The final score came to be Lakers 127 – Nuggets 99 and it was a tale not of 2 halves, but 1 quarter to 3 quarters. The first quarter had the Lakers at their worst, 8 turnovers, ineffective defense and poor execution of the offense. The rest of the game was a team that played far more with their heads. 6 turnovers from the rest of the game and a resurgence of the bench with 63 points and most importantly they took a third quarter lead of 6 and expanded and then held it, keeping the starters on the bench. In that regard, it’s the perfect first game of a back to back, only Lamar went over 30 minutes with 32.
The hero of the bench mob in the 4th quarter was Sasha Vujacic, who kept gunning until he found his shot or the Nuggets fouled him. He parlayed 6 of 14 shooting into 22 points, a career high, with the help of 8-9 at the foul stripe (both career highs). Sasha was also in the middle the night’s controversy with Carmelo Anthony being ejected on a flagrant 2 foul on Sasha that left Sasha holding his throat.
Luke Walton had a positive effort, with 6 of 9 shooting leading to a season high of 14 points.
The end of the game got time for the end of both teams’ benches. Javaris was clearly the most excited at the prospect, with 7 points in 5 minutes of garbage time.
UPDATE: Midnight and the NBA is back in action so everything should be up on the main site
Technical difficulties with the NBA.com content management system isn’t going to derail us completely tonight.
Here’s Phil’s pregame video where he talks about his shiny new contract extension.
Post-Game Locker Talk video should be up in a bit.
Check back throughout the game to keep up with the game Live from STAPLES Center. Click refresh on your browser to see the latest entry.
Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Lakers: Kwame Brown, Coby Karl
Nuggets: Chucky Atkins, Steven Hunter, Nene
It will be interesting to see what kind of run Ariza gets tonight. Certainly based on the reasons Mitch Kupchak has given for the Lakers wanting Ariza, guarding a guy just like Carmelo Anthony is at the top of the list. Ariza guarded Vince Carter tight, but Carter still hit his shots, we’ll see what opportunity he gets and what level of success he has against a player that has one of the better offensive games in the league.
11:30 – Kobe is starting out on Iverson, we’ll see if the energy he will expend staying in front of AI on the defensive end will take away from his offensive game.
9:02 – The answer thus far is no. Kobe is having no problem exploiting the mis-match he has and has all 7 of the Lakers points. It has an early feeling of Kobe exploding.
7:40 – The Nuggets are getting repeated jumpers from the wings, Martin shows some range, and Anthony has a few as well. Toss in a couple of missed Vlade 3′s and the Nuggets have an early lead.
Continue reading ‘Lakers vs. Nuggets In-Game’
Tonight’s tilt might well be viewed as a preview of the race for the playoffs as the Nuggets currently sit at 9-6 and just ahead of the Lakers in the Western Conference. The focus pre-game was on Phil’s contract extension.
Coming into the game the Lakers are riding there bounce back win over Sonics after their 3 game losing streak, while the Nuggets dropped their last game against Indiana. Even with injuries of their own, the Lakers should be able to exploit the Nuggets’ front court, who features Marcus Camby, a limited Kenyon Martin and not many other big bodies. Certainly, this will be a test for Bynum against the shot blocking prowess of Camby on the offensive end and then the penetration of Iverson and Anthony on the defensive end. The injury to Martin does give more time to Linus Kleiza, who seemed to come out of no where to paste the Lakers for 29 points. He is the long range shooter (or was last year, this year his percentage isn’t quite there) that has been able to hurt the Lakers this season.
The stern test for the team tonight will be turnovers. The Lakers have had a season-long struggle with turnovers, but tonight they face a legitimate ball hawking Denver defense.
The LA Times’ Mike Bresnahan is reporting that Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson has agreed to a two year contract extension with the team.
Jackson’s extension has been on the table for some time now, but Phil has said that he wanted to test his surgically repaired hip before signing off on the deal.
Here’s more from the article:
Jackson met Wednesday with Jerry Buss and informed the Lakers owner of his decision.
Jackson, 62, will get a modest raise from the three-year, $30-million contract he signed in June 2005, which was the richest per-annum coaching deal in U.S. pro sports history. Jackson is expected to make $11 million or $12 million a season in his new deal.
“Everyone connected with Phil is pleased with his decision, something that only he could make after considering all aspects of what it means to be a head coach,” said Jackson’s agent, Todd Musburger. “Obviously, he’s up for it. There is a spring in his step.”
Jackson declined to comment this morning, saying there would be an official announcement later in the day.
Click here to read the full article
The Lakers meet up with AI, Melo, and the rest of the Denver Nuggets tonight at STAPLES Center (7:30, TNT).
The Nuggets have lost their last two games (at Houston, vs. Indiana), but still sport a 9-6 record that puts them just ahead of the Lakers in the Western Conference playoff race. Denver finished as the 6th seed last season, while the Lakers were the 7th seed.
The Nuggets are all kinds of banged up, but could get oft-injured forward Kenyon Martin back tonight. Former Laker Chucky Atkins has been ruled out of the game with a severe groin strain, as have big men Nene & Steven Hunter.
