Lakers Gameday | 03/07/10 | Magic
Play by Play
- GAME RECAP
- GAME PREVIEW
- INJURY REPORT
- GAME NOTES
Magic get revenge, top Lakers in finals rematch
By ANTONIO GONZALEZ
Posted Mar 07 2010 5:42PM
ORLANDO, Fla.(AP) Vince Carter had 25 points, Dwight Howard finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds and the Orlando Magic beat the Lakers 96-94 on Sunday to hand Los Angeles its first three-game losing streak of the Pau Gasol-Kobe Bryant Era.
Carter made his first 13 free throws and kept the Magic in control, showing signs of why Orlando made the move for the eight-time All-Star after losing to the Lakers in last year's finals.
But Carter's lone miss gave the Lakers a chance at the end, with Bryant's 20-foot jumper falling short.
Bryant had 34 points and Gasol added 20 points for the Lakers, walking to the locker room distraught and dejected after their latest loss. And with quite a different feeling than that champagne-soaked championship celebration last June.
But this one had all the drama of that series.
Matt Barnes made a 3-pointer to push the Magic's lead to six with 1:10 remaining. A missed free throw by Jameer Nelson gave the Lakers a chance to tie, and Bryant delivered with a 3-pointer - if only for a second - with 12.9 seconds remaining.
Bryant jumped into his teammates pouring out from the bench in what would be a premature celebration. Officials reviewed the play and ruled that it was only a two-pointer. And just like that, the Lakers are in the first three-game skid since they acquired Gasol from Memphis in February 2008.
The rematch had the physical feel of a finals.
Bryant and Barnes continuously traded elbows and were each hit with a technical foul in the third quarter after going chest-to-chest in a verbal spat. Barnes had a put-back dunk a few plays later and dangled his legs on Bryant, who extended his right arm slightly into his opponent's chest, leading to another confrontation.
Howard interjected and was called for a technical after muttering a few words at Bryant. The two All-Stars and Olympic teammates kept the verbal jabs going, showing no similar love when their NBA teams meet.
All the rough and tough play gave way to a foul fest.
The teams combined to shoot 29 free throws - with Orlando going 17 for 18 - in the opening quarter alone. Howard and Andrew Bynum were sidelined in foul trouble for most of the first three quarters, but a strong effort from Carter and the Magic bench put Orlando ahead by 12 points late in the third.
Then the Lakers provided a reminder of the finals.
They came back just like they did in Games 4 and 5 last year in Orlando, scoring 10 straight points - including the first eight to start the fourth - to cut the Magic's lead to 74-72.
Howard answered with a thunderous dunk over Gasol, who was called for a flagrant-one foul on the play about halfway through the fourth. Then like Game 4 - when Howard missed a pair of crucial free throws - he again missed badly on both, but still put Orlando ahead 81-74 in what would be a back-and-forth finish.
NOTES: Lakers F Ron Artest reached for his inner Dennis Rodman on Sunday. His hair was dyed blonde with letters in three different languages in Lakers purple. He didn't want to talk about his hair before the game, but he posted on his Twitter page that the letters spelled ``Defense'' in Hebrew, Hindi and Japanese. ... Yankees pitchers CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte were sitting in the first row on the baseline.
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 whether he was discouraged by the Lakers’ effort:
“There are some things that as an experienced team, we should not have happen to us. Those are things that we try to remedy, but today we were just a little bit off. Not enough to really complain about as far as screen roll defense, fouling guys when they’re shooting the shots and creating situations where you give up 39 foul shots. That’s an inordinate amount of foul shots for a team in an NBA game.
On whether being outrebounded contributed to the loss:
“I don’t think so. The offensive rebounds were the same. The points scored off of rebounds were the same. We just didn’t shoot the ball well. We had 15 more shots than they did and didn’t complete. Obviously when you foul that often you’re going to get more foul shots. And turnovers were quite a disparity. We did a good job in that area, but the little things. A toe. The length of a toe.”
On Matt Barnes’ performance:
“He was very feisty. He was a feisty player today, but his three was kind of the shot that hurt us the most.”
On Ron Artest’s performance:
“Well the first time I kind of looked at him on the court I thought he was Dennis Rodman when I walked before the game. It kind of reminded me of Dennis (Rodman). His shoulders and his new hairdo and whatnot, but he had a struggle today. He couldn’t make a shot and everything was a foul on (Vince) Carter. He ended up at the foul line many, many times. He shot 14 foul shots. A lot of foul shots, so Ron (Artest) really didn’t get a chance to play the defense that he’s touted to play.”
