Lakers Gameday | 03/19/10 | Wolves

Box Score
Play by Play

1 Courtside high-five given to Tom Cruise by Kobe Bryant, in the second quarter as Andrew Bynum took the first of two free throws. That’s always fun.

9 Assists for Kobe Bryant in the first half alone. He finished with 13 on the game, a season high.

14 Rebounds from Pau Gasol to lead the Lakers. He’s averaging 11 boards a game on the season, the most on the team.

24 More free throws taken by the Lakers than the Wolves.

41.5 L.A.’s shooting percentage in their first game at STAPLES Center in 10 days.

Mike Trudell,

Lakers Beat Wolves; Bynum Leaves in Third

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DJ Mbenga Postgame
Phil Jackson Postgame
Assist of the Night
Lakers Fast Break
Bryant to Bynum
Kobe to Lamar


Lakers hand T'Wolves 12th straight loss

Posted Mar 20 2010 1:07AM

LOS ANGELES(AP) Kobe Bryant had 22 points and a season-high 13 assists, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 104-96 victory over Minnesota on Friday night and sending the Timberwolves to their 12h straight loss.

Lamar Odom scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Pau Gasol added 17 points and 14 rebounds to help the Lakers win their sixth in a row, following their first three-game skid since obtaining Gasol during the 2007-08 season.

The defending NBA champions beat the Timberwolves for the 10th straight time despite losing injury-plagued center Andrew Bynum, who strained his left Achilles' tendon early in the third quarter. He had 11 points and five rebounds.

Bryant shot 4 for 11 from the field and had seven assists in the first quarter, after averaging just 4.9 through his first 63 games. The Lakers have had only two other double-digit assist performances by an individual this season - both by the 2008 MVP.

The Lakers have won 18 of the last 19 games in which Bryant has had fewer than 20 field-goal attempts. The only blemish was 105-85 loss at San Antonio in which he took a season-low 10 shots and scored 16 points. He has put up 20 or more shots in 14 of their last 15 defeats - and 30 or more in five of them.

Jonny Flynn scored 20 points for the Timberwolves, who have lost 18 of 19. Kevin Love added 19 points and 11 assists.

Bryant had an unusually quiet first half with 11 points - eight of them on free throws - and took only three shots from the field in more than 15 minutes on the floor. His only field goal of the half was a 3-pointer with 2:14 left in the second quarter.

With the two-time NBA scoring champ orchestrating the offense early on instead of concentrating on scoring, the Lakers opened up a 13-point lead late in the opening quarter and led 59-49 at halftime. The Timberwolves opened the third with a 17-7 run, tying it at 68 on Darko Milicic's 23-footer with 4:49 left in the quarter.

After a Lakers timeout, Bryant intercepted Corey Brewer's pass and fed Gasol for a dunk that put Los Angeles ahead to stay. They pulled out to a 10-point lead by the end of the third and took their biggest lead, 91-76, on Shannon Brown's two free throws with 7:47 to play. The Timberwolves got as close as 95-88 on Love's three-point play with 2:51 left.

Los Angeles converted 19 Minnesota turnovers into 26 points. The Timberwolves forced 15 turnovers by the Lakers, but had only nine points to show for it.

NOTES: Just a formality, but the Lakers mathematically clinched a postseason berth for the 29th time in Jerry Buss' 31 years as the team's owner. ``He's a gambler - and a proficient one, I think,'' coach Phil Jackson said. ``He knows the odds, he knows when to take the risk, and he carries that sense that this is a risk-reward type of game. This year he took the big risk and brought Lamar back in the hopes that we can get back to where we have a shot at the championship again. That was a big bill to chew, for an organization that had never lost money in the over the last 30 or so years he's owned the team.'' ... Odom, who signed a four-year contract on July 31 that will pay him a guaranteed $27 million - $33 million if the team exercises the option on the fourth year - came in averaging 10.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 46.3 percent from the field as the Lakers' sixth man. ... The Lakers have to go no worse than 9-4 the rest of the regular season for the 12th 60-win season in franchise history, and Jackson's eighth as an NBA coach. ... Bryant needs 25 points to overtake Alex English (25,613) for 12th place on the career scoring list.

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 and Andrew Bynum’s injury:

“Hard for us to stay focused tonight. I just felt like we got distracted by a variety of things there. Concerned about Andrew. We’ll call that injury I think probably a strained Achilles. We’re a little concerned. He’ll probably miss a little while.”

On where the team is at right now:
“I couldn’t make that assessment on this game. We had Pau out yesterday; Fish had a good practice since he had a slight injury in the Sacramento game. We really haven’t had the kind of structure that we have to have to make an assessment about where we’re at right now. We’ll have to use our practice tomorrow to reassess how we’re going to play without Andrew for a little bit here.”