The Nuggets still have Marcus Camby–last year’s Defensive Player of the Year–manning the paint. The Bynum/Camby matchup should be fun to watch when the Lakers have the ball. Bynum continues to blossom, but Camby is averaging 3.5 blocks and close to 15 rebounds a game.
After being the bright spot of the team in the early going, the Lakers reserves have struggled to find their way after the trade to acquire Trevor Ariza and Drew moving to the first unit in Kwame Brown’s absence. It raises the question of “Who Starts?”
Continue reading ‘Lakers Today: 11/29/07′
Sports Illustrated will announce it’s annual Sportsman of the Year award on Monday, December 3rd, and Lakers Guard Derek Fisher is one of the nominees.
Kostya Kennedy details why Fish deserves to win.
When the playoffs ended, and Fisher had helped lead the Jazz to the Western Conference finals with 14 fourth-quarter points in a Game 4 win over Golden State, he announced he was ending his multiyear Utah contract so he could go and play in a city where he would have access to top-flight medical care for his daughter. When he signed with the Lakers in July for three years and $14 million, it meant that the decision to leave Utah had cost Fisher more than $6.5 million.
That, of course, is no price at all, for this: Today little Tatum Fisher is 16 months old. She has been treated at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The aggressive and innovative method of chemotherapy Fisher and his family opted to try appears to have saved not only Tatum’s life, but also her eye. The Fisher family is whole.
Click here to read the full article, “My Sportsman: Derek Fisher”
Kareem Abdul Jabbar—one of the greatest Lakers of all-time and arguably the single most accomplished player in the history of college basketball—was recently inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2007 in Kansas City.
“It’s something that will enhance the game and the state of the game,” he (Jabbar) said. “College basketball is still a very important thing to many young players across the country. This is great for them. It makes this so meaningful.”
Fellow former NBA superstar Bill Walton introduced the NBA’s all-time leader in career points to an enthusiastic crowd of awe-inspired onlookers.
“Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the greatest player I ever played against,” Walton said. “By far. Second place isn’t even close. Kareem is as fine, as smart, as accomplished a player and a human being as I’ve ever known or seen. Kareem, in our world, is simply known as the king of everything.”
The Hall of Fame is the first of its kind to exclusively honor the achievements of NCAA basketball players. Jabbar was easily the biggest name to be inducted this year, based on a UCLA tenure that included three national championships, the Bruin’s single season (29) scoring record (26.4), career scoring record and the most points scored in a game (61).
“I’m very happy to be involved in this event tonight because college basketball is so important to the young people who played this game and love this game,” he (Jabbar) said. “For me, college basketball was it.”
Read more about Kareem’s induction to the College Basketball Hall of Fame in Bill Reiter’s column from the Kansas City Star.
In a somewhat expected move, Coby Karl has been sent to the Lakers Developmental League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Karl has played sparingly this season, appearing in only two games.
Coby’s first appearance for the D-Fenders will be this Thursday against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Game time is 3:30pm at STAPLES Center. Your ticket for Thursday’s Lakers-Nuggets game is also good for a lower level seat for the D-Fenders game that day.
Here’s the full press release:
The Los Angeles Lakers have assigned guard Coby Karl to the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
Karl was signed by the Lakers as a free agent on July 30, 2007. He has appeared in two games this season, averaging 1.0 points and 1.0 assists in 2.0 minutes.
The 6’5” guard from Boise State averaged 14.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists as a senior and was named First Team All-WAC. Karl’s 1,698 career points ranks third on Boise State’s all-time scoring list while leaving Boise State as the all-time leader in games played (127) and three-pointers made (266).
Getting back in the win column is never a bad thing, but last night’s win could have been better… in almost every way.
Being tied at the half with the team owning the worst record in the NBA isn’t a way to inspire confidence throughout the season. The Lakers looked to right the ship as they came out strong in the third, taking a 12-point lead by the end of the quarter. The ship began to tilt again in the fourth though when the Sonics crept within five points before the Lakers eventually took control to win 106-99.
The Lakers have the day off practice today because of league mandated meetings. They get back at it tomorrow night against the Denver Nuggets at STAPLES Center (7:30pm, TNT).
Onto the links:
LA Times: Lakers get boos and a victory
Bryant scores 35 and Odom has 20, but L.A. still has to work hard to end losing streak against the lowly SuperSonics, 106-99. Rookie Durant scores 25.
LA Times: Winter has something to say
Consultant wants to see Odom get going and Bryant take better shots.
OC Register: Captains carry young Lakers
Bryant and Fisher do their jobs coolly and calmly down the stretch.
Riverside PE: Lakers snap skid with 106-99 win over Sonics
The Lakers faced a Seattle SuperSonics team with the worst record in the NBA on Tuesday night. But for these Lakers, there are no sure victories, not with the way they had been playing in losing three in a row.
Riverside PE: Sean Taylor’s loss felt by Lakers’ Odom
The death of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor on Tuesday morning wasn’t lost on Lamar Odom.
LA Daily News: Lakers struggle, but beat Sonics
Crisis averted. Confidence restored.
LA Daily News: Lakers coach Jackson focuses on issues
Coach Phil Jackson gathered his players in front of a television at the team’s shootaround Tuesday morning and held a video study session in preparation for the evening’s game against the Seattle SuperSonics at Staples Center.