A total of 66 fouls and 43 turnovers considerably slowed L.A.’s 91-87 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats in Saturday’s preseason game, though in the absence of Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Luke Walton due to minor injuries, it’s difficult to draw many conclusions from the fourth preseason game.
Prior to the contest, L.A.’s first at STAPLES Center, Phil Jackson said that he expects all three of his regulars to be fine by the start of the regular season on October 27; in the meantime, Andrew Bynum was again efficient and effective with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, Josh Powell added 15 points and eight rebounds off the bench and Kobe Bryant chipped in 13 points with seven assists.
To detail the game’s ins and outs, we let the numbers do the talking for the now 3-1 Lakers:
1 L.A.’s lead with 11 seconds remaining when Vladimir Radmanovic (traded from L.A. to Charlotte last February for Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown) hit a three to cut what had been a comfortable lead. However, Powell made 1-of-2 free throws, and Jordan Farmar stole Charlotte’s ensuing inbounds pass before hitting two from the charity stripe to seal the win.
2 Lakers turnovers in the first half, compared to eight from the Bobcats, numbers L.A.’s head coach was quite happy about. Of course, he was equally unhappy with L.A.’s 19 second half turnovers.
3 The number of regulars missing the game, with Gasol (hamstring), Walton (back) and Odom (shin) nursing minor injuries. Jackson said after the game that none of his three frontcourt players will play in L.A.’s Sunday evening contest.
4 Field goals, including three three-pointers, nailed by Sasha Vujacic in six attempts as the Slovenian continues his excellent shooting form in four preseason games. He’s now converted 11-of-15 shots (73.3 percent), which includes a full-court heave to end the third quarter of L.A.’s Thursday win in Vegas that Vujacic is quick to point out shouldn’t count against his stats.
5 Free throws missed by Ron Artest in as many attempts. Artest struggled in his nearly 18 minutes of play, scoring five points with three boards before fouling out with roughly six minutes remaining. Shannon Brown also struggled with his shot, though from the field, in missing all six of his attempts.
6 Shots attempted by Bryant in the first quarter. Bryant looked to be trying out a variety of shots (including a left-handed turnaround baby hook) and moves upon which he’s worked throughout the offseason and training camp, perhaps testing for the regular season. You know, preseason heat checks…
7 Assists handed out by Bryant, which gave him a team-high 17 in L.A.’s four games.
12 Point differential for the Lakers in a 17-5 run that turned a 21-17 deficit into a 34-26 lead halfway through the second quarter. Powell, Jordan Farmar and Vujacic were primarily responsible. Also the number of straight points scored by the Lakers out of the second half gate, turning a 46-39 halftime score into a 19-point lead.
20 Personal fouls called in the third quarter alone, leading to 23 collective free throw attempts in a slow-moving game that featured 66 total fouls.
37.5 Charlotte’s shooting percentage for the game on 27-of-72 as the Lakers were quite active on defense.
73.7 Combined shooting percentage from Andrew Bynum (6-for-8), Josh Powell (4-of-5) and Sasha Vujacic (4-of-6) to lead the Lakers.