Read about the Lakers vs. Sixers games as it unfolds. As always, feel free to refresh your browser for live updates throughout the game … On second thought, I guess they wouldn’t technically be “live” updates since you have to press refresh. But whatever.
Lakers: Sun Yue, Andrew Bynum
Warriors: Andris Biedrins, Jamal Crawford*
*Crawford, Golden State’s second leading scorer, is sitting due to head coach Don Nelson’s informal “play the young guys since we’re of of the playoffs” rule.
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Ariza, Odom, Gasol
Warriors: Monta Ellis, Marco Belinelli, Stephen Jackson, Brandan Wright, Ronny Turiaf
Before the game, Phil Jackson said Andrew Bynum could miss another month of action, but that in the best case scenario he’d be able to play in early April (not likely, according to Phil’s opinion). Click here for more.
11:19 Once Lamar gets his stroll going left with any kind of a step, it’s generally good for two points. That’s what we saw as an answer to Jackson’s jumper, and you know what? Maybe we should name that move … Is the “Queens Stroll” lame? Eh, yeah.
9:58 Well, it wasn’t a QS, but Odom’s left-handed hammer dunk was just ask pretty, courtesy of a slick Bryant bounce pass past the defense.
8:13 Heidi and Spencer are here!
7:05 Kelenna Azubuike came off the bench and immediately hit two open threes for the Warriors, who took a 12-10 lead in the process. Meanwhile, Gasol actually missed two shots in a quarter for the first time in two games.
5:39 Perhaps intent upon getting Kobe in rhythm, Jackson called an out-of-bounds play for Kobe, who responded by nailing a three. Gasol scored on the next possession to complete a 5-0 run that left G.S. up 17-16, thanks mostly to their 14-6 edge on the glass (five offensive boards).
2:56 A timeout with L.A. down 24-20 (another Azubuike triple) allowed us to change the channel on the lil’ monitors to the NCAA Tournament, and CBS had a camera trained to what I at first thought was a lone Virginia Commonwealth player. Wearing a white jersey, the dude was freaking out with his dance moves, which seemed extremely odd since VCU was down 10 to UCLA at halftime. Of course, Ty made me realize that it was just a male cheerleader. Oh yeah. Rhetorical question: why do we have male cheerleaders? Do we like them?
Out of the timeout, Bryant scored inside from Odom to get to seven points. Meanwhile, let’s keep an eye on L.A.’s bench, starting with the checked-in Vujacic and Farmar.
1:26 Odom’s second foul didn’t bode well for Lakers fans hoping Gasol wouldn’t have to play big minutes tonight. Josh Powell checked in for Lamar, and immediately tied the game with a 17-footer, but Jackson generally doesn’t like to go too long without either Odom or Pau, who remained on the floor.
0:20.2 Peezy hit again, this time from the baseline, to halt a quick 4-0 Warriors run. The Lakers bench responded with a nice defensive possession full of effort to force a turnover and head into the second down 28-26. It’s been clear that defensive effort has been the primary plague of L.A.’s bench, whom Phil Jackson says can be more interested in scoring, but needs to put in the kind of energy Spencer shows Heidi. To clarify, Phil didn’t reference “The Hills” when he explained this.
10:16 What’s more important – wins right now or rest? The question seems most applicable to Gasol, who had yet to sit down after making 1-of-2 free throws for nine points and four boards.
8:52 Vujacic did well to track down a loose ball and find Farmar ahead of the pack, resulting in an and-1 after the UCLA product up-faked Duke’s Corey Maggette (both of their college squads looked good to win round one).
8:44 Another solid play from Vujacic resulted in a Powell and-1. Picking up G.S. full court, Vujacic stepped in front of a pass and found Walton, who fed J-Peezy. Lakers 36, Warriors 34.
7:37 In minute number 16, Gasol caught an easy lob and flushed to complete a 10-2 run. D.J. Mbenga finally checked in for Pau, who checked out with 13 points and five boards. Walton then completed a 12-2 run to put L.A. up 41-36 in a solid bench stretch.
5:38 On February 24, Walton hit a three-pointer against Oklahoma City to cap a 5-of-7 three game run. He then missed all seven of his threes in the next 10 games before finally hitting just now from the baseline.
