Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol combined for 58 points as the Los Angeles Lakers went on to defeat the Sacramento Kings 106-99 yesterday at the ARCO Arena, marking their third consecutive road victory. The Lakers sit on top of the West at 50-18 with 14 games remaining this regular season.
“We’re playing with more of a sense of urgency,” said Bryant. “Guys understand that we can be beaten. Once you understand that, you understand that that day can come. Guys have to remained focused.”
Andrew Bynum netted 21 for LA with a side of 12 boards. Lamar Odom came off the bench to produce 10 points in his 24 minutes played. Rookie Tyreke Evans collected 25 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for Sacramento in their efforts. The Kings will next move on to face the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday as the Lakers play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Dwight Howard controlled the paint with 15 points and 16 rebounds to lead his Orlando Magic to victory over the Los Angeles Lakers 96-94 Sunday at the Amway Arena. Vince Carter posted 25 poinst as Jameer Nelson contributed for 15. Kobe Bryant put up 34 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals, despite missing his final attempt at the buzzer for LA to suffer their third loss in a row.
Yesterday’s NBA Finals regular season rematch was full of emotion. It was evident that both teams were desperate to gain the extra edge heading into the last few weeks of the regular season. “You could see it in everybody’s faces and everybody’s demeanor,” said Carter. “Everybody on that floor wanted to win that game. It wasn’t just, ‘Yeah, OK, whatever.’ It was, ‘Let’s go get it.’ That game was Game 7.” The Magic are now set to play the LA Clippers while the Lakers host the Toronto Raptors this Tuesday.
Lamar Odom stepped up with 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the LA Lakers to defeat the Denver Nuggets 95-89 last night at the Staples Center. In both 2008 and 2009, Los Angeles found themselves responsible for sending the Nuggets back home in the playoffs. Denver has since become highly motivated to prevent the recent trend, winning in their first two regular season matchups and boasting to have the NBA Champions all figured out. Even with franchise player Kobe Bryant collecting just 14 points, Los Angeles featured four other players in double digit numbers to find their rhythm and earn their 45th win of the year.
“Toward the end of the season, you need games like this to start firing you up toward a playoff type of consistency,” said Nuggets coach George Karl. “I think with teams that have won championships and have been there more consistently, there’s more confidence to be able to turn the switch on.”
Denver kept the lead through most of the contest until the Lakers came together for a 12-2 run at the start of the fourth block. Pau Gasol supplied the dagger with 2:26 left with a driving layup assisted by Bryant. The Nuggets couldn’t produce from there, marking a six point advantage in favor of LA at the sound of the final buzzer. The Nuggets are set to arrive in Phoenix tonight to take on the Suns before the Lakers host the Indiana Pacers the following day.
Kobe Bryant hit the game-winning three-pointer with 4.2 seconds to go for the LA Lakers to win over the Memphis Grizzlies 99-98 yesterday at FedExForum. The 4X NBA champ was able to score 32 points in his return from injury, netting his team’s final nine points in the remaining minutes.
“Nobody in the world is shocked anymore by what Kobe Bryant does and what he brings to the team,” said All-Star center Pau Gasol. “He really stepped up at the end. It feels good to have him back.”
Gasol controlled the inside game for Los Angeles with 22 points and 13 rebounds. OJ Mayo hit 9-of-15 from the floor to rack up a total of 25 for the Grizzlies. Despite a highly productive night, Mayo failed to complete a pair of foul shots with less than 30 seconds left on the clock.
“I’d love to take those last two free throws again,” said Mayo. “I’d love to take them and make them.” Memphis is scheduled to play the Mavericks in Dallas as the Lakers stay east to matchup against the Washington Wizards.
Ray Allen hit 10 of his first 11 shots, finishing the game with 24 points to lead the Boston Celtics past the Los Angeles Lakers 87-86 Thursday night at the Staples Center. Allen missed the potential game-winner in their last matchup against LA at the final buzzer. This time around he was able to shut down Derek Fisher on the defensive end to solidify the victory for Boston.
Allen has been the center of attention lately in regards to potential Celtics trade options. Last night the 14-year veteran definitely assured the front office that he’s better fit in green. “Ray was huge tonight. I think we should threaten to trade him all the time and then pull him back,” said coach Doc Rivers. “He was phenomenal. That stretch in the third quarter won the game for us, in my opinion.”
Boston just recently dealt for Knicks guard Nate Robinson at the cost of Eddie House and JR Giddens. Allen offers his best for Eddie in New York, saying “we’re sad to see Eddie go because he’s a brother of ours. We won a championship together, so we’re forever connected. He’s a good dude and an integral part of the team. My heart goes out to him.” Robinson will prepare to join the rest of the C’s on Friday for their game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
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Kobe Bryant was awarded NBA Player of the Decade during yesterday’s All-Star festivities. The longtime Los Angeles franchise player has won a total of four NBA Championships since joining the league in 1996. So far this season Bryant has averaged 28 points and five assists per game, leading his squad to a 41-13 regular season record. The Lakers all-time leading scorer is currently sidelined, but expects to return from minor injury within the next couple of days.
