Lakers – Magic Running Diary 2

TeamRead about the Lakers vs. Magic Game 2 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.

Inactives
Lakers: Adam Morrison, Sun Yue
Magic: Tyronn Lue, Jeremy Richardson

Starters
Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Trevor Ariza, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum
Magic: Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard

Stan Van Gundy Pregame
SVG’s presser opened with a question about his critical nature: “For anyone to improve in anything, whether it was our performance in Game 1 or anything else, the first thing you have to do is take a critical look at yourself and take responsibility. If you want the players to do that, which I do … You have to do the same thing yourself.” Orlando’s head coach also talked about Dwight Howard’s increased work at the free throw line particularly after the Philadelphia series, about how Jameer Nelson’s Game 1 playing time had nothing to do with the rest of the series and about Trevor Ariza: “I think the main thing that he has done, it’s sorta been interesting, because I think over his career and over this season he was a guy who played very hard, ran the floor, a slasher, but he’s (turning into) a spot up guy playing off Kobe’s double teams and pick and rolls. When he combines that with his slashing ability he’s pretty effective.”

Phil Jackson Pregame
When Phil was asked how he felt being apart of the team with a nice cohesion, he instead talked about Derek Fishier: “More than anything else I think Fish is a catalyst for that, the captain, a guy who holds a lot of sway with players, talks to them about their sacrifice, their role, what they have to do.” He mentioned that he expected a more up-tempo style from the Magic, and emphasized the importance of continuing to contest their three-pointers. The head coach also talked about Kobe Bryant’s growth in feeling out games and knowing the difference between taking on a challenge as an individual and as a team. Finally, he explained that he’s never had an interest in coaching Team USA, or the Canadian National Team, who also reached out to him. That’s only fair.

All Star Announcement
NBA Commissioner David Stern, AEG President and CEO Timothy J. Leiweke and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took stage to announce that the 2011 NBA All-Star game will take place at STAPLES Center. Lots of good basketball news in L.A. these days.

Follow Us On Twitter
In case there aren’t enough observations for you in the diary, feel free to follow us on twitter on @Lakers or @miketrudell.

Lamar OdomFirst Quarter
12:00 American Idol winner Kris Allen sang the National Anthem, which had the 6-16 year old girl demo going nuts. Not sure how that helps the Lakers, but it can’t hurt.

11:35 L.A.’s defensive rotations were solid, as they were all Game 1, to force a tough Alston shot (miss), but Bryant missed a pull up in transition as well. The rotations weren’t as crisp on the next possession, and Lee got to the hoop for a layup.

10:43 Bynum’s first personal came away from the ball as he tried to prevent low post position to Howard, but Lewis was tagged with an offensive foul to send it back the other way.

10:16 L.A.’s first bucket was an Ariza triple as Orlando shifted towards Bryant, significant because L.A. took only three threes in Game 1. The Lakers, by the way, have not lost all season when wearing their white jerseys, which come out on Sundays and holidays.

8:56 Just a lethal move to the left hand off a spin got Gasol a bucket around Lewis, but Turkoglu answered with a three to tie the score at 5. Moments later, Bynum’s second foul came trying to guard Howard, bringing Odom off the bench. Orlando was going to that matchup while L.A. opted for the Gasol-Lewis mismatch.

5:22 Here was the big lineup Stan Van Gundy referred to in practice: Marcin Gortat checked in at the four alongside Howard, which moved Lewis to the three and Turkoglu the two. L.A. led 10-6 after Bryant’s first jumper.

2:20 While the Magic offense runs less efficiently with Gortat and Howard both in, it helps them on the boards, and the Lakers had grabbed just one offensive board in a 13-13 tie as Howard hit 1-of-2 free throws.

1:29 Howard reached his Game 1 FG total (1) with a layup off his offensive board, though Gasol contested his next attempt, leading to a Fisher jumper at the other end to tie the score.

