Saturday, December 20, 2014
Blog Page 100

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Tony Triolo | Sports Illustrated

Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.

DECEMBER 27, 1978
LA LAKERS 106 – GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 103
KAREEM’S BLOCK, HOOK IN CRUNCH TIME SEAL IT FOR LAKERS

With the Lakers trailing by 17 points in the second quarter on the road against the Golden State Warriors, things were looking pretty bleak for a Lakers team that had lost four consecutive road games. Fortunately for them, the man Lakers announcer Chick Hearn respectfully nicknamed “The Captain” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was not one to watch the Lakers drop five straight away from The Forum.

Abdul-Jabbar’s 27 points would be a game-high for both teams, but Abdul-Jabbar’s most important contribution to the game would be defense as his two biggest plays would take place with less than two minutes to play. Trailing the Warriors-10 with 1:40 remaining, Abdul-Jabbar would steal an pass away from John Lucas, allowing Laker guard Lou Hudson to drive to the hoop. Getting fouled on the play, Hudson would sink two free throws to tie the game at 104-104.

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Check out the White/Black-Concord colorway of the Nike Zoom Kobe VII Supreme. Kobe will likely debut the colorway at home against the Utah Jazz tonight.

Look for Kobe to sport this colorway at home throughout the early part of the season.

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Getty Images | Ezra Shaw

Kobe Bryant subbed out of the game with 22.5 left in the fourth quarter and the Lakers heading for their second straight loss of this season. Bryant sat on the bench and stared blankly at the floor before him. 29 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals, he must have been thinking, and it still wasn’t enough. And he would be right, because despite that offensive effort, Bryant and the rest of the Lakers failed, for also the second game in a row, to put in work on the other end of the court.

The two losses to the Clippers in the pre-season? Just practice, right? Yesterday’s game against the Bulls? It was close until the end, plus it was Christmas. As for the Lakers’ excuse for tonight’s loss against the Kings? There are none, because, plain and simply, they were outworked and outplayed and there’s just no justifying such an effort. In a few more games, this veteran team will not, and should not, be able to hide behind the “new coach, new system, new teammates” excuse.

With an 82-game schedule, it would have been easy to say, “Well, it’s a long season.” Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for this time around as the Lakers await their first victory since April 28 when they closed the first round series against the then-led Chris Paul Hornets. From the Dallas series to today’s game, the streak is now eight losses in a row and a win cannot come sooner.

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Jed Jacobsohn | Getty Images

Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.

DECEMBER 26, 2009
LA LAKERS 112 – SACRAMENTO KINGS 103
BRYANT OVERCOMES ELBOW SPRAIN, ABSENCE OF ARTEST TO DEFEAT KINGS IN DOUBLE OVERTIME

After tonight’s loss at Arco Arena, let’s take you back to a happy place – a place where the Lakers could beat the Sacramento Kings, even if it took an overtime or two. It’s a place that Laker fans may remember as being quite recent, since it took place two years ago today.

Following their 102-87 Christmas Day loss to LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Lakers took a quick flight to Sacramento to play the Kings, except by this point the Lakers had already lost one player: Lakers forward Metta World Peace, then Ron Artest, had fallen down in his home the night following the Cavaliers game, earning himself some stitches, and injured elbow and a concussion. Artest would not travel to Sacramento.

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Photo: Getty Images

The purple and gold are looking to bounce back on the road from the Christmas Day loss to the Bulls. A solid effort derailed by a 50-second span the included turnovers, missed free throws, mis-communication defensively and not finishing the game. Despite the loss, there were several positives as well as negatives to take away from the season opener.

The Los Angeles Lakers are playing the Kings in their first road game of the season. The Lakers won last year’s four game season series three games to one, after sweeping the 2009-2010 season series. L.A. has won nine of their last 10 meetings with the Kings at ARCO Arena / Power Balance Pavilion.

The Kings are one of the youngest teams in the league, but this team is not short on talent.  John Salmons (32) & Francisco Garcia (30) are the oldest players on the team.   This contest presents the Lakers with another solid challenge to overcome. Rookie Jimmer Fredette is an interesting player, some have gone as far as to say that he could be the Tim Tebow of the NBA.  While we’re at it, the best way to describe Tebow would be as a polarizing figure, a football player and a winner, but not as one of that leagues best quarterbacks.

Fredette is in the process of making the transition from high-scoring college guard to playing more off the ball. Fredette is a combo guard with tremendous shooting range off the catch or dribble. Fredette has yet to prove that he can be effective distributing the basketball offensively or defend guards at the pro level.

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Getty Images | Lisa Blumenfeld

A Laker game on Christmas Day usually means little to even the Lakers themselves. But with a shortened, not to mention accelerated, NBA season, every game, every victory and certainly every loss, counts. Tonight the Lakers started counting down from 66, beginning with their first official loss.

Though fans know not to expect much from the Lakers during holidays, especially Christmas (and especially with the all the circumstances that weren’t playing in their favor lately; namely Kobe Bryant’s injury, Andrew Bynum’s suspension, among other things), there appeared to be a glimmer of hope when Bryant and Pau Gasol combined for 24 of the Lakers’ 49 first-half points and the reserves had outscored Chicago’s bench 19-16 before the third quarter.

