Kobe Bryant dropped 40 points to Kevin Durant’s 30 as the Los Angeles Lakers battled past the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-108 yesterday at STAPLES Center. The Thunder were in control through the first half with a seven-point lead before LA outshined them in the third quarter to earn their 16th victory in 17 games.
Following their long string of away matchups, the beat up Lakers still managed to come out on top. “They were sharper than we were, and we just had to work really hard,” said Pau Gasol. “You come in tired from the road, and the time difference has a little impact. I’m not sure why, but it does happen. Luckily, we were able to get past it.” Bryant was able to add to his 40 with eight boards and six assists. Gasol and Derek Fisher each contributed with 15 apiece as Lamar Odom came off the bench to score 12.
The young Durant was proud of his developing squad for competing with the defending NBA champions. “I know we don’t like to take moral victories, but tonight we showed a lot of toughness and a lot of maturity,” said Durant. “Even though it was a tough loss, we were right there at the end and could have won it.” Oklahoma will continue on to Phoenix to face the Suns tonight while the 23-4 Lakers prepare to host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.
Longtime franchise player Kobe Bryant took control once again for his Los Angeles Lakers with 34 points, as they went on to defeat the New York Knicks 100-90 yesterday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Between Pau Gasol (11), Andrew Bynum (17) and Ron Artest (17), New York was simply unable to match the size and strength of LA through all four quarters.”We like to use our height to our advantage,” said Bynum. “It doesn’t do any good if you don’t have the right game plan and the right fundamentals, but we had that for the most part, too.”
Wilson Chandler and Nate Robinson led the Knicks in scoring with 15 points apiece. The Lakers were up by as much as 24 before New York’s reserves came in to cut the deficit to 10. “We needed to shoot the ball extremely well tonight to have a chance to win, because their defense is predicated on making teams shoot contested jump shots rather getting into the lane,” said Knicks center David Lee. “And when you do get into the lane, they have two 7-footers in there. That’s why we needed to shoot well from the 3-point line. We put up 33 of them, and we didn’t hit as many as we should have.”
The Lakers will have a couple days to rest before they go up against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, November 18th. The Knicks are scheduled to host the Sacramento Kings tonight in the MSG at 10:00 PM.
Kobe Bryant netted 40 points for the 100th time as the Los Angeles Lakers avoided their third straight loss against the Detroit Pistons last night at the Staples Center. Detroit created a late game run after being down 25 heading into the fourth quarter, proceeding to outscore LA 30-18. Unfortunately for them not enough time remained, resulting in a 106-93 Lakers victory.
Bryant now trails just Michael Jordan (173) and Wilt Chamberlain (271) on the NBA’s list of most career 40-point games. “It’s a true honor,” said Bryant. “A lot of work went into it, and when I look back on that, I can’t believe I had 100 of those games. It’s just a good feeling.”
The Lakers will be hosting the Chicago Bulls tonight before the Oklahoma City Thunder make their way to LA on Sunday. Los Angeles Lakers tickets are available now!
Kobe Bryant led his defending champion Los Angeles Lakers with 29 points as they went on to outscore the Phoenix Suns 121-102 last night at the Staples Center. Steve Nash and the Suns have failed to beat the Lakers in five of their last six matchups. LA didn’t have any problems playing right along and overshadowing the Suns run and gun type style.
“It’s just tough matchups all around,” Phoenix said coach Alvin Gentry. “They just took us out of everything we tried to do. We miss a dunk, and they come back with a three-point play. We miss an open shot, and then they come down with a 3-point shot. They’re a great basketball team. I don’t know if they have a weakness, after looking around.”
Andrew Bynum in his first game back from elbow problems earned game MVP rights with 26 points and 15 rebounds. “I got my legs back, and I’m fresh,” said Bynum. “As far as the elbow goes, I’m going to continue getting treatment. It hurts a little bit, but it’s going to be that way for a little while.”
Jared Dudley led the Suns in scoring with 14 points off the bench. They are next set to host the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. This Friday the Lakers will be tested in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference finals verses the Denver Nuggets.
Kobe Bryant after receiving his fourth NBA Championship ring went back to work with 33 points as the Los Angeles Lakers went on to defeat their in-town rival LA Clippers 99-92 at the Staples Center. Every Laker on the team earned a ring from their 2008-2009 title except for Ron Artest, who joined the squad after trading places with now Houston Rockets small forward Trevor Ariza earlier this year.