0:02.6 Howard’s offensive foul thwarted Orlando’s chance to take the lead heading into the second, and Bryant missed a deep pull-up three to end a low-scoring, poor shooting period from both teams at a 15-all draw.

In short, Orlando crowded Bryant early, and the primary recipients of the offense (Gasol and Ariza) both made only 1-of-5 shots from the field. The Lakers did, however, play well defensively so as not to take a hit on the scoreboard.

Rashard LewisSecond Quarter
11:42 With a mostly new unit on, Farmar used Bynum’s screen to hit an open J before Lewis countered at the other end with a layup off his own miss.

8:55 At the first timeout, L.A. was up two with the ball thanks to three straight perimeter jumpers, two from Farmar and one from Odom, who was 3-of-4 off the bench plus two boards, a steal and a block. Out of the TO, Bynum went right at Gortat, converting plus the foul for a 24-19 Lakers lead.

6:36 Bynum scored again, this time over Howard with a nice lil’ hook, but Lewis (who was heating up) nailed a three to pull Orlando even at 26.

5:54 The third foul on Bynum brought Gasol back into the game. After a Turkoglu miss, Ariza hit his second three of the half. Gasol missed a wide-open jumper, courtesy of Bryant, on the next offensive possession, but Fisher’s went straight down for a 6-point lead.

1:51 Bryant, who’d been the willing passer with early double teams (four assists, should have been a lot more), finally got an open look (from three) and hit it. However, Lewis countered at the other end to get to 17 points in the half including three triples.

0:48.0 Though Gasol finally got a perimeter shot to go, Lewis found himself open once again from three, and hit yet again from distance…

0:24.4 But Gasol scored again, this time on a dunk, thanks to Bryant’s fifth assist to put L.A. up by five heading into the third quarter.

blog_090607headerThird Quarter
11:02 Howard, Turkoglu and Alston made consecutive shots to open the half for Orlando, while the Lakers got just a Bryant jumper and two turnovers as Orlando drew within a point.

7:42 Ariza went hard to the rim and finished a layup after Gasol’s bucket to put L.A. back up by three after Orlando had taken a one-point lead. Still, the collective energy in the building was poor, just as was L.A.’s non-Kobe effort.

4:39 Orlando had seized the tempo to a certain extent after Howard’s block of Gasol and dunk at the other end, but Ariza’s defensive play on Orlando’s center led to a big one-handed Bryant dunk at the other to keep L.A. up three.

3:48 The Magic have done a better job at making L.A. pay for doubling Howard, getting Turkoglu’s three, their 5th, to tie the game at 54.

2:13 Turkoglu hit his second three in a row, but Odom’s baseline jumper took a point off. Bryant’s defensive board then got an open look for Gasol at the other end, but Pau missed for the seventh time in 11 attempts, and Odom was whistled for a loose-ball foul, his third, as Orlando clung to a 1-point lead.

1:20 Bryant’s top-of-the-key jumper put L.A. back on top, but Howard quickly countered with an alley-oop layup from Turkoglu to make it 61-60 Magic.

0:35.1 Nelson drove unmolested to the hole, pulling up for a floater, but Fisher this time answered with an open three off Bryant’s penetration to level the score. The crowd tried to get into the game a bit, but Turkoglu capped a big individual quarter (14 points) with a pull-up jumper to put Orlando up 65-63 heading into the final quarter.

game_2_4th_kobeFourth Quarter
9:50 Odom continued an excellent game with three straight field goals to put L.A. up 69-68, getting himself to 15 points on … wait for it … 7-of-8 shooting.

9:24 Bryant’s free throws followed Odom’s spurt to put L.A. up three as the energy started to pick up from the Lakers and the home crowd, at least before another long TV timeout.

7:18 A snapshot back to Game 1 came as Bryant hit a jumper out of the pick and roll, though Howard answered with a put-back to keep L.A.’s lead at a single point.

