Monday, December 22, 2014
Blog Page 99

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Photo by Stephen Dunn | Getty Images

The (3-2) Los Angeles Lakers are spending the first day of 2012 in Denver, Colorado for a rematch with the Nuggets.

The Lakers outlasted the Nuggets at Staples Center on New Years Eve. The Nuggets collapsed at the end. Ty Lawson missed two free throws (a team total of eight) and Danilo Gallinari blew a wide-open uncontested layup. The Lakers defense was solid holding the highest scoring team in the league to 89 points.

Andrew Bynum was a huge factor in his triumphant return to the starting lineup. Bynum filled up the stat sheet posting 29 points, 13 rebounds, one steal, and one assist and blocking two shots. Bynum’s big night, the defense and Kobe Bryant being one assist shy of a triple-double were important takeaway’s from last nights game.

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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.

JANUARY 1, 2010
SACRAMENTO KINGS 108 – LA LAKERS 109
BRYANT STEALS ANOTHER FROM KINGS AS THREE AT BUZZER LIFTS LAKERS

Let’s set the scene: To be honest, we should just consider renaming “This Day in Laker History” to “This Day in Kobe Buzzer-Beaters”. We honestly couldn’t remember if we had run this game yet, because it’s not the first time that Kobe Bryant has made huge plays against the Kings. A year before this game in 2009, Bryant had sprained his elbow in the third quarter, yet drained two three-pointers in the double-overtime period to escape Arco Arena.

Though the Kings were missing their two best players to injury  (Tyreke Evans with a sprained ankle and Kevin Martin with a fractured wrist), the Lakers still trailed the Kings 108-106 when Ime Udoka, a 78.6% free-throw shooter, went to the line to shoot two baskets. Missing both, the Lakers were still alive and called a time out. Coach Phil Jackson, sensing the sluggishness of the Lakers on the night, skipped past the two-point plays and looked to take the win with a three-point shot. When the ball was inbounded to Pau Gasol, Kings guard Sergio Rodriguez slipped and fell, leaving Bryant wide open in the corner to shoot the basket as time expired. The Lakers would escape Staples Center after an official review with a 109-108 victory, moving them to 26-6 on the season.

Quote of the Night: “Just a reminder that this is a team that wanted to go out and challenge the win record, 72 wins.” – Former Laker coach Phil Jackson, sarcastically, on his team’s performance in a 109-108 win over the Sacramento Kings. – From the LA Times, Jan. 1, 2010


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Art Rogers | LA Times

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 31, 1967
SAN DIEGO ROCKETS 118 – LA LAKERS 147
LAKERS BLOW OUT ROCKETS IN FIRST GAME IN NEW FORUM

After playing for seven seasons in the Los Angeles Sports Arena, the popularity of the Lakers had grown too large to house the team in the older venue. Thus, in 1965, Jack Kent Cooke, the then-owner of the Lakers, would break ground on the Roman-style Forum. Housing the Los Angeles Kings and Lakers, the Forum would house six NBA championships during its time as the home arena for the Lakers, where Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and “Showtime” gained international attention for The Forum.

The Forum, which was renamed The Great Western Forum in 1988,  served as the Lakers’ home court from Dec. 31, 1967 to May 23, 1999. Featuring  yellow-and-orange seats and a yellow-spoked roof, the arena featured no luxury seating, though the arena was able to boast that none of the 17,505 seats in the arena was no more than 170 feet from the court.

The Lakers would christen their new arena with a win over the newly-added expansion San Diego Rockets in a 147-118 blowout, at the expense of a Rockets team who had used their first overall pick in the draft that year on future Lakers head coach Pat Riley.

Fact of the Night: The Great Western Forum was built for $16 million from 1965-67 – the equivalent of $105 million in 2011 dollars. For some perspective, the total salary of the 2011-2012 Lakers comes to nearly $85 million.

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Getty Images | Mark Ralston

Derek Fisher received the ball late in the fourth quarter, with the shot clock down to the last few seconds. He threw up a long, and contested three but hit nothing but backboard and rim. The ball bounced back and who should race after it but Denver’s young point guard, Ty Lawson and the Lakers’ resident senior, Derek Fisher. With just under three minutes left in the game and his team down by two points, Fisher dove for the rebound, secured the ball and called timeout. The Laker co-captain may be 37 years old and playing in his 16th year in the league, but hustle and determination know no age, and Fisher is a master at both.

The Lakers rode that play by their determined leader and got through the last few minutes of a sluggish game because of incredible contribution from Andrew Bynum. Back after serving a 4-game suspension after a cheap shot at Dallas guard J.J. Barea in last season’s second round elimination game, Bynum returned rather winded after six minutes of floor time, but managed to dominate the game to help the Lakers end 2011 with a victory.

