“People made Kobe mad. People owe him an apology,” Deron Williams said from his post-game podium visit. “I heard Chuck (Charles Barkley) say he was getting old, and he wouldn’t be able to do the same things he could do… and he pretty much did them.”

Chuck and everyone who doubted Kobe Bryant owes him an apology all right, especially after he scored 32 points on 11-23 shooting this evening, marking his fifth 30-point game in a row going back to Game 6 against Oklahoma City.

With a chance to sweep this series and enjoy a week’s worth of rest before the first game of the Western Conference Finals, you can bet Bryant didn’t entertain the idea of missing out on a possible week’s worth of rest before the next round. Thankfully, his teammates felt the same.

The Lakers looked determined to play the cleaning crew tonight. Sweep… Sweep… Sweep. Home game, away game — it hasn’t mattered to this Lakers team since they came out of their first round battle with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Since that Game 6 victory, they’ve been locked and loaded. The unfortunate victims this time around were the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz, despite a good start and various runs in this game and throughout the series, simply could not paint the Lakers into a corner.

“They’re just a better team. There’s no other way to put it,” Jazz point man, Deron Williams said. “If it’s not one guy beating you, it’s the next guy stepping up the next night and I think that’s what separates them.”

“They got everything you could want,” Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan said.

To win in the post-season, there is no use for singular glory and recognition. While it’s true that Bryant had a successful series against the Jazz, it took a team effort and the use of all of the Lakers’ multiple weapons.

In the first two games of the series, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom punished them with their mere length. They rebounded, blocked shots and scored on easy buckets by simply towering over the smaller Jazz player guarding them. In Game 3, the Lakers banked on their outside shooting and veteran savvy to win a close game.

In Game 4, with the smell of blood so potent, and the larger and more gratifying prey in the distance, the Lakers went in for the kill.

Gasol, a hunter in every way, constantly toyed with his man, Carlos Boozer. Gasol is much too long, much too skilled and much too quick for the Jazz forward, causing him to foul out of what may be his last game in a Utah Jazz uniform. Gasol’s line tonight read 33 points on 12-18 shooting, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and one turnover. They don’t get any more consistent than him.

With their own contributions to the game were the always dependable Derek Fisher, who scored 10 points, and the Laker bench chipped in 25 points of their own. Shannon Brown and Lamar Odom, channeling their inner D-Fish, hit timely 3-pointers when the Lakers’ lead had dwindled to single digits. Despite a rampant Jazz run in the third quarter, the Lakers never appeared to be in danger of losing, which says a lot about this veteran team.

The Lakers scored 111 points for the third straight game. They’ve eliminated the Jazz for the third straight season, winning in six games in 2008, then in five last season; and then sweeping them out of the NBA Playoffs this year. For the third straight year, they’ve also made it to the Western Conference Finals as the top seed.

Talk about consistency. Talk about poise and composure. Talk about the ability to respond to opportunity as well as adversity. Talk about another championship. We’re half-way there.

Pre-Game Thoughts: Again, hoping the Lakers watched the other game 4’s that were played before them (except the Cavaliers/Celtics series of course). Time to close it out.

Half-Time Thoughts: 58-41, Lakers with a 17-point lead and Gasol leading all scores with 17. You could say the Lakers are winning by a Pau.

Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: Andrew Bynum — Is he feeling pain, or maybe just some mild discomfort in the knee? Either way, he has to learn to contribute to the game when he’s not scoring. When he’s not getting it on offensively, he appears to lose interest. 6 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks in a little over 25 minutes of play. D.J. Mbenga could have that stat line in less playing time.

Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Pau Gasol, on his fourth double-double in a row!

  • DanielS



    We always match up well to Utah. We match up even better against Los Suns.

  • come on

    the article was chill but come on why do you have to hate on bynum. his knee is obvisouly bothering him thats why he looks like tim duncan on the court. he did what he could and the jazz would have competed against mbenga. Bynums saving himself for the phx suns

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      I’m not hating on Andrew. He just looks so dejected out there and I’m not used to it. I know he’s a bit hurt, but there were times on the court he looked like he didn’t want to be there. I know he’ll pick it up for the next round. He was just playing with so much fire before these last two games.

      By the way, I’m glad someone’s defending him for a change instead of bringing up Bosh again.

      • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Josh Herrington

        The Bosh talk is ridiculous. Bynum is a young true center with the coaching staff that has made unknown players, well, known. We can’t and shouldn’t have it any other way when it comes to big men.

