The Lakers wore their home gold jerseys, and the rules of the game were referred to as “hybrid” for its combination of NBA and FIBA rules and regulations, but there was no mistaking who the home team was. At the Palau Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona, Spain, the defending NBA Champions were faced with a formidable opponent in FC Barcelona, but as fortune would have it, on their side was one of the city’s most beloved natives – Pau Gasol.

From winning the opening tip to a late-game baseline drive into a reverse dunk, Gasol did not disappoint the arena that was surely filled with his family and friends, not to mention a hoard of loyal fans. Gasol was his usual productive self, collecting 25 points and 10 rebounds. It took him 21 attempts and 11 free throws to get there, but both teams suffered through periodic offensive droughts, neither reaching even 40% of their field goals. Gasol got going early in the game, but the opposing team was ready to swarm their fellow Spaniard with their own big men and starting center, Fran Vazquez got the bulk of the assignment. Gasol, however, still managed a double-double.

Kobe Bryant, having only played for nine minutes in Monday’s game against Minnesota, appeared in good spirits, whether he was fouling an opposing player, missing and then eventually making his shots, sitting on the bench or playfully reacting to a foul. This short visit to Europe must be like a homecoming for Bryant, having spent so much of his childhood in Italy. Though he said that he does not feel any pain in his newly-repaired knee, he claims that it remains at 60% and it showed. His first made field goal did not come until the 6:43 mark in the third quarter when FC Barca’s Terrence Morris bit on Bryant’s signature head fake and the shot went in and one. He finished with 15 points on 2-15 shooting, not have a stellar offensive game by his standards, but Bryant found other ways to contribute. He played defense, deflecting/intercepting passes – one leading to an easy dunk for Gasol and another that led to a fast break by Ron Artest. He also contributed to three if not all 4 of Juan Carlos Navarro’s personal fouls.

Lamar Odom, playing focused yet loose, had 12 points on 5-11 and led the game with 18 rebounds. Odom did a little bit of everything tonight – driving to the hoop and then dishing to Gasol for a dunk; pulling a defensive rebound and going coast to signature coast for an easy one-handed lay up; holding the ball for the last few seconds of the first half and then attacking the basket for another lay-up. Odom has picked up in the pre-season where he left off at the World Championships – in fine-form, game shape.

The game, physical at the on-set, was tightly officiated, with two NBA officials and one FIBA referee blowing their whistles for a total of 56 fouls combined, resulting in 65 free throw attempts.

The Lakers had their largest lead at 60-49, but a dry spell allowed an FC Barca run, and in the end, the real home team got the win by four points. Ball movement was a distinctive stat that gave FC Barcelona a victory against the defending NBA champions. The Lakers assisted on only 14 of 29 field goals made, while FC Barca handed out 23 assists on 29 field goals. With a slew of new players still learning the system, ball movement is surely an item for the Lakers’ next day at the gym. For now, they leave Europe 0-2, but are certainly ready to continue preparing for the real season.

Pre-Game Thoughts: Just a guess, but Pau will probably have a good game tonight.
Half-Time Thoughts: 44-45, FC Barcelona – It’s been a nice, competitive game between two champions. Both teams, however, are shooting below 40%
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: Lakers’ 3-point shooting, 0-14. Abysmal.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Pau Gasol – back in his hometown, playing for his former team, in front of thousands of friends, family and fans, he did not disappoint, finishing with 25 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and a block.

  • Robert.

    Oh well. It looked like garbage ball for some stretches (for both FC Barc & the Lakers). Lamar looked pretty good, and I think the rest of the Lakers will catch up eventually. Kobe is clearly still playing injured. The ‘new’ Lakers are learning how to play with each other, and I’m sure it will eventually click.
    .
    Pau is clearly the ‘key’ offense of this team, until Kobe heals up.

  • MambasVenom81

    Did you guys see that idiot Pete Mickeal all over Kobe??? That fucken retard was talking so much smack yet hes not good enough to play in the NBA. Kobe was just loughing at his dumbass problably thinking ” You aint even good enough to play for the NBA and you playing like if we in the finals” Haha Lakers werent even at 50% only one trying was Gasol.