On whether this Magic team is better than the one they faced last year in the Finals:
“I can’t comment on that really. They beat us twice last year. We’re one and one this year in the series. We don’t see them that often. Jason Williams looked like he was a help out there today. (Matt) Barnes did an admiral job standing up to Kobe (Bryant) during the course of the game. (Vince) Carter had a scoring night. He was effective out there as far as what he did. I think they’re as good, maybe better, a little better than they were last year.”
Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant
“It was a great game. These are the types of things (physicality) we like to see when you start getting to potential Finals contenders. We had a game before the trip vs. Denver which was kind of the same way. It is that time of year. It is good to get a little chippy.”
“The last two games we did not play with the sense of urgency to compete. Tonight we did. We played hard. We played really, really hard. We just missed some things execution wise defensively. All in all, our defense was able to keep us in the game.”
“I knew I was going to have that look (potential game tying three pointer in closing second which made score 95-94 and went to replay) before the game. I was sitting on that play the whole game. I got exactly what I wanted but my damn toes. I knew I should have cut my toe nails this morning. That was exactly what I wanted.”
“It (last shot attempt) felt a little off when it left my hand. I didn’t release it the way I really wanted to so I tried to compensate for it because I felt the ball slipping. That is my shot. You give that to me 10 times and I make it 9 times.”
“They are very similar (Magic team in comparison to last year’s team). They have more length with Barnes and Vince.”
(On type of effect Barnes has on Bryant) “It is entertaining. It is entertaining.”
“We didn’t win the game but I saw what I wanted to see. If we play with this type of effort, it will be hard for a team to beat us 4 times in a series. Here we competed and we have to take this mindset and this attitude and push it forward to the rest of the season.”
Lakers’ Forward Ron Artest
“We just have to move on and get ready for the next game. We played hard as a team. We just have to keep working. We set a goal at the beginning of the season and that has to be the main focus and worrying about that.”
“He (Barnes) played decent. He hit some shots. They played good team ball. For me it was a regular game with a lot of effort that didn’t translate into a win.”
“It is not that it (three game losing streak) is something to worry about. It is just that when we came into the season we all had one goal. Everybody knows what that is and we have the same goal. There are some things to fix probably but we are hungry. It should be a good thing for us.”
Lakers’ Forward Lamar Odom
“When you actually win a Championship, everybody is going to come at you like you are the World Champion of the world and try and beat you. This year we have made a lot of opposing teams happy especially on their home court. They will be partying tonight in Orlando and I am sure they are excited. We beat them here last year.”
“Matt Barnes…he was an action figure today. He was really involved and really into the game. It is too bad we are not going to see them again (regular season). It is too bad we are not on the East Coast. He was really riled up today.”
Orlando Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy…
“That was just a battle. That was much more a battle than a basketball game. It was extremely physical, both teams fought extremely hard the entire way. Nothing was ever easy and it was just a game where, you know I didn’t think we played very well to be honest, 20 turnovers is not good. And I keep saying it, but we’ve got to find a way to handle the basketball better. We missed key free throws down the stretch. So, I don’t think that we played very well, but I thought we played very, very, very hard. I thought we really battled, to outrebound them by 11, we gave them 14 offensive rebounds but got 15 of our own. Jameer (Nelson) gets nine rebounds, he’s like my size, I thought our guys fought extremely hard. I thought the competitiveness was outstanding. We obviously need to play the game better. But, I thought we fought very hard. I’m glad we got the win because you know, then you can sort of make that point, it was on a game with 20 turnovers, shooting 41 percent and missing 11 free throws, a lot of things not great, but we get the win because of how hard we played. I’m really happy with that one, loved our competitiveness, I’m very proud of our guys. We’ll just move on and try to get better now.”
On the defensive play of Matt Barnes…
“You know Kobe (Bryant) had a good day, he only shot 40 percent, he had 34 points, he’s a great, great, great player. The whole thing is we didn’t want to give him anything easy. We gave him a couple I thought were too easy. We did send him to the line eight times. The thing with Matt is you know he’s going to battle, he’s going to get up and try. That corner 3 he hit, Matt was right there. He pushed him off, got a little space and rose up and hit that one. That was incredible. The guy’s a great, great player. (Pau) Gasol played great, but we did a good enough of a job on the other guys that we were able to come out with a win.”
On the play of Jameer Nelson and if he did everything right today…
“Well I don’t know about that. He had some key turnovers, he missed a big free throw, and I’m not trying to put him down, but I’m not going with the ‘he did everything right,’ 5-of-14 from the floor, OK. But I thought what he did is he created shots for us. Against a team that it’s very tough for us to get good looks, he was in the paint, drawing people, making plays, hitting some of his own shots. Don’t get me wrong, he was instrumental. There’s no way we win that game without the plays he was making, he was phenomenal. And again, to get nine rebounds in a game like that against the biggest team in the league, and Jameer’s the smallest guy on the floor and he gets nine rebounds. He’s in their fighting the entire time. I think you’ve got to give him a lot of credit there. He fought hard and created a lot of plays, big plays.”
