Inactives for Tonight:
Antonio McDyess, Chauncey Billups, Rodney Stuckey
Coby Karl, Ronny Turiaf, Javaris Crittenton
SF Tayshaun Prince, PF Jason Maxiell, C Rasheed Wallace, SG Richard Hamilton, PG Flip Murrary
SF Lamar Odom, PF Brian Cook, C Kwame Brown, SG Kobe Bryant, PG Derek Fisher
12:00 Brian Cook is starting in place of the injured Ronny Turiaf.
10:12 A three-pointer by Brian Cook to immediately make his presence felt. Perhaps we’ll see Cookie contribute one of his random twenty or so point outbursts that seems to happen every few weeks. He’s yet to have one this season…
7:34 Great drive and one for Derek Fisher following consecutive misses from beyond the arc for the guard. Nice to see Derek finishing the play after blowing a few easy ones against Houston two nights ago.
6:54 Two straight easy baskets for Rasheed Wallace on the Pistons end to bring them within two of the Lakers. Not that anyone should be surprised, but Cook and company look completely lost out there versus the physically superior Pistons forward. Too bad Ronny isn’t available tonight…would have been interesting to see the Lakers bruiser against Wallace.
5:44 Another three by Cook to give the Lakers an impressive 19-10 lead with Lamar Odom going to the line for two more for the Lakers on the ensuing possession. Brian’s making the most of his opportunity so far. Lamar also looks much more aggressive on the offensive end than he was in the Houston game.
2:29 Too many second chance opportunities so far for the Pistons…even if they aren’t exactly capitalizing yet. The Pistons have launched air balls on two of their last three shot attempts.
Farmar, Evans and Radmanovic are into the game for the Lakers as Kobe gets an early breather.
1:32 Vlad wastes no time as he launches a three to increase the Lakers lead to 10.
23.9 Another three for the Lakers, this time by Farmar. The Lakers are shooting 60% from behind the line so far in what was a strong defensive and offensive quarter for the team.
12:00 Bynum and Luke are into the game for the Lakers.
11:39 Rasheed was just called for his first foul and the STAPLES crowd is letting him hear it as he disputes the call…no T’s been called yet though on the technical foul master.
10:10 Bynum continues to do work down low and gives Maxiell his third personal. Former Lakers big man Cheikh Samb checks in for the Pistons in his place. Samb was taken in the 2nd round and traded immediately for Maurice Evans. Sambs first action of the game is to take a swipe at Mo as he flys towards the basket for a dunk. Mo is fouled and goes to the line…. I like our end of the deal.
8:48 Lamar and Kobe re-enter the game after exiting with a couple minutes left in the first quarter. This is a new substitution pattern by Phil. The first unit has been sluggish when returning to the game after their first blow, this might be an attempt to counteract that. The Lakers carry a 9-point lead at the moment and have Bynum, Walton, and Farmar staying out there with Odom and Bryant.
6:40 After getting robbed on a goal tending call the Laker bench erupts and the ball heads the other way, but Rip Hamilton can’t finish the bucket. Kobe grabs the board and swings it down to Lamar who has Drew following. To pass or not to pass??? Why not just give a quick ball fake, make your defender looks stupid, and slam it home. That was option b and Lamar took it. The crowd gets fired up and Flip Saunders calls a quick TO for the Pistons. 39-29 home team.
2:25 The Lakers lead 46-42 but it feels like they should be up by more. They’ve been pushing the pace, but the Pistons keep staying close at every turn. With just over two minutes left Phil calls a TO. It’d be nice to make a little push here and extend the lead. Kwame comes in to replace Bynum.
11.4 Detroit bails out Odom by committing a foul with less than five on the shot clock. Lamar sinks both with a Pistons timeout sandwiched in between to put the Lakers up by two. The half ends 48-46.
The Lakers were outscored 26-19 in the second quarter, relinquishing most of their nine point lead to the Pistons. In the first quarter, the Lakers were running on all cylinders with the Lakers reserves coming in and sparking the team once again. Lamar Odom in particular was extremely effective for the Lakers, showing the same level aggression that has made him a huge threat in the Lakers past two playoff series. Odom scored 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds. The Lakers needed every bit of Lamar’s effort too as Kobe was quiet for most of the half, only contributing four points on an uncharacteristic one of eight shooting. As a whole, the Lakers are doing an exceptional job getting to the line, making 16 of 19 attempts to only seven by the Pistons, explaining how the Lakers still maintain a slight edge over the Pistons despite Detroit scoring five more field goals. In the second half, the L.A. needs to feed the ball inside to Bynum and Brown more as they got a little three-point happy in the second quarter.