    • Kristian

      He seemed about as annoying as Matt Barnes last year. Don’t be an idiot, anyone on that Barcelona team is good enough to play in the NBA. They just prefer the European game.
      Navarro could definitely start for about 70% of the NBA teams, but he enjoys playing in Europe more. Some players just don’t enjoy playing 60-70 meaningless games a year. Don’t get me wrong, NBA playoff basketball is definitely played at a higher standard than FIBA Euroleague basketball, but most regular season games in the NBA are definitely played at a lower level than high quality FIBA games.

      • Paul Lee

        Kristian Navarro is overrated he fell out of teams rotation in the NBA because like Jose Calderon they cant play defense. I wouldnt put to much into this game our focus is health and getting our team on the same page

      • MambasVenom81

        I think the dude below me just answered for me, Navarro cant play defense and they decide to go back to europe for the money, they will make more money in europe due to not having salary cap dumbass…. Plus its barcelona the same owner as the soccer club they will unload money to be the most popular team in europe. So slap your self biotch!!!

        • MambasVenom81

          By the way my comment was for bitch ass Kristina not Paul Lee.

    • Paul Lee

      I swear I was like does he know who he’s talking sh*t to??????? He knew Kobe was injured he’s lucky he’s not in the league kobe would circle that game on the calender and drop 60 on his azzzzzzz

      • 242LakerFan

        He was in the league for about a cup of coffee. Blew out a knee or something.

        • Paul Lee

          he was on the Cincinnati Bearcats during his college years. He knows better than to do what he did yesterday. You never are suppose to back down but your suppose to always respect greatness

  • rondo

    Barcelona has ways to go before they become a elite team, Teams like the Lakers,Magic,Celtics are in another class. Barcelona might can play with the Raptors or the Warriors but i would not bet my money on those matchups.

    • MambasVenom81

      More like Clippers,kings, 76ers.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    hey dumbo, they`re good enough to beat your soft,no leadership,kobe missing everything but would rather jack it up then trust his teamates. pau could of had 40 pts. if kobe can`t have the spotlight…no one will,2 for 15 really………….miami is laughing at ya`all………….

    • Showtime4eva

      Let them laugh in Oct. They won’t be laughing in June.

    • Deemac1

      Your post are hilarious…. Either you clearly dont watch basketball and just watch highlights or you just sip on haterade all day. Lack of leadership doesnt get you 5 going on 6 rings. Miami aint laughing they hoping to get to the finals. If they dont Lebron career is over! His “legacy” will always just be great season but no ring to show for it.

    • R.I.P laffs atu

      All talk and no action makes laffs atu a dull girl!!!!!

    • Laffs atu’s boyfriend

      You better wipe, your brains are exposed!

    • LUVSANAL

      YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL WHEN LAFFS AT2 NUTSONHISCHIN HAS JUST BEEN RAPED BY HIS PRISON BUNKEE, BECAUSE HE GETS ON HIS CONTRABAND CELLPHONE AND COMES ON LAKERSNATION WITH ALL HIS BITTER, ANGRY DEPRESSION AND LASHES OUT AT KOBE AND THE LAKERS! LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE AT2, WITHOUT YOUR BUNKEE’S LUVIN YOU WOULDN’T HAVE HAD THE ROOM TO SMUGGLE IN THE CELLPHONE! … http://bit.ly/a6iLTr

  • Chozn1

    Laff atu

    youre an idiot, miami laughing? Really?
    Lakers got nothing to prove, lakers have already proven with 2 straight championships & 3 trips to the Finals.
    It’s the other way around Lakers are the ones doing the laughing & miami has to prove what they can do, that’s why they’re trying so hard in the preseason. We already know what LAL can do & will do. That my friend is a 3 PEAT!!!!

  • El Caliente

    All I have to say is that the Celtics are 2-0 so far. Go Green!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • lakers2000

      Holy shit, hand them the trophy for preseason! Oh, thats right. There isn’t one. Bwaahaaaahhaaaa! GTFO you trolls.