  • KindSir

    You can’t give Bynum too hard of a time when he’s playing on a bum knee. Thankfully we get a weeks worth of rest which will hopefully allow him to heal up and come back with a vengeance against the suns.

  • akira1979

    without pau gasol to the lakers not move first round!!!!

    • lakerman1

      What? LOL

      • WINLESS

        I guess he’s trying to say without Pau Gasol, they wouldn’t have gone past the first round…

    • lakerman34

      That’s like saying the Cavs wouldn’t make the playoffs without LeBron.

      Well, the Lakers have Pau and and Cavs have LeBron, so let’s whine about it!

      And ANOTHER lakerman??? What is going on here?

      • LakerMarc

        Who’s the original ?

  • trippleocho

    The Suns might be playing great basketball but I have a strong feeling that the Lakers will annihilate them. Kobe will go off as usual, Pau will dominate the inside and Ron will shut down Jason Richardson, Steve Nash ain’t as quick as Westbrook or Derron and plus is not as physical which will work to our advantage.

    I thank the Thunder for warming us up for the rest of these playoffs :)

  • 242LakerFan

    Nice work as usual, Anna, but lay off Bynum a little, please. Yes, his contribution to the team is off, but he didn’t really hurt the team. I think the knee is bothering him more than we know.
    Early in the year, I complained that he had a tendency to “bunny hop” under the rim and try to lay the ball up or flip it in. Before this last injury he was routinely going up hard and slamming it in. Now, he’s back to bunny-hopping again. I think it just hurts to jump.
    This rest should do him good and PJ should be able to use him sparingly against a less than towering Phoenix front court, but we will need him against whoever comes out of the East.

    • kobe-wan kenobi

      anna is right
      if he cant score he has to defend and rebound
      no excuses
      if bynum is this we have no chances in the finals
      this is the sad truth

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Thanks for coming to Bynum’s defense too, 242LakerFan. Like I said above, I’m not hating on the guy, but it’s so easy for him to take himself out of the game when he’s not scoring and he’s capable of so much more than getting to the hoop. So much more because we’ve seen it! Those 2 blocks in a row against Boozer and Price? That’s what I’m talking about! This next week of rest will surely do him some good though, and I know he’ll tear Phoenix up in the next round.

      • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Josh Herrington

        I could tell he had little interest in that game. I think he was just trying to be out there, not do too much, and if the time came he could score. Bynum just seems to be getting by.

  • 242LakerFan

    BTW, as D-Will alluded to, you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the Lone Ranger, and you don’t taunt Kobe Bryant by calling him “Miss America” before an elimination game.
    Thanks, Coach Sloan.

    • lakerman1

      Kobe Bryant is MJ reincarnated.

      • 242LakerFan

        I’m sure Jerry Sloan thinks so this morning.

        • lakerman1

          As i am sure you are aware of that is an old seventies Jim Croce song around the disco era ( which in my opinion was the greatest dance era ever ) because it brought people of all colors together. It truly was a wonderful decade with so many sweet women but none as sweet as the one i met in the early eighties whom i have a the best relationship of my life for the last thirty years. But anyway i loved all of Jim’s song.

          • lakerman1

            I meant have had. Gotta learn to proofread better LOL

          • 242LakerFan

            That’s a beautiful thing, Lakerman. I grew up in the 70’s and that was a favourite of mine as a kid.

      • LakerMarc

        Why? Why can’t Kobe just be Kobe? (like the only way he is vindicated is by personifying him as some Bull)? Bull!!!!!! We have Kobe and the Bulls had MJ. That’s too much credit going to MJ and now all the fake MJ fans and Bull fans will get all over me for saying this but this is a Laker Fan site.

  • Los Suns

    Why does anyone owe Kobe an apology. He’s such a primadonna. He cries about every single call. Jordan never did that!!! Mitch will regret giving Kobe that extension!

    • lilkobe24

      you didn’t watch jordan then scrub!

    • 242LakerFan

      No you never see that when you grow up on highlight reels. If you had been around to watch him live, you would know that complaining on every call is nothing new and certainly not exclusive to today’s NBA.

    • kobe-wan kenobi

      los suns goes back to mexico

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Los Suns…you’re taking over for JazzMan and Thundercat, I see. Welcome =)

      • seankobe

        sure jordan never did! that is what jordan and lebron got comparison they don’t wine co’z they get all the calls even a finger foul! jordan n lebron got no hate from the NBA so as steve by wining 2 mvp’s.