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Getty Images | Jeff Gross

Steve Blake passed inside to Metta World Peace. MWP tried to muscle up a shot and was fouled. He kissed his biceps and headed to the Laker bench where Coach Mike Brown was waiting, calling out for Blake as MWP approached. Brown addressed MWP while pointing at Blake, “Did you tell him, ‘Thank you?’” he asked the new Laker sixth man. “Yeah,” MWP replied as he and Blake exchanged a smile. New coach. New team. New attitude. And you know what they say – sometimes change is good, and though it took two pre-season and four regular season games, it seems the goodness is finally starting to materialize and in all the right places.

The Laker defense was stopping, their offense was flying and, in stark contrast to the Knicks, appeared to have more weapons with which to fight. It may have been the Kobe Bryant show for a good part of the game, but 28 points does not make a victory. Bryant had help in heaps and on both ends of the court.

LOW POINTS
Laker free throws – It’s one thing to miss a handful, but to miss more than one third, and at one point four in a row? It’s a good thing this wasn’t a close game like Christmas Day against Chicago when the Lakers missed 9-20 free throws and lost by one point.
Laker 3rd Quarter offense – After shooting 72% in the first half (79% in the second quarter alone), the Lakers went stagnant to open the second half, making just 7-21 from the field for 17 points, after scoring two 30+ points in the first two quarters. Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his 28 points in the third on 5-8, but other than him, the rest of the team shot just 2-13. Despite shooting just 35% themselves in the third quarter, the Knicks managed to cut the deficit to just eight points entering the fourth.
Knicks/Lakers free throw disparity – The Lakers attempted 22 free throws compared to the Knicks, who attempted almost twice as much with 41. The Lakers outscored the Knicks in the paint but fell in love with their success on the perimeter. They went 9-16 from behind the arc, which somewhat explains the disparity – they just plain didn’t place themselves in a position to get to the line.

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With 2:26 left in the third quarter the Lakers only had three seconds left on the shot clock. This gave Kobe Bryant no other choice then to pull up from about 30 feet.

Not only did he make it, he got fouled and made the free-throw to complete the 4-point play. Watch the sequence below:

Bryant finished the game with 28 points on 10 for 17 shooting. He also had four rebounds and six assist in the Lakers 99-82 win.

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Kobe and Gasol, the two-man tandem that led the Lakers to back-to-back World Championships — arguably one of the best duos in franchise history.

Laker Nation is giving you a chance to show if you can correctly guess both of their contributions.

The New York Knicks hit STAPLES Center tonight to take on our “scrappy bunch.” If you can correctly guess the combined point total for both Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol tonight, you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card for Flemings Prime Steakhouse — with one location conveniently located across the street from STAPLES Center at L.A. Live.

To enter, leave your answer in the comments section below, or email your answer to us here.

Good luck, Laker Nation!

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Kobe and Nike Basketball just dropped another Zoom Kobe VII video. Seems like the campaign around the shoe will be about how the shoe makes the successful more successful. Interesting concept. I wonder if they are going to block unsuccessful people from wearing the shoe? Anyhow, I’m definitely looking forward to watching this entire campaign come together.

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Photo: Getty Images

East meets west as the Lakers face the New York Knicks

The (1-2) Los Angeles Lakers host the (1-1) New York Knicks in search of their first winning streak. L.A. got a much-needed & emphatic win against the Jazz on Wednesday night, although naysayers and critics of the purple and gold still are not convinced that this version of the Lakers can win consistently.

It is too early in the season to write anyone off with 63-games left to play. The Lakers are a work in progress and improving on a daily basis. The one thing that many of the critics have not noticed is that Mike Brown coached teams are excellent rebounding teams. Brown, a defensive-minded coach is bringing an east coast style of basketball to the west coast.

There are still individuals that would love to see the return of Showtime to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, those times have come and gone. Assessing the Lakers this season, it will not be pretty or glamorous, but it is a fact that when the system, executed properly, will be highly effective and L.A. will win games.

The Lakers swept last year’s season series against the Knicks (2-0) for the fourth consecutive year. L.A. is 8-2 in their last 10 games against the Knicks, winning eight straight. L.A. is 9-3 all-time against the Knicks at the Staples Center. The Lakers team that the Knicks will face tonight ranks 5th in the league in points allowed (86.3), 11th in rebounds (44.3), 14th in assists (20) and 20th in points scored (91.3).

The Knicks made a huge off-season acquisition in signing Center Tyson Chandler. Both Chandler and Baron Davis grew up and played locally in Los Angeles. Starting Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudmire and Tyson Chandler provides the Knicks with a talented front line. Despite this fact, New York has a thin bench, question marks at the guard positions and is in need of a third scorer.

