Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Blazers: James Jones, Darius Miles, Greg Oden
Lakers: Chris Mihm, Trevor Ariza, Andrew Bynum
11:14 Luke Walton makes the first shot of the game for the Lakers, showing nice touch from outside. L.A. needs Walton to continue shoot with confidence as it looks like the Lakers will be without Vladimir Radmanovic for at least a few games.
9:10 Lamar Odom just postarized LaMarcus Aldridge on the Lakers’ end, continuing his string of aggressive play around the hoop following the acquisition of Pau Gasol. The short-handed Blazers are still up 9-8 early on though.
5:39 The Lakers have started out the game a little flat as the Blazers lead 15-10 with Aldridge about to head to the line for a pair. Kobe leads the Lakers with four points, but his team is getting outrebounded 6-3 with a little less than half of the opening quarter remaining.
4:22 Ronny Turiaf enters the game for the first time tonight, replacing Odom. The Lakers are down 19-10 and in need of an energy boost.
4:04 After missing consecutive shots, Gasol toys with Przybilla around the hoop for an easy basket. Pau has four points now, but has yet to really make his presence known in the paint. Meanwhile, Blazers’ big man LaMarcus Aldridge has been eating the Lakers up so far, already scoring 10 points.
3:18 Sasha “The Machine” Vujacic comes in, replacing Kobe.
2:30 Farmar replaces Fisher in the lineup, leaving Pau and Luke as the only starters on the floor. During the timeout, Walton was called for a technical as he obviously wasn’t pleased with the previous call.
1:09 Webster just sent the STAPLES Center crowd buzzing after a monster one-handed dunk that put the Blazers up by a game-high 15 points at 27-12.
46.2 Farmar just nailed a much-needed three for the Lakers, recapturing some of the momentum from Portland as the quarter ended.
12:00 Kobe and Lamar return to the lineup after early first quarter exits due to foul trouble. They’re joined by holdovers Turiaf, Farmar and Vujacic. Jordan starts off the quarter quick with a trey ball 11 seconds in. And then we get another foul. The pace of the game has been slowed by quick whistles tonight.
9:59 Kobe got caught in the air, but was lucky enough to find Ronny Turiaf streaking down the lane for the monster slam with an And-1 finish. The crowd erupts, Ronny sinks the free throw, the Blazers call a timeout. 29-25 Blazers as the home team starts to pickup the pace and figure things out.
9:32 Lamar can’t stay on the floor tonight. His third foul brings Pau springing off the bench after an all too short break from the action. Odom has flourished since the addition of Gasol, this being his first real rough patch in the past 10 games. Phil’s hot about a lot of things right now and he hasn’t been afraid to express his opinion. It finally cost him as he’s dinged with a T, the Lakers second of the night.
7:42 The Blazers just held the ball for over a minute, taking four shots at the basket and grabbing three offensive rebounds in the sequence. Jordan Farmar is keeping the Lakers in this quarter all by himself with 10 points in the first six minutes.
6:21 For all the things that they’ll get yelled at for at the half and all the things that Phil Jackson has to be hot about right now it’s still a tie ball game… somehow. The Lakers continue to get blasted on the boards this quarter but have come out shooting hot while the Blazers can’t buy a bucket. 35 all.
5:29 Here’s the team we’ve seen the past couple weeks. A Pau tip, a Ronny block, a Sasha three, and playing with a whole lot of passion have given the Lakers the lead for the first time since the 9:33 mark in the first quarter.
2:06 A break in the action takes us to an obligatory timeout and the Blazers leading 45-42.
1:09 One word to describe the Lakers team right now: Frustration. It’s going around like an epidemic right now. Pau on the no-goal tending call. Ronny on the foul. Kobe earlier. I don’t even want to know what Lamar’s thinking about as he’s been stewing on the bench for the better part of the quarter. I’m sure there’s a lot I’m missing. Oh yea, Phil. He’s gotta be hot as well. The Blazers lead 51-44 as they try to find a consistent spark when Ronny, Jordan, and Sasha aren’t on the floor.
11:17 Lamar with another QUICK foul after a tussel that finds #7 squirting out of the pile with a ball in his hands. Too bad that after one dribble Martell Webster was standing there ready to play pylon. Lamar will stay in there with 4 while Webster will leave with some sort of bum leg that requires him to head to the locker room.
9:02 Walton gets the quick hook in favor of Sasha. The starting lineup just hasn’t shown a lot of energy tonight, hopefully Vujacic can provide a little bit.
7:35 Kobe is taking it upon himself to push this offense weather by scoring or by creating. Everything is running through #24 right now.
6:35 Sasha hits his second three-pointer of the night to cut the Portland lead to four at 57-53. Blazers chief Nate McMillan manages his team a lot like a college team, calling timeouts to breakup any potential runs by the opponent. This is in direct contrast with Phil Jackson’s “let them work through it” mentality, but while the Lakers are young, no one is as young as Portland. Many of their guys didn’t go to college or if they did, it was only for a brief period.
5:50 Pau doesn’t seem interested in using his mid-range game tonight. He’s hesitated two or three times when given the ball in the 12-15 foot range.
4:05 KO-BEEEE BRYANT!!!! I think they just gave him a technical for being too awesome.
3:33 The crowd is ready to erupt all over the officials right now. Three quarters full of rage is spewing out of the STAPLES Center crowd with not much hope of getting better. The good part is that Kobe is pissed. We know what he does when he’s pissed right? He gets loose. He starts throwing down in your face jumpers like he just did to Webster. 64-59 Blazers.
35.5 Kobe forces the issue to create a two for one situation and is rewarded with a foul call that will give the Lakers a chance at a second possession before the end of the period. After making both free throws the Portland lead is one.
2.5 Time running down and the crowd rises to it’s feet as Kobe drives the lane and once again finds Ronny alone in the lane. Turiaf does his job and throws in a soft layup as he gets fouled. After making the free throw the Lakers head into the final frame up 67-65.
10:21 Sasha gives the Lakers a three point lead with his third trey of the night on only five attempts. After coming out flat again to open the second half, it looks like the Lakers are finally starting to build on the momentum established at the end of the third quarter.
7:38 Kobe drives through the lane with ease for a layup off glass that gives the Lakers their biggest lead of the second half at 76-71. Kobe is on his way to a triple double with 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
6:25 Farmar hits a huge three that sends everyone to their feet and bumps the Lakers’ lead to eight. On the following play, Jordan just weaved his way into the lane for a layup that sends Portland into a timeout and gives him 21 points to tie his career high achieved against Utah on Nov. 30, 2007. Farmar has already reached his career high in three point field goal makes, nailing four out of five in only 18 minutes of play. Jordan is also one away from surpassing his career high in field goal makes with eight so far.
3:05 Blazers Coach Nate McMillan just said the magic words two times too many as he was quickly ejected from the game. Kobe made both free throw shots to extend the Lakers lead back to eight at 87-79. In other news, the post-game confetti that usually drops from the rafters after a Lakers win was just released prematurely for the second time in the past few minutes; it may be two and half minutes too early, but it looks like the Lakers are well on their way to their ninth win in a row.
1:40 Lamar picks up the loose ball and lays it in, giving the Lakers a 91-79 lead and effectively ending any chance of a Blazers comeback. Amazingly, that was only Odom’s second field goal of the night, but he does have 11 rebounds.
FINAL SCORE: Blazers 83, Lakers 96