“This year meant a lot. We won a championship,” said Bryant. “It was satisfying, very satisfying, because we put in a lot of time and effort to fix things and get better. It’s a great memory. I feel that we just had such a great team, such a fun team, from our chemistry to the way we executed. We went through some years and years of frustration to get to that point.” Kobe hopes to be rested and ready to go for the Lakers upcoming home games this week against the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.
Pau Gasol collected 21 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists to lead his shorthanded LA Lakers past the San Antonio Spurs 101-89 Monday night at the Staples Center. Kobe Bryant sat his second consecutive game with a sore left angle as Andrew Bynum joined him on the bench with a bruised right hip. Ron Artest and Lamar Odom stepped up in their absence, contributing for 34 points combined.
“It’s got to be reassuring for the rest of the team and for the guys that don’t play that much that are now stepping up,” said Gasol. “It was fun. It was a good challenge for us. We played hard and got a nice win.”
The Spurs have now lost four in a row heading into their next game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. The Lakers will look to win three straight at Utah without their star player who’s currently listed as day to day. “I don’t know what it’s going to look like on Sunday. I’m not clairvoyant,” said Bryant jokingly. “If it’s an injury where I feel like I can play through it and have it heal while I’m playing, then I’ll play.”
This week has been all about breaking franchise records in Lakerland. Following Kobe Bryant netting 44 points in Tuesdays loss to Memphis to pass Jerry West on the all-time Lakers scoring list, Phil Jackson added another piece to his resume Wednesday during LA’s 99-97 victory over the Bobcats at the Staples Center. Charlotte kept the pressure on but Los Angeles wouldn’t fold in order to give their beloved coach his 545th win as a Laker.
Jackson is the only coach to earn the most wins for two separate franchises (Chicago, Los Angeles). His incredible run with Jordan, Pippen and Co. won six NBA titles before he traveled West to collect another four. “It’s been a really good run,” said Jackson. “Having this opportunity to coach this team is always special. The fact that we’ve had some great teams, great players, is always a credit to them. It’s not really an individual record in my mind.”
Last night’s game featured Andrew Bynum leading the way with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Lamar Odom came up with 19, including a few necessary buckets to keep the advantage down the stretch. Bryant, despite just recently edging the top spot within the orgnization could only produce five points.
The 4-time NBA champ has been struggling with a broken finger on his shooting hand. “It was just stiff — stiff and tight,” he said. “Lamar stepped on my foot as I was changing directions, so it just made it worse. It just set it back to Square One.” The Lakers will next matchup with the Nuggets tomorrow as the Bobcats prepare to challenge the Hornets back in Charlotte on Saturday.
Kobe Bryant supplied the go-ahead bucket with 7.3 seconds left for the LA Lakers to defeat the Boston Celtics 90-89 Sunday night at the TD Garden. Ron Artest earned an Oscar Award for falling into the stands during the previous play down the stretch, when Paul Pierce pushed off for a jumper that would’ve put the C’s up three. Ray Allen wrapped the contest with a failed attempt from beyond the arc to give the Lakers their fourth consecutive victory.
“I thought I made a good move. I got to my sweet spot. I guess the ref saw it differently and he made the call,” said Pierce. “Ten times out of 10 times, when you have Ray open like that I’m going to give him the ball. He got a good look at it. Sometimes it falls; sometimes it doesn’t.”
Rajon Rondo led Boston with 21 points, 12 assists, five rebounds and two steals. Bryant and Andrew Bynum were able to boost LA with 19 apiece. The Lakers are scheduled to face the Memphis Grizzlies tonight as the C’s take a trip to the capital to matchup against the Washington Wizards.
Shannon Brown came off the bench for 22 points to push the Los Angeles Lakers past the Orlando Magic 98-92 in yesterday’s 2009 NBA Finals regular season rematch at the STAPLES Center. The 24-year old PG after receiving an invitation to participate in the annual slam dunk competition was out to prove himself as more than just a high riser.
“We knew they were going to be ready to get some kind of revenge from the series, so we knew how the reserves played would be really important,” said Brown. “If you want to be the best at this game, you’ve got to have a great all-around game. I definitely work on more than my dunks.”
Yesterday featured an assortment of lead changes until the start of the fourth quarter when LA went on to score 15 straight. Kobe Bryant finished the game with 11 points, leaving him 22 shy of becoming the youngest NBA player to join the 25,000 point club. LA is scheduled to take on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers this Thursday in Cleveland. The Magic will next host the Indiana Pacers tomorrow night at 7:00 PM.