On if getting the consistent effort throughout the game is a by-product of working on it, or the matchup…
“Well it’s this kind of matchup, there’s no question about that. What you want that to become is a habit. That’s just a way you play every time you come on the court. I read their articles coming into this game. And you knew you were going to see a team playing very tough on the defensive end of the floor today because that’s all they talked about. Their defense, they need to turn it up. You knew you were going to see Kobe attacking all day. They’d lost two in a row and the guy is one of the great winners, and great competitors that’s in this league. You knew he was going to go after it. So, you knew you were going to have a tough time today. I thought especially from a competitive, who was going to play harder, standing up to the physical play, all of that, I thought we battled them toe-to-toe, very hard. And, you want to build that into a habit. That’s the way you play all the time. I know that’s what they’re trying to do, that’s what we’re trying to do. You know you’ve got 18 games to go, you can’t screw around anymore. You need to play that hard all the time.”
Magic Center Dwight Howard
On if this is the most physical game of the year:
“Oh no, every game for us is physical. The Lakers are a big team, with a big lineup. They have big, strong guys that come off the bench so that type of game is what we expected. We just wanted to play our brand of basketball and get the job done.”
On how the win felt since the Lakers stole his dream of a championship:
“It felt great. From the time we stepped into the gym today until right now all we have thought about is dominate. We did that. Matt Barnes and Mickeal Pietrus did an excellent job tonight on Kobe; he didn’t get anything easy today. We tried to help them out as much as possible and we got the win so that is all that matters.”
Magic Guard Vince Carter
On the aggressive play against the Lakers:
“I was just trying to take what was there; they put so much emphasis on Dwight that they won’t let him get easy catches. I was trying to be aggressive and not force anything. In a game like this, with two defensive teams going at it, there won’t be a lot of open shots to take.
On the missed free throws at the end of the game:
“That bothered me. After I made twelve in a row in the game, then go to the end of a game and miss one, it bothered me for sure. It would have been different if I had missed free throws all game, but that wasn’t the case. I’m happy with the win but we could have been on the other side of game because of the misses at the free throw line.”
Magic Guard Jameer Nelson
On if this win helps the team get to the level they were at last year:
“Our team’s goal is to win a championship, so no, this game doesn’t win us the trophy. During the next few weeks will determine which level we will be at. It matters how hard we work and how committed we need to be. We need to work as a team, play well together and win some games.”
Magic Forward Matt Barnes
On what he does to keep his cool when the intensity rises up:
“You have to remember that it is a team sport, there are no individuals out there. If I get in trouble or get a technical, than I am hurting the team. Our team helps out each other with the intensity, if one of us gets out of line we hear about it from one or two guys, which has gotten us out of some trouble this year.”
Lakers vs. Magic Game Preview
By MATT BECKER
Posted Mar 06 2010 5:21PM
The Los Angeles Lakers have looked poised for much of this season as they chase their second straight title until suddenly seeming to lose their edge.
The Orlando Magic were going through a bit of a rough spell in the first finals rematch seven weeks ago, but they've quickly regained their swagger.
In the first meeting in Orlando since the Lakers won last season's title, the defending champs try to avoid losing three straight for the first time in more than two years Sunday when they visit the surging Magic.
With a 99-86 win at Amway Arena on June 14, Los Angeles (46-17) took last season's NBA finals over Orlando in five games to win the franchise's 15th championship.
"We didn't like it at all," Orlando's Dwight Howard said. "We know how tough it is to get to the finals, and to make it and lose and have a team celebrate on your home floor, it hurts. But you live and you learn.''
The Lakers again look like they have what it takes to win another title, but they're coming off a couple of troubling losses to teams in the hunt for one of the last playoffs spots in the mediocre Eastern Conference.
After a 114-111 overtime loss to Miami on Thursday, Los Angeles looked flat in Friday's 98-83 defeat in Charlotte. The Lakers shot 36.3 percent against the Bobcats and committed 20 turnovers in matching the number of losses they had all of last season with 19 games to play.
Kobe Bryant had 26 points on 9 of 21 shooting and said after the game he planned on speaking with his teammates.
When asked what the tone of that talk would be, the 12-time All-Star replied: "What do you think?''