Bryant’s injury, despite causing him to commit turnovers from mere ball handling difficulties (he had eight turnovers for the night), did not appear to hinder his ability to shoot. He shot 11-23 from the field and 6-7 from the free throw line for his 28 points, in addition to grabbing seven rebounds and handing out six assists. He scored in the paint, from the perimeter, from midrange. Despite being responsible for half the team’s turnovers, he did everything good that he could to win this game…except maybe shoot every free throw for the team (the Lakers were 3-13 without Bryant).

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Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.

DECEMBER 25th – CHRISTMAS DAY

An interesting snippet for Laker fans: since the Purple and Gold tend to play on Christmas given their long-running success, the Lakers have never once played on Christmas Eve. Though, since there have been so many Christmas Day games for the Lakers, with todays game against the Chicago Bulls being their 28th Christmas Day game, we thought it would be a great time for a Laker Christmas montage. So, just like the one present children get to open on Christmas Eve, here is your Laker Christmas preview, as the NBA presents the Top 10 Christmas moments from Kobe Bryant.

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Harry How/Getty Images

 

Merry Christmas, Laker Nation!

Once again it’s on, another Christmas Day game in downtown Los Angeles, CA. The start of the NBA season has the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center to host the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers had a tumultuous off-season, a Chris Paul trade shot down for “basketball reasons”, Lamar Odom traded away and Kobe Bryant will start the season with a torn ligament in his right wrist.

The Lakers are a work in progress and are in the process of putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Several have thrown dirt on the faces of the Lakers and prematurely buried this team. An important quote comes to mind “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.”

The foundation of the 2011-2012 season will be hard work, defense, rebounding and teamwork. It was former Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich who said, “Never underestimate the heart of a champion”; there are several champions that STILL wear a purple and gold jersey to work.

The Lakers will not start the season as one of the favorites, but will be a playoff team. The Lakers have waived Gerald Green, Chris Daniels, Malcolm Thomas, Zach Andrews and Elijah Millsap to trim their roster to 15.

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Barring the 6’10”, 230 pound gift the Lakers wrapped and shipped to Dallas, it hasn’t exactly felt like Christmas around Laker Nation these days.

The uncertainty has been well documented from Laker fans, and on the eve of a Christmas day showdown with the Chicago Bulls, it’s harder than ever to know what exactly to expect from this Lakers team.

Kobe Bryant – who’s entering his 16th NBA season (one more than MJ ever played) – sat down with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon to discuss the current state of the Lakers, the sudden resurgence of the Clippers and the possibility of retirement lurking around the corner.

You can watch the entire interview below, courtesy of ESPN:

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Lisa Blumenfeld | Getty Images

Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.

DECEMBER 23, 2007
LA LAKERS 95 – NEW YORK KNICKS 90
BRYANT’S 39 LEADS LAKERS OVER KNICKS, MOVES BRYANT INTO 20K CLUB

Kobe Bryant is no stranger to scoring points, especially at Madison Square Garden. Against the dysfunctional Knicks in 2007, Bryant’s game-high 39 points would net him a special achievement, as it would edge him past 20,000 points for his career.

What made Bryant’s 20,000 points even more special was that  no other NBA player had done it at a younger age; at only 29 years and four months, Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to break 20,000 points. Now, that’s not to say that he was the quickest to 20,000 points – Wilt Chamberlain did it in a staggering 499 games and Michael Jordan did it in 620, whereas Bryant did it in a comparatively human 811 games, averaging 24.7 points per game.

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Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

Christmas arrived a few days early for Lakers Center Andrew Bynum.

The NBA announced today that they have reduced Drew’s suspension from 5 games down to 4 games. The league cited the shortened NBA season as the reason for the reduction.

Andrew Bynum will still see his first action against the Denver Nuggets – only it will be in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve, instead of in Denver on New Year’s Day.

With the unexpected loss of Lamar Odom and the questionable state of Bryant’s wrist, this comes as welcome news for the Lakers, who open their season at home on Christmas Day vs. the Chicago Bulls.

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On Christmas Day, the NBA season opens and Kobe and the Lakers will be taking on the Chicago Bulls. Kobe has made a splash with his Christmas Day colorways over the last few years, and this year is no different. The Nike Zoom Kobe VII Christmas colorway is a remix of the Lakers team colors with special graphics representing the speed of the leopard. Since it’s Christmas, Kobe will also wear red laces with his shoes.

What do you think of Kobe’s Christmas Day colorway?

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We’ve teamed up with our friends over at TiqIQ for the FanDuel Christmas Day Giveaway!

If you’re into basketball, we’ve got the perfect holiday gift for you: A FREE FanDuel fantasy basketball online game based on the NBA games played on Christmas. Build a roster of NBA players from the X-Mas Day games, and see how you do!

It’s free to register and play, and FanDuel is giving away a share of $500 to the top game performers. To make this holiday treat sweeter, TiqIQ will award a pair of tickets to the overall game winner to see their favorite team in action during the regular season.

Click here to sign up, and register for the $500 give away on FanDuel.com. Win and take home a pair of tickets from TiqIQ.

Good Luck!

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With the Lakers off to a poor start, trade rumors have begun to swirl around Kobe Bryant, leading many to speculate if he'll leave for greener pastures. Kobe puts those rumors to rest in his interview with Yahoo Sports.