    • http://lakersnation showtime4eva

      who would be stupid enough to be sorry about giving that to the greatest player ever.by the way looks like your beloved lepunk cant handle the over the hill gang..lets talk about that!! go lakers!

    • http://lakersnation showtime4eva

      lechoke is no kobe!never will be! go lakers!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Josh Herrington

        Welcome los suns!!!

  • uwee

    the suns will set in LA Land…..cant wait

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/kKokhpc2zfzu_wgHBkfWcCosZB3E1GOq0gkB#be3ed Scott Forrest

    Los Suns….Welcome…to LAKERNATION! We have been waitin’ for this moment for 2 years and the sweet smell of vengence WILL be the dish served veeeeeerry cold…

    Lakers 4-1!!

    • http://www.myspace.com/guszo gus26

      i’ve been waiting for this for sooo long… i went to the game in 06′ where kobe hit those 2 buzzer beaters and we took a 3-1 series lead… i just wish they still had tim thomas and raja bell, this is still going to be very sweet can’t wait..

      • seankobe

        this will not be a vengeance at all, co’z the team is no longer run by mike d antoni…it’s a different team…

  • TrueFan1947

    The Lakers have won six consecutive games.

    They lost seven of their last 11 regular-season games.

    Something seems to have clicked for the Lakers in the playoffs.

    “We just got better,” Bryant said. “We just continued to work. We improved as a ballclub. That’s about it.”

    Though the Lakers swept the Jazz, Bryant said it didn’t feel that easy to him.

    Bryant knew that Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan would have his team ready to play.

    “Anytime you play a Sloan team, you’re going to feel it after every game,” Bryant said. “Physically, you are going to feel it. His team competes, they play hard and they are physical.”

    This from an L A Times article. Regarding Bynum, a segment of film shown on channel 7 after game 3 highlighted Bynum’s lack of movement on offense. Cooper, Lisa Lesie and Rob Fukuzaki all saw whar the viewer saw. The consensus by those 3 was: “Andrew is just literally standing and watching while his teammates pass the ball, looking for a good % shot. AB HAS to do more than THAT!”

  • TrueFan1947

    All the reading I’ve done so far indicates that no matter WHAT AB does from here on out, the knee will neither worsen nor improve. The only question now remaining for Andrew is :How much pain can he tolerate while playing with this injury. I’m not sure whether additional rest in HIS case will produce any improvement, unfortunately. For the REST of the players, especially Kobe and Lamar, the added days aoof will pay us HUGE dividends. PJ is a GREAT coach and KOBE and Fisher, Pau and Lamar and Artest are all GREAT veterans who know how to stay focused in big games. I LOVE the Lakers’ chances right now!

  • UnstoppableKobe

    Nice read, as always, Anna. The major thing I’ve noticed differently of late is that the Lakers seem to be going to Kobe in the post a lot more and especially on must-score possessions, just like they did starting the season. It’s almost as if they knew it would work early on and didn’t want to show that offense again the rest of the regular season so other teams wouldn’t have much time to create defenses against it/see it coming.

    Doing this makes our offense unstoppable since Kobe does whatever he wants one-on-one in the post and sending help at all starts the Laker ball movement chain that inevitably ends in a basket. I think that’s what Jerry Sloan was alluding to in his comment on Kobe.

    I love our chances this year!

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      I was just wondering, midway through the season, why Kobe stopped cashing in on his postmoves. Maybe they WERE saving it up. Plus, Kobe’s feeling better so getting into the paint to bump with the bigger players probably isn’t a problem anymore. Man, I love our chances this year too!

      • 242LakerFan

        I don’t think it was bumping with the bigs. I think he went away from it when his legs (ankle/knee) started getting banged up. Those post moves are all about sudden pivots and direction changes. That puts a lot of stress on the joints and he started getting blocked a lot because the moves were slow and he couldn’t get lift at the end of them. I see this return to the post as a sign of how good he’s feeling physically right now and I am seriously pumped about our chances at this point!

  • sun17

    suns will take it!

    • daboss1848


      • 242LakerFan

        A long vacation while the Lakers go on to the Finals.

        • sun17

          you are a major lowlife
          you spend your whole day on this site huh?

          • http://lakersnation showtime4eva

            we’re on this site because we are lakers fans! why is your bitch ass here?