Pau Gasol is in the middle of the Lakers' offensive struggles. He had 11 points on 5 of 14 shooting against the Bobcats after scoring 10 on 4 of 11 from the field Thursday. Los Angeles needs Gasol to play well to be successful, as the team is 4-5 when he scores 11 points or fewer, compared to 31-6 when he reaches 12.
The 7-foot Spaniard helped carry the offense in Los Angeles' first meeting of the season with Orlando, a 98-92 home win Jan. 18. With Bryant bothered by a broken right index finger, a sore back and scoring only 11 points on 4 of 19 shooting, Gasol had 17 points.
Gasol looks to bounce back from these last two poor performances to help Los Angeles avoid dropping three straight for the first time since Jan. 23-27, 2008 - one week before the team acquired the three-time All-Star center from Memphis.
"I think everybody's angry, but we're not angry at the right things,'' Andrew Bynum said. "We might be angry with each other. So that's not always that great.''
Especially with a finals rematch looming.
The Magic (43-20) defeated New Jersey 97-87 on Friday for their fourth straight win and 17th in 22 games. This impressive stretch began immediately following the loss to the Lakers in January, Orlando's seventh defeat in nine games.
Although the Magic are winning with regularity, Stan Van Gundy isn't very happy with the way his team is playing with the lead.
The Nets were able to cut Orlando's 17-point, fourth-quarter lead to eight in the waning minutes. While this didn't hurt against woeful New Jersey, it could be a different story against an elite team like the Lakers.
"All year, losing the lead is how we play,'' Van Gundy said. "Give us a lead and we will play poorly at both ends of the floor. I have absolutely no idea how to fix it.''
Matt Barnes led the Magic with 16 points Friday, while Howard finished with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Howard had 24 points on 10 of 14 shooting and 12 boards against the Lakers in January.
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 left thumb) is probable.
Shannon Brown (sprained right thumb) is probable.
Kobe Bryant (avulsion fracture, right index finger) is probable.
Sasha Vujacic (sprained right shoulder) is out.
Luke Walton (pinched nerve, back) is out indefinitely.
SEASON & SERIES
The Lakers currently lead the season series with Orlando 1-0, after dropping last season’s series with the Magic 0-2 for the first time in series history. The Magic and Lakers have met 42 times in the regular season with Los Angeles holding a 31-11 advantage in the all-time series. Prior to last season, the Lakers had never lost a season series to the Magic but had split on nine occasions. The Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 overall meetings but are just 2-3 in their last five regular season contests. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 9-2 all-time against the Magic in regular season contests. In Orlando, the Lakers are 7-3 against the Magic in their last 10 regular season meetings. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 15-4 against Orlando in the regular season. In 23 games against Orlando including 19 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 25.3 points. In the Magic and Lakers first meeting of last season December 20 in Orlando, Bryant scored 41 points to equal his own Lakers-Magic series record established during the 2004-05 season when he scored 41 points on November 12, 2004. Former Laker Shaquille O’Neal holds the Magic high mark against the Lakers with 46 points back in March of 1995. Last season, Bryant recorded his first triple-double since 2005 with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists against the Magic on 1/16/09. The Lakers defeated the Magic in five games during the 2009 NBA Finals, marking the first time the two teams have met in the playoffs. Prior to last season’s NBA Finals, head coach Phil Jackson had faced Orlando twice in the playoffs as head coach of the Chicago Bulls, dropping the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Magic in six games but then sweeping the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals the following year.
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM
With back-to-back losses at Miami and at Charlotte, the Lakers are in the midst of their THIRD 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 11 times overall since acquiring Gasol (9 regular season, 2 playoff streaks). Of those 11 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.
ARTEST POSTS FIVE OR MORE STEALS IN THREE CONSECUTIVE GAMES
With six steals 2/28 vs. Denver, five steals 3/2 vs. Indiana and five steals 3/4 at Miami, Ron Artest grabbed at least five steals in three consecutive games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the longest such streak for any NBA player since Chris Paul had a three-game streak for New Orleans in March 2009. The last NBA player to have five or more steals in four consecutive games was Baron Davis in 2003. Furthermore, the last Laker to post three consecutive games with five or more steals was Magic Johnson in March 1981. Johnson also holds the Lakers franchise record with four straight games with five or more steals in October 1980.
The Lakers 111-114 overtime loss at Miami March 4 was the team’s 5th overtime contest of the season. The Lakers are now 4-1 in overtime games this season, after going 2-1 in three overtime games last season and 4-0 in four overtime games during the 2007-08 season. During the 2006-07 season, the Lakers’ 10 overtime contests established a new Los Angeles era record for overtime games in a single season. With their overtime loss against Miami, the Lakers all-time overtime record is now 131-90 (.593).
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 (25,420) 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 (25,394) 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.