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Andrew D. Bernstein | NBAE | 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 28, 1979
BOSTON CELTICS 105 – LA LAKERS 123
MAGIC OUTSCORES BIRD IN FIRST ROOKIE BATTLE BETWEEN LAKERS AND CELTICS

Magic and Bird. Lakers and Celtics. One of the most iconic rivalries in professional sports, one that started back during their college days at Michigan State and Indiana State, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird controlled eight of the 10 NBA titles during the 1980s between their respective teams. 32 years ago today, that rivalry between east coast and west coast, Lakers and Celtics, was renewed.

While the focus of the game was surely the scoring match-up between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, the Lakers success stemmed from their defense. The Lakers, who led by eight at halftime, would never be threatened for the lead by the Celtics, as they would increase their lead to 14 points during the third quarter and never dip back to less than eight points before the final buzzer. Against the defensively-specialized Celtics, the Lakers would score 61 first-half points, shooting 13 less shots during the game than the Celtics, but making two more overall.

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Hopefully a win over the Jazz prompted most Laker fans to take a big step back from the ledge of the sunset overpass on the 405 freeway. The widespread concern and panic emanating from many Laker fans since Christmas Day has been as misguided as a DeAndre Jordan free throw attempt. Now im not going to sit here and act as if the Lakers have no issues at all, that would make me just as delusional.

 

But it is fairly obvious that the Lakers are experiencing some growing pains as they transition to a new offense, new defense and a new head coach, all while under the umbrella of a shortened training camp period. That notion is clearly evidenced by the sometimes ragged offensive possessions and supplemented by porous defensive communication (see, the Sacramento game). You add together the aforementioned issues with the fact that Andrew Bynum has yet to play a single minute on the floor and a 1-2 start doesn’t seem that farfetched. Above that, barring a bad turnover in the final 20 seconds of the game on Christmas Day, the Lakers are 2-1 with a win over the reigning league MVP.

 

Among all of the apparent negatives that have shown themselves in this first week of the season, there have also been more than a few positives. How about the improved outside shooting and overall offensive aggressiveness of Steve Blake? How about Devin Ebanks being an effective scorer in the starting lineup? Maybe most shockingly, Metta World Peace actually producing on the offensive end of the floor. What about newest addition, Josh McRoberts, showing a toughness and grit that has already earned himself the nickname “McRambis.”

 

I realize that its too early in the season to anoint World Peace as the 6th man of the year or Steve Blake as the comeback player of the year. It’s all about having proper perspective. As premature as it is to start jumping to conclusions of grandeur for Blake and World Peace, it is just as premature for Laker fans to start walking the plank. A 1-2 start to the regular season means just that and nothing more.

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Photo by Mike Ehrmann | Getty Images

The Lakers look to even their season record to 2-2 on Thursday night. Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudamire and the Knicks come to Staples to take on Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

For this heavyweight match up, our ticket partner TiqIQ has a special deal for Lakers fans, courtesy of ScoreBig.com, where fans can “make an offer” on the price they want to pay:

For example, a “2 star” ticket (as described by ScoreBig.com) that would typically sell for $110 (after shipping + handling fees) can be had for an offer of $80 all-in (with no additional costs for shipping or handling).

Meanwhile, a “3 star” ticket that usually retails for $250 after fees can be purchased for an offer of $125 via this promotion. But Lakers fans need to move fast, as this deal expires at 7pm Pacific TODAY! To make an offer on this deal,

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS: http://tiqiq.us/6EL

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    With 4:12 left in the 2nd quarter Kobe Bryant passed the ball to Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) who spotted up on the left wing.

    NBA on TNT broadcaster Kevin Harlan simply used Ron’s new name to describe the action on the floor. Metta (Pump Fake)…World (Drive)…Peace (Dunk).

    Watch the sequence below:

    After a disappointing pre-season performance, Artest has stepped up his game. In the last two contests he has averaged 16.5 points per game, while shooting 57% from the field.

    Getty Images | Stephen Dunn

    They were due. Completely and utterly due. After the sweep in the second round, the two losses to the new and vastly improved Clippers in the preseason, and the two losses to open this season, the Lakers were in need of a win; and not just any win. They needed a convincing, quarter by quarter, end to end, everybody-in type of win and they certainly went for it tonight.

    They didn’t exactly shoot lights out (just 42%), and yes, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol led the way for a combined 48 points on 14-28 from the field. The Lakers won tonight because, for the first time since the pre-season opened, they actually looked like a TEAM. There are still some kinks to tweak in the newly refurbished armour, of course (like Troy Murphy being ready for Gasol’s no-look, behind the back passes), but tonight’s effort was quite a leap forward in the retooling process.

    It was like 2006 again out there tonight, with Kobe Bryant going at it with Raja Bell. When he wasn’t hitting three pointers over his former adversary, Bryant was blowing by him, flashing a smile in between. Some things never change. Although, Mike Brown did call a timeout in the fourth quarter with the Lakers still up by 21 points. Calling a timeout instead of letting the players remedy the situation before the lead is almost gone? Yes, that’s definitely new.

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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.