The Lakers appeared ready to mail in this final pre-season game. The energy (or lack thereof) was evident in their movement (or, again, lack thereof). They lollygagged about the court, rarely running any offensive sets. It’s no surprise they didn’t score their first field goal until the 8:19 mark of the first quarter. And their team defense, when there was any to be seen, was completely transparent, other than Ron Artest (who played the power forward position in place of Lamar Odom) continually stripping David Lee of the ball.

The Lakers played like they were looking three days ahead to opening night. A win or loss this evening was of little to no importance to the grander scheme of the upcoming regular season, and they just needed to come in and get out, while avoiding major injuries.

Taking clear advantage of the Lakers’ complacency in the beginning of the game was Golden State’s Monta Ellis. Ellis made up for playing so few minutes, due to foul trouble, in last night’s loss. “Sharp shooter” doesn’t begin to describe the Warriors’ guard. He can literally put the ball in the hole with amazing consistency from anywhere – from behind the arc, midrange, penetration. In the first half alone, he scored 27 points and finished the night with 41 on 16-30 shooting.

The Warriors led by as many as 15 points and looked primed to leave Ontario, CA with a victory against the defending champions. In the third quarter, however, the Lakers began to play to win. A back-to-back set of and-1’s from Pau Gasol (12 points, eight rebounds, and five assists), a three from Kobe Bryant (22 points, seven assists), a layup from Matt Barnes, and a long two from Derek Fisher brought the Lakers to within four points, 69-65. Though Golden State took back a 10-point lead to end the third, the depth of the Lakers’ roster waited to re-emerge.

To start the fourth quarter, Artest was joined by Sasha Vujacic, Steve Blake, and rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter, and what a quarter of comebacks it was. The Warriors hit an offensive drought, more attention was paid to hot-shooting Ellis, and the Laker reserves took advantage.

Ebanks, ready to pounce from the left shoulder, scored on a putback of a Vujacic miss. Steve Blake, though left with a zero in the points column, handed out six assists; one to Vujacic for a quick catch-and-shoot which brought the Lakers back to within four points. Vujacic, who finished with 11 points on 4-10, hit two free throws to tie the game at 85. After Caracter’s layup in traffic, the Lakers had taken an 87-85 lead.

The rest of the starters returned to the floor after the lead had been taken. Unfortunately, the Warriors fought back to a 98-89 lead. With less than two minutes left in the game, and the Lakers behind, it was Mamba time. Bryant scored six straight points and then assisted on a Shannon Brown three, making it 98 all.

Unable to hit what would’ve been a buzzer-beating game winner from behind the arc, Bryant and the Lakers entered overtime. Artest and Brown scored seven points in OT, good enough to give the Lakers a 4-4 record in the pre-season and, hopefully, some positive momentum to enter into next Tuesday’s contest against the Houston Rockets.

And here we are on the brink of another long season of Championship Lakers ball. The road to a threepeat begins three days…on Ring Night.

Box Score
Pre-Game Thoughts:
It’s the last pre-season game. Just get out…unscathed.
Half-Time Thoughts: 52-45 – Lakers are not as sharp on the offense as they were last night, shooting just 42% compared to Golden State’s 61%. Monta Ellis is on fire with 27 points already. Kobe leading the Lakers with 13 points. Bad news – Luke Walton re-aggravated his injured hamstring and will not return, which is a real shame considering how well he moved and played last night.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: Pau had some nice putbacks and he was 6-6 from the free throw line, but he appeared disinterested tonight; making lazy passes in traffic, unable to accept passes (both very uncharacteristic of him), and the rebounding effort, though he had eight, was definitely missing. He wasn’t completely thoughtless, but he wasn’t as mindful as we’re used to seeing him either.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Shannon Brown, starting at the two with Lamar Odom opting not to play tonight, had 18 points on 6-9, including 4-6 from downtown.

  • laffs atu!

    I’m such a pansy! I can’t believe I would cheer against this fine organization! Boston and Lebra just don’t do it for me anymore! Lakers are top dawg in this league and will be for a long time! Great game guys! Go Lakers!……………………keepin it real

  • Trem

    Whats up with Pau, is he alright?

    • http://www.twitter.com/TLN24 Marwan Marzina

      There’s nothing wrong with him, he just doesn’t seem to want to play to his true potential in the preseason. I think he wants to save it for the real season and prevent any injuries that may keep him out of the regular season.

      • 242LakerFan

        I can’t blame him, either. Most pros, especially when they reach the Finals a few times, get to a point where the only thing pre-season is for is getting through uninjured. He did not want to start this season like last season. Does anyone really think the vets on this team care about pre-season? Kobe laughing his way through losses on the bench; Pau playing like he’s half asleep. This pre-season was a success for one reason; the bench looks like a complete, cohesive unit that can hold its own against anyone in the league. Period. Now let’s get on with some real basketball, please.

        • laffs atu!

          Great comment 242LakerFan! I totally agree. It’s just preseason, were talking about preseason man, were talking about preseason, preseason! Why go all out in games that have nothing to do with the regular season. There’s no rewards for best preseason records! lol!

  • Robert.

    Couldn’t get into the game too much (like Pau), but it was interesting to see some things. Kobe is ‘streak’ shooting, missing a few, then hitting a few. But his hits were impressive, as always.
    .
    The ball seemed to ‘clunk’ in the hoop (at the OC arena) for some shots.
    .
    OK, glad it’s over. Let’s start the REAL season.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    so BRYANT missed the game winner?again….when they are meaningless he usually makes them.was he making that face ,like when you step on a rats tail?lips getting sucked?that fACE….SO FUNNY!!!!

    • laffs atu!

      so Bryant is starting to look better and better as time goes on? again….when they come together he is the best on the floor when it comes to leadership. when the Lakers won, like I was making that face, like when you step on a rats tail? my lips getting sucked? that fACE…SO FUNNY!!! I looked like a freakin pansy!……………………..keepin it real, and playing it stupid

  • http://www.twitter.com/TLN24 Marwan Marzina

    This was a great game for the bench, outscoring Warriors bench with Shannon in the starting lineup, Ratliff out and Lamar out.

    • http://www.twitter.com/TLN24 Marwan Marzina

      By the way, they outscored Warriors bench 29-6.

  • LaKeR bOy

    BiG SHOT BY SHANNON! HiTTiNG OT…

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    The lakers bench is very much improved. I have total faith in the bench. When the starters aren’t cutting it, we input our bench, which is another starting squad elsewhere, and a spark happens. Great job guys.

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    I guess this offseason was shannon brown’s wake up call. No one wanted him because he was known as only a dunker so what did he do? He went out and improved on his shot and handles.

    Wise man once said…”He who recognizes his faults and works on improving them is worth more than the small contract we signed him for.”

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    the only thing weaker than bryant is his fans.

    • laffs atu!

      the only thing weaker than Lebra James is ME!!!!!………………………………….keepin it real!

  • Laffs at laffs atu

    no one cares what u think dumb ass haven’t you got that through your thick head.
    We are the champs!
    That is proof within itself.
    Go milk a cow or something.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    milk your mom?

    • laffs atu!

      milk me buddy?

  • si pepe

    milk us all! hahahaha! lebra james!

  • Laffs at laffs atu

    Milk your boy Lebonbon!
    And if he fails like he always does go milk Paul Pee-pee.
    Cant beat us all here at Lakernation just like Lebrick cant beat a team all by himself. So go gather all your looser bandwagon buddies and lets meet here in june so u all can milk Kobe’s black mamba.

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