On “distractions” for the Lakers:
“I thought we tried to do too much with the ball; ended up turning it over. After a real good first quarter, allowed them to come back and win the second quarter. Those little things are important against a team is just to continue to win quarter after quarter. Consequently, we played even the rest of the game.”

On what the Lakers will miss most in not having Andrew Bynum:
“He gets easy baskets for us. He’s obviously a big body and can get things accomplished by plugging the lane and things. He gets easy baskets. It’s obvious he shoots almost 60% from the field. Six out of ten times if he gets the ball and shoots it, he’s going to score.”

On playing without Andrew Bynum:
“We really know how to play without Andrew. We’ve done that a lot. We’ve gone through playoffs, etcetera. We’re okay in that regard. It’s about the support system behind that. Lamar hurt his shoulder tonight. That took another guy out of the lineup and so forth.”

On Derek Fisher:
“He’s going to be alright. He just had a jawing blow. It’s more recovery. I think it will take him another day or two and he’ll be back in form.”

Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant

On keeping up the intensity in the upcoming game against Washington:
“By just doing our jobs and playing hard. It’s that time of year when it doesn’t matter who you’re playing against, you just got to play.”

On the Lakers’ performance tonight:
“We did a good job. We got back on defense and I think I rebounded pretty good. For the most part we did a pretty good job taking it to the paint.”

On maintaining continuity as the season progresses:
“You just play through it. You want to continue moving in the right direction. The guys on this team have played together for a while so that’s not a problem. You just want to make sure that guys stay healthy and stay in tune with what we’re doing.”

On sensing that the playoffs are nearing:
“Yea you can smell it. It’s that time of the year. The weather starts changing. Spring’s coming. Yea you can smell it. It’s that time of the year. It’s my favorite time of the year.”

Lakers Forward Ron Artest

On being prepared for the Sunday matchup against the Wizards.”
“We can’t look past anybody. We take every game seriously. Look at the last couple days, we’ve practiced really hard. We had a really good first quarter on the defense.”

Lakers’ forward Pau Gasol on playing tonight:

“I was happy I was able to be out there, contributing and feeling well enough to have energy and to play well to help the team.”

On playing in the remaining games of the regular season:
“Definitely feel well physically and ready for the last part of the season. I’m really excited about it. I think we all are and it’s about to get interesting.”

Lakers’ forward Lamar Odom on the benchs’ performance tonight:
“They’re the reason why we win championships. They have to level in practice and they’re prepared.”

On stepping up for the team:
“I’ll just play basketball. I’ve been in that position before. The strength of our team is in our depth. We’ll just continue to play basketball.”

Timberwolves Coach Kurt Rambis on playing the Lakers:
“It is always difficult to get your defense set when you are coming up to the basket against this team.  When adjusting to this team it is like starting the game down by 20-points.  When you start in a negative deficit you have to find a way to dig yourself out of that hole.”

On tonight’s game:
“I thought our guys played really well.  They paid attention to the game plan and did their jobs and responsibilities.  Lamar came out and knocked down some three-point shots.  I had told the guys to lay off of him and challenge him to make those shots and he made those shots on us, but that is part of the game plan, they did what I asked them to do.  I thought our guys played well and moved the basketball.  There was a stretch in the third quarter where we turned the ball over and they opened up a really close ball game and they [Lakers] got it up by 10 or 12 really quick.  We just didn’t seem to have the energy to get ourselves a lot closer after that.” 

On tonight’s game compared to their 4-game road trip:
“I think it is easy to say that this was our best game.  A lot of it had to do with our guys doing the right things.  As always we have hiccups and moments where we are not doing things properly, but that is to be expected.  It is hard for them to keep their composure and to keep their sights on their goals and run things the right way.  We expect things not to be run correctly all the time because of their youth and inexperience, but overall I thought they did a very good job at executing what we wanted them to.”

On the Timberwolves’ performance:
“We had some good performances and we won the last three quarters, tied the third quarter, but overall the last three quarters we won so I was happy with their performance and effort.  I was pleased they came out and continued to fight.  One of the things our young team has to learn is that things will not always go our way but you have to continue to play and fight through it and handle whatever adversity is thrown at you and I thought they did a much better job of that tonight than they had previous ball games.”

Timberwolves’ Jonny Flynn on how the Lakers sustained a lead after being tied at 66 points each in the third quarter:
“They just went on a little run. We fought so hard to get back in the game and that kind of took a little bit out of us. They made a big play right after that and that flared us a little bit.”

On the positives from tonight’s game:
“I liked our effort in this game. We just played a full 48-minute game tonight. A lot of this season we’ll only put a half together or maybe a quarter and a half but I think this game, even though we lost, we played hard and we played decent basketball for a full 48 minutes.”