          • 242LakerFan

            Yeah, I’m a major lowlife, and yet somehow, YOU still make me feel dirty. Hmmm…at least I know how to punctuate.

    • UnstoppableKobe

      take what? maybe a broom or something? gtfo! lakers will get some sweet revenge. just wait.

    • http://lakersnation showtime4eva

      suns will take lakers foot up their ass! go lakers~!!

    • sun17

      homo ass ppl! lmfao

    • yourwife cheats with luke

      take it in the butt?

      • lakeb


        • lakeb

          wait im not done ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahhaahhaa

  • LakerNationCitizen

    Lakers – Suns series prediction: Pau and Bynum will put up a block party. Bynum will dominate in the paint like he always does when the team plays the Suns. And Lakers defense will shut down the Suns. Suns defense – what defense? They don’t know how to play defense!

    And Kobe will be Kobe. Nobody owes him an apology – in fact, keep talking trash. I love it when Kobe’s game does the talking for him – and prove all these people wrong. Especially, Charles “Laker hater” Barkley.

    I hope the bench shows up.

  • seankobe

    trade bynum for noah in summer we don’t need another scorer pau and kobe is fine, what the lakers need more is the one plays with heart a center that runs from court to court. just like phil said bynum got no interest if he don’t get the scoring! watch for another injury next season!

  • mr.laker19

    They can keep there apologies and lets keep gettin ships! Now lets woop up on these Suns!!

  • lakerbunny

    BRING ON LOS LOSERS! http://bitly/a6iLTr

  • lakerbunny
  • lakerbunny

    CAN STEVE NASH PLAY WITH 2 SWOLE EYES?!? http://bit.ly/a6iLTr

    • Drive4AnotherOne

      You read my mind! Artest on Nash…go for the other eye Ron-Ron…lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Josh Herrington

    Our odds have went to we are lucky to get out of the West to we can hang with any team. Guys, i believe the switch is officially ‘on’. Somebody write an article about it. I would but I don’t work here. Kobe is in rhythm Pau is getting is using his opponents as teammates, and we can hit our 3’s. I’m loving this postseason.

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      I’ll try to give it a go =)

  • justdogm1

    since kobe took those really sexy photos his game has improved bye a mile…………….someone get that camera out.he`s not gay.

  • Robert

    Kobe did hint in his post game interview, when he was pressed about the effect of the previous 2 playoff losses to the Suns, and he said something like this to the reporter, “You know”, with his Kobe look. When asked if there was some vengeance in there for the loss of those series, Kobe replied, “A little bit”. He remembers, and so I guarantee that the Lakers will NOT lose this series, simple as that. It’s just a matter of how far they let the Suns take it.
    What I’m not so sure about is which Eastern team is going to be playing in the Finals. Earlier in a blog post I predicted it would be a team other than the Cavs. But who will it be? Orlando, or the Celdicks? Even if the Cavs pull out of the mess they have made with the Celdicks, I wouldn’t see them beating Orlando now.
    And, I have another theory ….
    LeBron isn’t as concerned anymore about getting to the Finals, because somewhere in the back of his head, he’s thinking about bailing Cleveland. If they lose, he’s going to New York. It’s clear that he can’t take the current team and take it too far. LeBron needs a good coach (to handle the rest of the team), and that would be D’Antoni.
    Lakers will ‘fight hard’ in the Finals against Orlando, and next year, the Knicks will return, just like the good old days, with LA, Boston, and NY the top teams in the league. The SBA (Stern Basketball Association) will like this.
    But …
    The Lakers will be Champs for years to come. Get ready for the Figueroa St. Parade.

  • JOSH IN DA 310

    Sun17 you are fucking piece of shit just like your City and team. Get the fuck out of here you little bitch and go be a pest to your own little piece of shit Suns website. You wish you could be in L.A and cheer for a championship team and how many championships does phoenix have by the way?? Get outta here you bitch before you get raped. In the words of “Iron” Mike Tyson: “I’ll Fuck you till you love me bitch!”

    • sun17

      what a homo-thug!
      and btw I live in LA

  • thegreatnum24

    Sun17 you just have been ”ether” by JOSH IN DA 310 fam.lol

    • 242LakerFan

      Leave it alone, guys, it’s obviously just been out in the Sun too long.

  • sun17

    suns will win the series and the championship

    • lakeb

      lakers in an easy 4