4:36 Ty just made a great point: If Powell were still in the game, every Laker would be wearing Zoom Kobe IV’s. This because Shannon Brown, making his first appearance in Bryant’s kicks, checked in alongside Ariza, Odom and Bryant, with Mbenga the only non-Zoom member.
1:21 Though he’d finished nicely on the baseline a possession earlier, Bryant missed a tough driving layup into a timeout that found L.A. up 50-49. Still, both drives were further exhibitions of how talented he is. Speaking of talent, Adam Lambert’s easily the most talented of the prospective American Idols, though we shouldn’t be upset if Danny Gokey wins (in spite of his last name).
0:02.1 Bryant just didn’t have it going, finishing 4-of-11 in the half after missing again near the rim as Golden State trailed by just one into the half at 52-51. One good thing: Gasol did sit the final seven minutes of the second, finishing with a very manageable 17 minutes.
By the way, L.A. has won 26-of-29 against Golden State at home (courtesy of TNT).
12:00 Let’s not be surprised to see the Lakers put the pedal down to start the quarter. Just a guess.
11:32 First up? Kobe, with a defensive board and pull-up jumper … Then a second defensive board and a pull-up triple. Just like that, L.A. took a 57-51 lead.
10:17 Next up: Pau. After Fisher’s steal and missed layup, Gasol cleaned up with a layup, and then watched as Ariza easily snuck along the baseline for a dunk to complete a 9-0 run to start the quarter. Meanwhile, Ariza’s Bruins juuuust avoided a first-round upset to VCU as Darren Collison played great defense on the final possession to protect a one-point lead. Lawrence Tanter announced the score, which made me wonder how many people were furious since they’d taped the game.
8:15 Lakers by 13, thanks to a Fisher three.
5:39 Remember how Luke hadn’t hit a three in 10 games? When’s the last time he dunked real, real hard on someone’s dome? His victim was good friend Ronny Turiaf, who will now receive 1,456 texts from former Laker teammates tonight. Bryant followed with two layups to put L.A. up 74-57 as it outscored G.S. 22-6 to start the third.
2:15 Fisher had hit a three that put L.A. up by 18, but the Warriors didn’t lay down, instead reeling off eight straight points to make it 77-67.
1:27 The Warriors kept going, taking advantage of a rare missed dunk from Kobe to get a baseline jumper and shrink the lead to six. Get ready for all of the “Lakers have no killer instinct” articles tomorrow.
0:54 Great time for a Vujacic three to halt Golden State’s run.
0:22 Gasol scored easily over sub Jermareo Davidson to get to 19 points, one more than Bryant, and put L.A. up 82-73 heading into the fourth. Blowing the big lead wasn’t fun, but L.A. remained in the driver’s seat.
11:42 Sasha again for three = exactly what L.A. needs from the bench. Meanwhile, the Warriors continued to single-cover Gasol with Davidson (horrible idea), resulting in an easy layup.
10:20 Another three from … Sasha. He’s 3-of-3 in 10 minutes with eight points, three boards, two dimes and those two nice defensive plays in the second quarter. The second unit continued to step up as Gasol grabbed his 14th board, Walton converted in the lane and Vujacic hit a two-pointer to make it 93-79.
8:19 I haven’t been this mad in a long time … With the Kiss Cam going around STAPLES, a camera guy was locked in on Spencer and Heidi sitting courtside, but they never made the Jumbotron. Inexcusable.
3:45 Going to the line for the first time on the evening, Bryant converted an and-1 for a 105-95 lead.
3:01 Sub Anthony Morrow, however, countered with three free throws after Ariza knocked him down on the attempt.
2:39 Wait a second … a 16-4 Warriors burst cut the lead all the way down to three after Gasol’s turnover ended up in the hands of Jackson for a layup. Lakers 105, Warriors 102.
1:48 Big hoop from Odom, who wouldn’t be denied on the low block en route to his 14th point … But Ellis blew by him for a layup at the other end.
1:14 The game’s biggest three pointer came courtesy of Ariza, who was left all alone to do his bidding. Lakers by six.
0:48 Odom has made his free throws when they’ve counted since the All-Star break, which he did again to put L.A. up eight.
0:07.4 G.S. managed another triple, but Ariza closed the game with a breakaway dunk: Lakers 114, Warriors 106. Up next – the road. For a while. Lakers.com will be there throughout to make sure you don’t miss a dribble.