6:15 The first Lewis three of the quarter came at a key time, giving Orlando the lead right back after Bryant’s three was disallowed since he stepped out of bounds. Bryant felt he was bumped by Howard, but didn’t get any love.

4:32 Great defense from Howard didn’t stop Gasol from nailing an uber-difficult fadeaway that tied the score at 79. At the other end, Ariza knocked the ball out of Howard’s hands in the paint, and the crowd/team went nuts when a PF was called. Howard made both.

3:17 Bryant missed the front end of two free throws as L.A. trailed by that single point, but Ariza drew a Turkoglu push off that ultimately saw Bryant go back to the line at the other end after drawing the fifth Mickael Pietrus foul. This time, Bryant made both, and L.A. led 82-81.

2:40 Almost immediately after an inbounds pass, Turkoglu pushed Bryant, sending Kobe back to the line. He again made both to get to 25 points and give the Lakers an 84-81 lead.

2:21 J.J. Redick’s first points of the game certainly came at a good time … His three-pointer tied the game.

1:33 Lewis spun out of a double-team and hit a tough runner to give Orlando the lead back, but Bryant answered at the other end on a tough running bank shot of his own. Game tied at 86.

0:47.7 Turkoglu, with a deserved reputation for hitting big shots, did it again, this time with a 23-foot two-pointer to put Orlando up 88-86.

0:10.0 A really good defensive possession for L.A. forced Lee to take a tough runner in the lane, which he missed over Gasol’s outstretched hands, giving the Lakers the ball with a chance to win at the buzzer…

0:00.6 Tough play to end the period: Bryant drove past Turkoglu, went up to shoot a leaner and got hit on the elbow by Lewis. No whistle blew, and Bryant continued with his shooting motion as Turkoglu recovered from behind to block the ball out of bounds with .06 of a second remaining, Magic ball.

0:00 Lee had a great opportunity to score on an alley-oop, but he missed the layup from a tough angle to force OT.

Wow.

Pau GasolOvertime
3:53 Orlando turned the ball over for the second consecutive possession to start the OT, as Fisher stripped Howard and Ariza knocked it off Turkoglu to give L.A. the ball. Bryant missed a jumper after the first, but Gasol stuck two free throws after Fisher’s lay off to put L.A. up two.

3:20 A nice pass from Turkoglu allowed Howard’s layup, plus the foul on Bryant to tie the game, and his free throw made it 91-90. Howard was 7-of-9 at the line.

2:19 Tough, tough pull-up on the baseline from Bryant with Turkoglu in his face…

1:53 and Fisher made an even tougher play to strip Redick, then draw the foul in transition at the other end (as is always his strategy). He made both, and L.A. led by three.

1:14 Gasol, who hadn’t played his best game, converted a Bryant pass despite heavy traffic, then went to the line on the and-1 to give L.A. a sudden 6-point lead at 97-91. Turkoglu had previously missed a 15-footer to get L.A. the ball back.

0:56.6 Determined not to give up a three, L.A. conceded a Redick layup that cut the lead to four, and Bryant dribbled the ball off his leg (turnover No. 5) to give Orlando the ball with 40 second left.

0:28.2 Big turn of events as Lewis’ three rimmed out and Gasol was pushed in the back by Howard, sending him to the line. Gasol again sunk both to put L.A. firmly in charge, up six points.

0:26.2 The Magic, however, weren’t done yet, getting a corner three from Lewis to chop the lead in half. That play is exactly the same one Orlando ran against Cleveland (Game 1 I think?), and it’s a tough one to defend since Rashard is 6-10. Alas, it was his sixth three of the game (34 points), and put pressure on the Lakers to make free throws.

0:22.1 With Fisher, Bryant and Gasol hitting all their free throws, L.A. may not have wanted Odom to go to the line, but he, to his credit, nailed both. To be fair, Odom was a much better late shooter than early in games, and the two hits sealed L.A.’s 101-96 victory as Redick and Lewis missed desperation threes.

With that, L.A.’d take a 2-0 lead to Florida.