On playing at the Staples Center:
“It’s nice. The Staples Center is like a Broadway play; the lights are dimmed and you see stars like Tom Cruise, Chris Brown, and Leo (DiCaprio) out there. So when you come here… you want to play well.”

Timberwolves’ Ryan Gomes on how the Lakers sustained a lead after being tied at 66 points each in the third quarter:
“From that point on we turned the ball over, I think, eight times and they went up 12-0. Even though we were still able to keep the game within reach, with those eight turnovers we couldn’t get a possession to even get an attempt at the basket... So that was the turning point of the game.”

On the positives the Timberwolves should take away as they move in to their remaining games this season:
“We’ve got to come out with the same intensity these last 12 games (of the season) and just look back at this and say ‘We played with them for awhile, due to what reason, due to the stage that we’re in L.A. and the weather and all that.’ You think about that for your next game even though you’re not here.”

Lakers vs. Timberwolves Game Preview


Posted Mar 18 2010 1:34PM

Their season-high, three-game losing streak behind them, the Los Angeles Lakers are starting to round into playoff form. A matchup with the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves could help the Western Conference leaders continue that development.

Los Angeles looks to win five straight for the first time in nearly three months Friday when it goes for its 10th consecutive victory over the conference-worst Timberwolves, who have dropped 11 in a row.

Since their first three-game slide in two years, the Lakers (50-18) have gotten back on track. They capped a 3-0 trip with a 106-99 victory over Sacramento on Tuesday.

"We're playing with more of a sense of urgency," Kobe Bryant said after scoring 30 points with nine rebounds and seven assists. "Guys understand that we can be beaten. Once you understand that, you understand that that day can come. Guys have to remained focused."

The Lakers have held teams to 44.6 percent shooting over the last four games after opponents hit 48.4 percent during the skid.

"I think we're tightening it up and playing better defensively," said Pau Gasol, averaging 27.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in the last two games. "We know there are only 14 games left in the regular season. It's a good time to step it up and play at our highest level."

Hosting the Timberwolves (14-55) could help the Lakers win five straight for the first time since Dec. 15-22.

In a matchup at Staples Center on Dec. 11, Los Angeles won its ninth in a row over Minnesota, 104-92. Gasol scored 17 points with 20 boards and Bryant added 20 points despite playing the second half with a splint on his right index finger after suffering a small break while reaching for a pass.

The Timberwolves lost for the 17th time in 18 games Wednesday, 122-100 at Utah. Former Lakers player and assistant coach Kurt Rambis, in his first season leading Minnesota, is trying to get his team to find reasons to play hard every night.

"Every team that we are facing is in playoff mode right now so they have a light at the end of the tunnel - something to fight for," Rambis said. "So our guys are going to have to look within themselves to find that fight."

Facing a Lakers team that's averaging 110.3 points on 49.5 percent shooting during its winning streak could present a major challenge for the Timberwolves, who are allowing 115.2 points per game during their 11-game slide.

Timberwolves forward Al Jefferson posted his third straight double-double against Los Angeles with 24 points and 13 rebounds in December's meeting.

Since being suspended for two games by Minnesota following a DWI arrest, Jefferson is averaging 19.7 points and 9.7 rebounds while shooting 56.8 percent from the field in six contests.

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) will play.
Shannon Brown
(sprained right thumb) will play.
Kobe Bryant
(avulsion fracture, right index finger) will play.
Pau Gasol
(tonsillitis) is questionable.
Sasha Vujacic
(sprained right shoulder) is probable.
Luke Walton
(pinched nerve, back) is out indefinitely.


Sasha Pavlovic (strained left calf) is questionable.

The Lakers currently lead the season series with Minnesota 1-0, after sweeping last season’s series with Minnesota 4-0 and taking the 2007-08 series 3-0. This will be the 79th meeting between the two franchises with Los Angeles holding a 57-21 advantage. The Lakers are 9-1 in their last 10 meetings with the Timberwolves and have won 9 straight overall. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 16-4 all-time against the Timberwolves, are 8-2 in their last 10 and have won their last seven straight. In Minnesota, the Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 road games but have won four straight at Target Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 24-12 against Minnesota. In 47 career games including 39 starts, Bryant is averaging 23.3 points versus Minnesota. In their last trip to Minnesota (2/22/09), Bryant surpassed Elgin Baylor for 20th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. In 2007, Bryant scored 50 points 3/18/07 vs. MIN, becoming the first Laker since Elgin Baylor in December of 1962 to post consecutive 50-point games as well as the first player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1963 to follow a 60-plus point scoring night with 50-plus points. Additionally, Bryant’s 50- point effort matched Cedric Ceballos’ series record 50-point game posted on December 20, 1994. Minnesota head coach Kurt Rambis played nine seasons with the Lakers, averaging 4.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 569 games while winning four NBA Championships (1982,’85,’87,’88). Most recently, Rambis served as an assistant coach on Phil Jackson’s bench from 2001-04 and 2005-09, helping lead the team to two NBA titles (2002, ’09). Timberwolves assistant coach Dave Wohl served as a Lakers assistant coach in Rambis’ playing days on Pat Riley’s staff from 1982-85. Minnesota big men Kevin Love and Ryan Hollins both played collegiately at UCLA. Hollins played alongside Lakers guard Jordan Farmar with the Bruins for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. Additionally, the Lakers and Timberwolves have met once in the postseason during the first round of the 2003 Playoffs. Los Angeles defeated the Wolves 4-2 despite Minnesota holding home-court advantage. No Timberwolves remain from their 2002-03 roster while Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher are the only current Lakers who played in that series.