Andrew Bynum on his 22nd birthday contributed with 26 points and 13 rebounds. While the Lakers were somewhat distracted by the banners, crowd and general memories of the summers events, the Clippers actually hung around. Eric Gordon, Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman netted 21, 18, and 14 in their efforts to stay with the defending champs. All it took was a Kobe/Odom take over early in the fourth for the Lakers to pull away.
“It’s always tough to play games after those kind of ceremonies,” said Lakers coach Phil Jackson (Has won ten NBA titles as head coach with Chicago/LA). “Some of the energy is always difficult to maintain because there is a lot of energy that’s kind of dissipated when you go out and have that kind of ceremony. You’re not ready to step up and march to the tune of this season right yet.”
The Lakers will next welcome the Dallas Mavericks to LA this Friday at 10:30 PM ET. Los Angeles Lakers tickets are available now!
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said earlier this week that his aged veterans Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili have been taking it easy and should be more than 100% heading into the upcoming season. Duncan struggled with knee problems during their short lived playoff run last year. The All-Star forward has rested well since then and plans to start working out next week. Ginobili, who played just 44 games last season due to ankle problems has been limited to treadmill workouts. “He is healthy,” Popovich said. “He’ll come back out of shape but healthy.”
The Spurs front office has really put in work lately, acquiring Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess to give floor general Tony Parker more options down the court. If Ginobili and Duncan can really come back like trainers and coaches are suggesting, the Spurs may be looking at another championship run ahead of them. Overall San Antonio has made the most improvements heading into the 2009-2010 season. They will certainly show as top contenders in the West with the LA Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. The scary part about the this off-season is it seems like all of the best teams just got better.
The Lakers only re-signed Lamar Odom and also added one of the best defensive players in the league (Ron Artest) to their championship roster. The Cleveland Cavaliers kept their core intact and were simply able to make room for future hall of fame center Shaquille O’Neal. The Boston Celtics clearly have their front court in line after acquiring Shelden Williams, Rasheed Wallace, and re-signing Glen Davis. The Orlando Magic seemed very pleased after signing Vince Carter and Jason Williams to go along with a healthy Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard. It will be interesting to see how the season will pan out, because virtually no predictions can be made at the present moment.
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NBA league officials have just released all of the team schedules for 2009. The Celtics will first be challenged on Tuesday, October 27th against the Cavaliers in Cleveland, which should serve as one of the premiere opening match ups. They will then host a stretch of three games against the Bobcats, Bulls, and Hornets. The C’s will have to wait until Friday, November 20th to get their revenge on the Magic. Orlando and Boston are going to meet again on Christmas day but this time at the Amway Arena. They’ll see Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat for the first time on November 29th, but will host them at the Garden on February 3rd. March 24-28 should be an important stretch at home for Boston, as they are set to face the Nuggets, Kings, and Spurs to get an idea of the West coast. Be ready for another exciting year as the Boston Celtics begin another quest to earn their 18th franchise championship!2009-2010 Boston Celtics Schedule
Tuesday, October 27 @ Cleveland Cavaliers 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 28 vs Charlotte Bobcats 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 30 vs Chicago Bulls 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 1 vs New Orleans Hornets 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 3 @ Philadelphia 76ers 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 4 @ Minnesota Timberwolves 8:00 p.m.
Friday, November 6 vs Phoenix Suns 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 7 @ New Jersey Nets 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 11 vs Utah Jazz 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 13 vs Atlanta Hawks 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 14 @ Indiana Pacers 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 18 vs Golden State Warriors 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 20 vs Orlando Magic 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 22 @ New York Knicks 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 25 vs Philadelphia 76ers 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 27 vs Toronto Raptors 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 29 @ Miami HEAT 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 1 @ Charlotte Bobcats 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 3 @ San Antonio 8:00 p.m.
Friday, December 4 @ Oklahoma City 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 8 vs Milwaukee Bucks 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 10 @ Washington Wizards 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 12 @ Chicago Bulls 8:00 p.m.
Monday, December 14 @ Memphis Grizzlies 8:00 p.m.
Friday, December 18 vs Philadelphia 76ers 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 20 vs Minnesota Timberwolves 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 22 vs Indiana Pacers 7:30 p.m.
Friday, December 25 @ Orlando Magic 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 27 @ Los Angeles Clippers 9:30 p.m.