8:44 More than three minutes have passed since the bell rung and pretty much nothing has happened besides the teams trading buckets and one free throw by Maxiell. Just a lot of up and down with no results.
5:54 Pistons are up 55-54 after a Rasheed Wallace makes one of two from the line. The Lakers offense hasn’t been able to find a groove in the first six minutes of the third frame. Kobe has only tallied four points in the game so far and yet the Lakers are only down by one, that’s a bright spot.
4:27 In what could start to become more of a regular more in Phil Jackson’s substitution arsenal, he brings in Jordan Farmar for Derek Fisher much earlier than the rest of the first unit. Farmar’s exceptional play throughout the season affords Phil the luxury of resting the vet.
3:56 Rip Hamilton is losing his mind over an offensive foul. This is the second time down that Hamilton has been in the officials grill. It’s Rip’s fourth so Saunders brings in Afflalo. Oh, Rip threw his mask as he exited the game. The fact that he wears a mask at all I find ridiculous. We get it, you were hurt… 4 years ago. And you still wear it everyday? Tack on a Technical foul for Rip. I told you he was losing his mind.
2:30 Detroit has a two point advantage, but it’s starting to get REALLLL chippy out there right now. Lamar just got fouled hard and will take two shots. Maybe some residual from the recent Rip T, but now the entire Pistons team is on the floor and complaining to the refs. Everyones starting to get a little more serious. How is Rasheed the only Piston keeping his wits about him right now? Upset of the young NBA season.
52.4 Fast break with some nifty touch passing by Vlad cuts the Pistons lead to 4 66-62.
End of 3rd
Overall uninspired play from the Purple & Gold saw the slim lead they took into the half turn into a six point advantage for the visiting Pistons. If form holds for the Lakers the second unit should come in soon and provide a spark that is desperately needed right now. Kobe needs to break the funk if the Lakers are going to win this one. He’s currently mired in a 2 of 14 shooting slump and only has 8 points tonight.
The contestant in the Mirage Half-Court shot banged it off the backboard for a miss. Pot jumps to 50K on Sunday.
12:00 Walton, Evans and Bynum are into the game to start the fourth quarter.
11:42 Quick three by Rad cuts the Pistons six-point lead in half. Nice to see a trey finally falling for the Lakers after a succession of misses.
11:14 A HUGE Bynum block over Tayshaun ignites a Lakers fast break and two free throws for Farmar.
9:31 The second unit is at it yet again. Bynum’s finesse hook puts the Lakers back up again at 70-69. The bench is not only buying time while Kobe and Lamar rest, they’re thriving. The STAPLES crowd has really seemed to rally around this bunch…as they should if they keep playing like this throughout the duration of the season.
7:17 Mo Evans throws down Farmar’s near miss on another fast break by the Lakers sending the crowd into delirium. On the previous play, Walton stole the ball on the Pistons end and Farmar capitalized for an easy reverse layup. The difference in energy from the latter half of the third quarter to the first five minutes of the fourth has been night and day for the Lakers.
The fans are getting nutty during the timeout as a young male fan shows the Lakers Girls that they ain’t got nothing on him.
6:50 Unbelievable sequence by the Lakers as Jordan’s save on the sidelines is picked up by Mo who lobs it into Bynum for a powerful dunk. Farmar is DOMINATING the game for the Lakers right now.
4:27 Great play by Kobe who teases the Pistons defenders before knocking in a lay-up and one amid “MVP” chants. Two possessions ago, Kobe hit a three…looks like he’s finally getting into this game.
3:01 The Lakers catch a break as the ball careens off referee Ron Garretson and back in bounds for an easy lay-up by Radmanovic.
2:26 Raucous standing ovation for the Lakers following another huge game-changing play from the surging Jordan Farmar–this time a three from the corner.
1:42 Kobe launches a three-pointer with ease and the crowd is loving it. With the Lakers up by 11 with under two to go, it looks like Kobe’s make probably iced the game for the Lakers. Everyone’s on their feet…it feels like a playoff game inside of STAPLES Center.
TACOS for everyone! FINAL SCORE: Lakers 103, Pistons 91