The camera focused in on Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher in the first quarter, side by side on the bench and looking on. Bryant sat stone-faced and Fisher sat…scrunch-faced, both surely bewildered at the team they were watching: fumbled passes, missed lay ups, missed jumpers, missed everything. And that was just the first quarter.

The Lakers were 0-6 from the field until the 9:12 mark of the first quarter. To say the home team was not sharp to begin would be an understatement, but they managed to stay in the game in large part to Ron Artest, who led all scores in the first half with 17 on 6-9 shooting.

Artest has been a different player since the pre-season began. His recognition on the floor is much quicker, allowing him various offensive options, like passing the ball inside to Pau Gasol and then cutting to receive the ball back for an easy lay up; or waiting for an opening to bury a three-pointer which he did today…twice..

The third quarter, or at least the beginning of it, belonged to Kobe Bryant. Having gone 0-4 in the first two quarters, Bryant zoned in and went on a scoring tear – 19 points on 7-8 shooting, two of those were three-pointers. Bryant scored on catch ‘n shoots. He scored on fall-away jumpers. His best of the night, a spin move around C.J. Miles, who barely noticed when Bryant left his side to score. Just like that, the 14-point Jazz lead had turned into an 11-point deficit for the visiting team.

Pau Gasol, a model of efficiency, was another offensive bright spot for the Lakers. He finished with 28 points on 8-15, nine rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots. Gasol’s defense, however, was less than stellar. Newly acquired Al Jefferson, taking Carlos Boozer’s spot in the starting line-up, scored easily under the Spaniard’s watch. Even rookie forward, Gordon Hayward, 26 points on 8-10 shooting, scored easily against Gasol.

Defensive lapses occurred throughout the game, but most clearly towards the end of the third quarter. The Lakers’ double digit lead did not stick. When the reserves checked in, so did fumbled passes, missed opportunities and turnovers. The Lakers collected 20 turnovers for the evening – way too much for one game.

The offense became stagnant as well. Steve Blake went 0-7 from the field and the Lakers only managed 16 assists out of 30 made field goals. They also only shot 39% for the evening.

There are three more games left in this pre-season. Bryant is looking a lot like his normal self again and the team appears to have developed chemistry on and off the court. Between now and opening night in the NBA, the Lakers will just continue to fine tune.

Box Score

Pre-Game Thoughts: Kobe vs. Raja in a Utah Jazz uniform. It’s been too long since these two went at it. Hoping for a small show.
Half-Time Thoughts: 49-44 – The first half was a complete 180 degree turn from last night’s game against Denver. The home team looks out of sync. Shooting just 36% and the Jazz shooting 55%, the Lakers are fortunate to only be down five points.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: Laker bench – after gaining an 11-point lead after being down by 14, most of the starters left late in the third quarter and allowed the Jazz right back into the game.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Kobe Bryant – for never letting a possible bad shooting night deter him. 19 points – all in the third quarter.

  • Cody

    Preseason or not, watching a lose like that still hurts. I know the GOAT wasn’t on the floor and PAU was our only starter in those closing minutes, but we shouldn’t have lost this one.

    • andy

      I agree.

  • Sheds

    Ah well, life goes on. The good things are Bryant finding his touch again and Artest playing at a good level already.

  • prlaker

    why worry,preseason is for the starters to warm up and for players to make the team. his year we have four players that are now starting to learn the triangle, there’s no need for concern guys

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    way to bring that championship form………my knee.

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    Guys, currently we have 16 players on the roster. 9 of them were here last year, 7 of them need to learn the triangle, that’s 44% of not knowing were they got to be or were to rotate at. By not knowing were to be, that helps the defense catch up to the open player. Of course some of these guys won’t make it to the team but currently this is what we have and what we have to play with. Problem if around Christmas, but this is preseason, preseason, not the time where everyone dies for but preseason, what are we talking about here, preseason?!!!

    • 242LakerFan

      If you look at the box score, in the +/-, the vets were all in the positive. The new players were all in the negative. That speaks exactly to your point, Ice Cream Man. The triangle will click for these guys, but they’re bound to be up and down till then.
      Patience, people. Patience.

  • Robert.

    242 is right. A ‘great’ solid team takes a bit of time to form. And this team has a bigger upside compared with last year’s team. Once all the players click on all cylinders, it should be easy street.
    .
    I don’t think any team out there can compete with the Lakers when they are in Championship form.

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    Wise man once said…”It’s better to wait for an ice cream cone on a hot day then it is to get a quick slushy on a cold one”…I don’t know what this means or has to do about the lakers but hey just me trying to grow business…by the way I also have a slushy machine on my truck so don’t worry I have you covered.

    • 242LakerFan

      I like it. It might look a bit slushy here in autumn/early winter, but come the warmer months of May and June, we’ll be enjoying some premium Lakers brand Ice Cream for sure!
      Too bad you don’t have a boat or I’d give you some business ICM!

  • Boococky

    Looks like you had enough icecream already

    • tbo

      no need to be a dick boococky… you should sit quietly in the middle and wait to get blasted as your name implies.

    • 242LakerFan

      How can you even see with all that stuff in your eyes?

  • Richard

    It’s preseason. just a reminder.

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    Who here is hating on the fact that dish network and Fox are screwing us from watching laker home games? As far as I know it’s Greedy Fox who wants more money and dish isn’t giving in. Sucks though. I hope they can freaking continue with the fight AFTER the season.

    • VICTOR((:

      I know right that shit has me pissed off like what the hell im i suppose to do now…Screw fox for rising prices and dish for not giving in with more money!!!!!!

      • ICE CREAM MAN

        Well the only good thing is that since it’s the lakers, TnT will be showing them on that channel then I will be able to see it. Stupid Fox company. I better not find out that some of my clients are fox executives. Because if they are then you best know that those kids are going to run an extra 2 blocks until I stop. then I’ll break the popsicles in half before they get it so that they will hold one end with the stick and the other with there dirty hands. Pay back!

        • TOUCHING_MYSELF

          Hahaha! The Good Humor Man is pissed off at the Fox Exe kids… AWESOME! They need to do that sh!t anyway… run a few extra laps. All those calories will only make these fat cats’ kids even fatter! You go ICE CREAM MAN!

      • Anna

        Switch to DirectTV!

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