In the Lakers 106-99 victory over Sacramento March 16, Pau Gasol scored 28 points on 12-of-14 shooting while grabbing 12 rebounds. Gasol is the third different player this season to shoot at least 85% from the field (minimum 10 attempts) while recording at least 10 rebounds in a game. Earlier this season, Andrew Bynum totaled a season-high 27 points on 12-of-14 shooting and 12 rebounds 1/27 vs. Indiana. Dwight Howard has had two such games this season as well: 2/24 at Houston (30 points, 11-11 FG, 16 rebounds) and 3/14 vs. Charlotte (27 points, 12-14 FG, 16 rebounds).

With their victory over Sacramento March 16, the Lakers reached the 50-win mark for the 31st time in franchise history (30th time since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season and the 28th time since the NBA adopted an 82-game schedule prior to the 1967-68 campaign). Since Dr. Jerry Buss took over the team prior to the 1979- 80 season, the Lakers have posted 22 50+ win seasons. It is Phil Jackson’s 16th 50-win season in 19 seasons as an NBA head coach.

With their victory at Sacramento March 16th, the Lakers recorded their 671st regular season victory with Kobe Bryant in the lineup, moving him ahead of Earvin “Magic” Johnson (670) as the 2nd winningest Laker ever. In the franchise’s history, only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (743) has won more games in a Lakers uniform than Bryant (671).

With a 56-25 rebounding advantage in their victory at Golden State March 15, the Lakers collected 69.1 percent of the game’s rebounds, a percentage that is the highest the Lakers have ever had in any game since the NBA introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954. The Lakers percentage was the second highest by a team this season, with Philadelphia grabbing 69.4 percent of the rebounds in a 117-101 victory over the Warriors on December 14, 2009.
Additionally, in outrebounding the Warriors by 31, the Lakers posted their largest rebound advantage since outrebounding the Washington Bullets by 33 (61-28) in a 129-94 victory in Los Angeles on 3/16/94. More recently, the Lakers outrebounded Don Nelson’s Warriors by 30 (63-33) in a 115-113 victory in Los Angeles on 3/25/07.

In the Lakers recent victory 3/15 at Golden State, the Lakers committed 24 turnovers to the Warriors five. The last time the Lakers had 19 or more turnovers than their opponent came back in 1985, when Los Angeles committed 20 more turnovers than Portland (30-10) in a 135-133 overtime victory in Los Angeles (4/7/85). League-wide, the last time that a team had 19 or more turnovers than their opponent in a game came on 1/4/06, when the Celtics defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 109-106 despite committing 19 more turnovers than Charlotte (24-5).

In their 102-96 victory at Phoenix, all five Lakers starters scored 15+ points for the first time since December 7, 2003 when Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton, Devean George, Slava Medvedenko and Shaquille O’Neal all scored 15+ points in a 94-92 victory over the Utah Jazz.

For the 6th time this season, Kobe Bryant helped secure a victory for the Lakers in the final seconds on a 17-foot fade-away jumper with 1.9 seconds remaining 3/9 vs. Toronto (109-107). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since the stat began being tracked prior to the 2000-01 season, Bryant now has the most game winning field goals of any player in a single season over the last 10 years (FGM in last 10 seconds of the 4th quarter or overtime). Carmelo Anthony ranks second on this list with five game-winning field goals made during the 2005-06 season. Bryant’s game winning shots this season include three shots at the buzzer with no time remaining (3-point FG 12/4 vs. Miami (108-107), FG in overtime 12/16 at Milwaukee (107-106), FG 1/1 vs. Sacramento (109-108)) and three shots in the final seconds (7.3 seconds left 1/31 at Boston (90-89), 4.3 seconds left 2/23 at Memphis (99-98), 1.9 seconds left 3/9 vs. Toronto (109-107)). In all, Bryant has 20 field goals that have given his team the lead within the last 10 seconds of a fourth quarter or overtime since the start of the 2000-01 season, the most in the league over that span (second most is 13 by Vince Carter).

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 (25,566) 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.