Miller extended their consecutive games played streaks. Fisher’s current total of 391 consecutive games played ranks second among all active NBA players to Miller’s 590. Former Laker A.C. Green holds the NBA record for most consecutive games played with 1,192 dating from 11/19/86 – 4/18/01 while a member of the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.