The Lakers are in Toronto for the fourth game of the road trip to face the Raptors.
The NBA is still buzzing off of another phenomenal performance by Kobe Bryant, shortly after hearing the severity of Bynum’s injury he went about breaking the Madison Square Garden scoring record for an opponent dropping 61 points on the Knicks.
Kobe was on fire early and once he reached 18 points in the first quarter you knew that you were watching the ‘Black Mamba’ on the attack. Apparently the Knicks didn’t notice the ‘Highly Flammable’ sign next to Kobe’s name but it was beautiful to see Kobe send the league a message that despite the loss of Andrew Bynum ‘we’re still here.’
This isn’t breaking news to the Raptors; it is something that they’re well aware of after being the victims of the second greatest scoring game in NBA history when Kobe put up 81 points on them.
Slightly lost or overshadowed by Kobe’s performance was the effort of Pau Gasol 31 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocked shots. It is great to have two players combine for 92 points but it is equally disappointing to allow 117 points.
The scoring outburst was necessary due to a minimal contribution from players being in foul trouble or an off shooting night by Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher, Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar, Vladimir Radmanovic and Sasha Vujacic who combined for 21 points.
The Lakers bench was outscored 53-19, the Lakers won despite this problem but it can not happen again. Tonight’s game will be the second game against the Raptors this season the Lakers beat the Raptors 112-99 on 11/30/2008. Pau Gasol & Kobe Bryant had 23 points with Kobe adding seven assists and spent the entire fourth quarter on the bench.
Kobe had 46 points on his trip to the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors are in the midst of a three game losing streak that will be updated to four later this evening. The Lakers defensively will need to slow Chris Bosh, the Raptors leading scorer, chase the other shooters off of the 3-point line and play solid transition defense to eliminate the easy baskets.
The Lakers need to start the offense from the inside out and allow Pau Gasol to go to work in the post. The second unit has to provide a spark. I want to see Josh Powell utilized more for his solid defense and tenacious rebounding.
The team has a size advantage with their front line and will win by controlling the tempo, glass, stopping dribble penetration and rotating out to three point shooters.
Tipoff: 4:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL TV Channel 9 (Joel Myers & Stu Lanz)
- Toronto: TSN (Matt Devlin, Jack Armstrong & Leo Rautins)
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Toronto: The Fan 590 (Paul Jones & Eric Smith)
- Andrew Bynum (Knee)
- None to report.