    • 242LakerFan

      2-0 in pre-season! WOW! Let’s start designing the rings already! Ask the Patriots about winning the LAST game of the year.

    • Deemac1

      So is the Washighnton Wizards and Timberwolves! What does that prove????

    • Showtime4eva

      It’s pre-season. We just out lasted you. A couple months ago.. Remember ? Calm down.

    • LizzakeShizzow

      For the Celtics, 2-0 in PREseason is something to brag about. Lakers only have a ring/banner ceremony to look forward to. Damn.

    • Kobe4life

      All I have to say is Lakers is ONE…..ONE championship away from tying the Smeltics for most championships, TWENTY………MORE………..YEARS……………FOSTON……………..SMELTIC………..FANS before you ever see another finals appearance! El Caliente do yourself a favor and start watching you’re Patriots, because they are the only hope for Foston fans to be excited for championship glory!

    • Robert.

      Yes! I want the Celtics to play hard and tough now! The harder the better. Beat those L’East conference teams with all your strength. Keep pushing.
      .
      And then ….
      .
      When May/June rolls around – y’all will be tired out from playing too hard. They were able to play hard in 2007-08, but they’re a LOT older and more tired now. The Lakers will walk all over them (actually, the heat might do that, since they’re younger and can last longer).

  • Luck of the Irish

    Don’t hate Laker fans. The Lakers won’t even make it out of the west.

    • Anna

      And you think your old ass team will make it out of the east? You JUST added ANOTHER senior citizen to your roster who can barely run across the court in time to catch the 2nd half of the shot clock.

      • Luck of the IRISH

        Like Doc said. Our starting five is still undefeated. The Lakers are overmatched. Kobe<Pierce, KG<Pau, Bynum<Perkins, Fisher<Rondo,Odom<Davis. I could go on all day peoples.

        • 242LakerFan

          You started out with Pierce over Kobe. As a fan, I can understand your view on that one. But Davis over Odom? Sorry, even accounting for your being a fan, that’s a large stretch!!!
          Credibility FAIL!

        • 242LakerFan

          Nobody cares about your starting 5’s record in Conference play. Maybe if they could MAN THE HELL UP and play a Finals series, they could really be winners.

        • Anna

          I’m sorry… Kobe<Pierce? In what? Wheelchair theatrics? And Odom<Davis? Mr-wanted-to-change-his-nickname-to-UNO-UNO? THAT DAVIS? haha, wow, ok…

    • showtime4eva

      you just worry about making it out of the east.we are the champs.you are chasing us..we made it,you didn’t….don’t hate.

    • Kobe4life

      Don’t hate Smeltic fans, The Smeltics won’t even make it out of the east!

    • Kobe4life

      Luck of the Irish Bum! I have three words for yah…………………………………TWENTY……MORE……..YEARS!

      • TOUCHING_MYSELF

        Hahaha! Best comment so far! It’s already been 2… another 20 to go!

  • JOSH IN DA 310

    Boston fan, Really?? You have sunken so low that you’re bragging about pre-season? OMFG you guys are the biggest sore losers in the history of sports. Like really, douche bag, read your post and think about how retarded you just fukin looked. Too much clam chowder in your diet Boston guy. Good luck getting a playoff spot this year.
    And back to that little Cunt Laffs Atu, Miami is laughing you say huh?? Did Lebron give you that info while you were blowing him?

  • Robert.