Monday, December 28 @ Golden State Warriors 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 30 @ Phoenix Suns 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 2 vs Toronto Raptors 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 6 @ Miami HEAT 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 8 @ Atlanta Hawks 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 10 @ Toronto Raptors 1:00 p.m.
Monday, January 11 vs Atlanta Hawks 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 13 @ New Jersey Nets 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 14 vs Chicago Bulls 8:00 p.m.
Monday, January 18 vs Dallas Mavericks 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 20 @ Detroit Pistons 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 22 vs Portland TrailBlazers 7:30 p.m.
Monday, January 25 vs Los Angeles Clippers 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 28 @ Orlando Magic 8:00 p.m.
Friday, January 29 @ Atlanta Hawks 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 31 vs Los Angeles Lakers 3:30 p.m.
Monday, February 1 @ Washington Wizards 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 3 vs Miami HEAT 8:00 p.m.
Friday, February 5 vs New Jersey Nets 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 7 vs Orlando Magic 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 10 @ New Orleans Hornets 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 16 @ Sacramento Kings 10:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 18 @ Los Angeles Lakers 10:30 p.m.
Friday, February 19 @ Portland TrailBlazers 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 21 @ Denver Nuggets 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 23 vs New York Knicks 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 25 vs Cleveland Cavaliers 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 27 vs New Jersey Nets 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 2 @ Detroit Pistons 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 3 vs Charlotte Bobcats 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 5 @ Philadelphia 76ers 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 7 vs Washington Wizards 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 9 @ Milwaukee Bucks 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 10 vs Memphis Grizzlies 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 12 vs Indiana Pacers 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 14 @ Cleveland Cavaliers 3:30 p.m.
Monday, March 15 vs Detroit Pistons 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March vs New York Knicks 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 19 @ Houston Rockets 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 20 @ Dallas Mavericks 9:00 p.m.
Monday, March 22 @ Utah Jazz 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 24 vs Denver Nuggets 7:00 p.m.
Friday, March 26 vs Sacramento Kings 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 28 vs San Antonio Spurs 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 31 vs Oklahoma City Thunder 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 2 vs Houston Rockets 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 4 vs Cleveland Cavaliers 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 6 @ New York Knicks 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 7 @ Toronto Raptors 7:00 p.m.
Friday, April 9 vs Washington Wizards 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 10 @ Milwaukee Bucks 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 13 @ Chicago Bulls 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 14 vs Milwaukee Bucks 8:00 p.m.
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Orlando led after the first quarter of game five; but like the rest of the series it was all Lakers from there on. Kobe Bryant had 30 points, nearly playing the entirety of the game. Seven years since his last ring, Kobe finally proved that he could do it without Shaq. The finals MVP averaged over 32 points a game, with 7.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds in five games against the East’s best. After losing the 2004 finals to the Detroit Pistons, and a humiliating 38-point loss to the Celtics in game 6 last year, Bryant and company dominated the Orlando Magic.
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League MVP LeBron James had a benign growth removed from his jaw on Tuesday. The Cavaliers superstar had tissue removed from his parotid gland, where the body produces saliva. The procedure took five hours; requiring delicate work in an area filled with blood vessels and nerves. Doctors say that the procedure was a success, and that James should make a fast and complete recovery. Reports seem to indicate that the condition should not have affected his play. James averaged 38.5 points, 8.3 assists, and 8 rebounds in a losing Conference Finals series against the Orlando Magic.
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Despite immense amounts of media hype, video game simulations, and commercials featuring everything from sports drinks to muppets; the NBA is not getting a Kobe/Lebron finals match-up. The Lakers/Magic finals series could be far more entertaining, as Orlando is a more well-rounded squad than the Lebron-centric Cavs. On the way to the championship series, the Magic eliminated the last two Eastern Conference Champions (including the defending NBA Champion Celtics), and beat a very capable 76ers team.
The Los Angeles Lakers were taken to the brink by a Tracy McGrady-less rockets, and traded licks with a very tough Denver Nuggets squad. While neither of the two teams have played as many as last year’s 7-game-series-heavy Celtics, both have been through multiple drawn out matchups with tough opponents. Expect Laker forward “Candy Man” Lamar Odom and his Magic counterpart Hedo Turkgolu to vie for most 3-pointers, as an undercard to the Kobe/Howard athletics.
The series starts on Thursday night, so get your 2009 NBA Finals tickets now!