    Another thing to keep in mind (well, a few things).
    .
    The Champs are the only team that played to the Finals, AND traveled to play in Europe (and, the 180 deg time zone shift). Travel like this takes a toll. FC Barc didn’t have to travel, the Cell-dicks didn’t have to travel, Miami didn’t.
    .
    Our champ Kobe STILL played after surgery, and he didn’t have to. He played for the game, for fans in Europe.
    .
    Another thing (and, it was mentioned on “Jack at the Half”) – the Lakers ‘don’t care’ if they win or lose now. It is not important to them, to Phil, to Kobe, etc. They are ‘gaining’ their strategic bearings.
    .
    For those basketball philosophers out there, it is much more important to LOSE at this point to expose your own weaknesses, at NO COST. The Lakers are trying out different things (read: Phil is trying out different rotations) to scope out REAL playing time (not just ‘scrimmaging’). This is extremely strategic. Phil can discover and point out weaknesses much easier, without sacrificing ‘real season’ losses.
    .
    Whereas in miami, LeFake played harder in his first game than he did in the last 6 games of the playoffs last year. He bullied his way to the basket. So what else is new? What did he learn? That’s right. 0 .
    .
    Another thing: it is important for teams to ‘pace themselves'; NOT to play lights out yet. In fact, it’s best to wait until April/May to do that. So the Snaq-ster is running hard down the court in pre-season?? I would recommend against that. 1st: he’ll burn out quicker; 2nd: he’ll accelerate chances for an injury, and then his signing is a bust.
    .
    Lakers are doing it right!
    .
    Finally: the fact that the Lakers lost to FC Barc in their own homecourt is ‘good publicity’. (Yes, I know it hurts to lose, period). But for ‘eternity’, the fans of Spain and Europe will actually speak fondly of this game. Their ‘basketball son’ (Pau) came with his championship team, and ‘barely’ lost. This could open up more doors to Euro/USA basketball. They are now more likely to invite USA teams over. Whereas a trouncing by the Lakers would have left a sour taste.
    .
    Nothing but good things from this game.

    • Paul Lee

      couldnt have said it better myself bro :)

  • Paul Lee

    I’m just happy to see kobe go +30 mins on the knee. He just needs to get his timing back. Another plus is he said he isnt experiencing any pain in it

  • Celtics Suck Nuts

    All the people hoping for the Celtics and Heat to get to the finals, worry about Chicago, Orlando, and Atlanta first!

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    so who beat the lakers today?maybe they should try playing poland…………..too easy.

    • DRE84

      I was about to call you faggot But that would be a compliment to you

    • R.I.P laffs atu

      All talk and no action makes laffs atu a dull girl!!

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    drip 42…………like your LOVE for that rat kobe?

    • 242LakerFan

      Seriously, what is this vitriolic hate you have for Kobe? Are you Denver slut girl’s mom or something? Or are you her? Is that it? Was the settlement not good enough? Or did you really think Kobe loved you or something? Is that what’s led to this obsessive behaviour? Because it’s really starting to sound more than pathological now, it’s like some kind of a psychosis. You’re starting to break from reality.

    • R.I.P laffs atu

      All talk and no action makes laffs atu a dull girl!!!!

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    WOW 666fakerfan……..you bringing up colorado?it was just another proud moment for your idol…so kobe still leads the league in rape….instead of MVP ……MVR?

    • MambasVenom81

      Damb this nigga is in love with lakersnation!!!!!!! He is probably busting a nutt talking about Kobe!!! I wish this bitch would get taken out for being a bitch and not showing his face, fucken coward respond when your being spoken 2, fucken vigina!!!!

      • MambasVenom81

        Vagina*

    • DRE84

      Respond to This why yo Homo ass worried about Kobe?

  • laker fan for life and death

    This game was a non factor. Phil said Pau was put with 5 players the night before. Means out partying,
    Kobe was not really not putting alot of effort out ,still coming back from surgery.
    The Lakers had leads all through out the game. And not really trying.
    This was a friendly just for the NBA European fans to get a look at the real deal. This team is good if they played us in june we would probably kill them bye 40 points

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    laker fan making excuses already……..so funny.my pinkie,my knee, my pinkie, my knee………gonna be a long season with bryant missing 20 shots a night.

    • 242LakerFan

      If only the Lakers had a player more like laffs atu, “Oh, my knees have splinters, my anus is sore” and downing twenty shots a night (of moonshine whiskey to dull the pain)

    • 242LakerFan

      Don’t worry, alright? We’re here for you at TLN. We know this is the only place where anybody actually pays any attention to anything you have to say.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    666 faker fan,when your licking kobes balls do you go balls to ass or ass to balls?your serve?