Monthly Archive for December, 2012

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Lakers – Sixers Postgame Numbers

We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 111-98 win at Philadelphia:

Free-throw shooting percentage for the Lakers, the third straight game of making at least 70 percent of their attempts. Dwight Howard converted all three of his free throws, and has made 30 of his last 48 (63 percent) in the last six games, a major reason for the team’s overall resurgence.

Points from Kobe Bryant, his sixth straight game of 30+. Playing in his native town of Philly, Kobe finished 12 for 21 from the field (57.1 percent), to go along with a team-high six assists (Dwight Howard added five passing out of double teams) and four boards. After last game at Washington, Bryant was the third player in NBA history to score at least 30 in five straight games, alongside Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Decent company.

Philadelphia turnovers, despite the fact that the Sixers came into the contest ranked second in the NBA in least turnovers committed per game (12.2). L.A. turned those miscues into 16 points, with Metta World Peace and Jodie Meeks notching four steals apiece and Dwight Howard three.

Rebounds for World Peace, a career high. He also finished with 19 points in a terrific all-around individual game, making 6 of his 10 shots and 3 of 4 from three-point range, not to mention the three swipes and two blocks.

Lead built by the Lakers heading into the fourth quarter of a road game for the second consecutive contest. They allowed Washington to trim the final score to six, but kept Philly down by double digits.

Three-pointers made by the Lakers in the first half alone, in 15 attempts, a floor record for most 3′s in a half. They ended up making only 4 of 19 in the second half despite a bevy of open looks, but still notched an impressive percentage of 41.2. Darius Morris made all three of his first half triples and was 5 of 5 from the field in those minutes to reach a career high of 15 points, before falling back to earth with three misses in the second half. He tweaked his ankle just before halftime and wasn’t moving as well in the second half.

Average threes made per game this season by the Lakers, which ranks third in the NBA to New York (12) and Houston (9.7). L.A.’s 37.4 percent ranks seventh in the NBA, which is up 19 spots from last season’s 26th ranking.

Lakers 111, Sixers 98: Dec. 16 Running Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Sunday evening contest at Philadelphia, the final game of a four-game road trek across the East Coast, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:

Lakers: Duhon, Bryant, World Peace, Ebanks and Howard
Sixers: E. Turner, J. Richardson, N. Young, T. Young, K. Brown

2:38 Despite committing seven turnovers that resulted in eight Sixers points, the Lakers held a 21-19 lead after the third triple of the quarter from Metta World Peace. Bryant had 11 points of his own, including a triple, while Dwight Howard didn’t score in his nine minutes, missing all three of his shots and committing four turnovers.

0:00 World Peace added another triple to go a perfect 3 for 3 in the first, and the Lakers used four offensive boards to garner 12 second chance points to help produce a 28-24 lead in the first period. For the seventh road game in the team’s last eight, the team was playing with good energy, something Mike D’Antoni could be pleased about.

9:20 L.A. got a terrific start from backup point guard Darius Morris, who drained his first … and his second … and his third three-pointer in only seven bench minutes, an unexpected 11 bench points that helped the Lakers take a 38-29 lead.

2:32 Offense was coming from everywhere, and easily, as Morris continued to explode by hitting two more shots (5 for 5 for a career-high 15 points in just 13 minutes), Meeks drained his 2nd and LAL’s 10th triple in 15 attempts and Bryant scoring all over, a gliding baby hook getting him to 15 points himself.

0:00 With 1 of 2 Bryant free throws to close the half, the Lakers took a 60-50 lead into halftime, thanks in large part to the 3-point barrage, plus much improved taking care of the ball in the second quarter (one turnover after seven in the first). L.A.’s coaches were certainly pleased with the general energy on both ends.

9:04 L.A.’s defense continued to be solid early in the third, with World Peace causing havoc and L.A. converting on the other end, a 7-0 run producing a 67-52 lead. However, a break down on the subsequent possession allowed Nick Young a wide-open 3, as Howard didn’t contest and Young reached 19 points to match Bryant.

1:00 A corner three from Meeks popped out, much to everyone’s surprise, as he’s hit four of his first six shots towards 10 bench points in helping L.A. to an 85-69 lead. That was the margin heading into the fourth quarter, at 87-73, in what had been a very solid all-around effort.

8:44 The Lakers cooled off on O, getting only Kobe’s running hook and two free throws out of seven field goal attempts, while a 5-0 Sixers run capped by a Spencer Hawes three-pointer had Philly within nine points at 91-82. Mike D’Antoni had stressed how important it was for L.A. not to let a team back into the game since Washington had trimmed a 14-point lead at Washington down to just four halfway through the quarter on Friday, and called time out presumably to remind his players of that fact with just over eight minutes to play and the cushion down to nine.

3:52 Apparently the message worked, because with Bryant’s pull-up three (on a play that honestly was a double-dribble), the lead swelled to 18, Bryant at 34 points and plus 30 for the sixth straight game. In NBA history, only two other players did that five straight games after the age of 34: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan. Not bad company.

0:00 The final count in L.A.’s most complete game in two weeks was 111-98, with Bryant’s scoring plus six dimes being aided by 19 points and a career-high 16 boards from Metta World Peace, plus a total of nine three-pointers from Morris, Duhon (three of his four in the second half) and Meeks, plus Dwight Howard’s rim protection (two blocks, multiple shots affected). The Lakers improve to 11-14 on the season in advance of Tuesday’s home game against Charlotte. We’ll see you there.

Doug Collins on Kobe & Meeks

Prior to L.A.’s Sunday evening game in Philadelphia, Sixers coach Doug Collins had some thoughts comparing Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, as well as reflections on his former starting shooting guard, Jodie Meeks.

Bryant leads the NBA in scoring in his 17th season, which apparently doesn’t surprise Collins, who saw similar will power in Jordan.

“They’re geniuses,” he said. “They’ve seen everything, they don’t waste any energy, they know from night to night who’s guarding them, where they want the ball, how they’re going to get it there, where they want their teammates when they get it. They’re brilliant.

They just don’t go out and play. There’s a sense of purpose to everything they’re doing. That’s why when they have guys like this, you admire how they do their job.”

Fair enough.

As for Meeks, Collins put the two guard into his starting line up in 114 of the 159 games he played in Philly, and could not have been much of a bigger fan.

I love Jodie Meeks. I’ll never forget the day Jodie came into my office our first year together. I don’t think he had dressed the first few games. He said: ‘Coach, what do I have to do get my uniform on?’ I said this is what I need from you. I think (Andre Igoudala) hurt his wrist or Achilles. We went up to NY, put (him) in the game, played well, gave us great energy and shot the ball (well). He’s one of the most professional guys I’ve ever been around my entire life. He’s one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever been around. We miss his professionalism, his speed, we miss everything about him.

Meeks is averaging 15 points per game in his past five for the Lakers, capped by a season-high 24-point effort at Washington in L.A.’s Friday evening win, but has done far more than shooting. His current coach Mike D’Antoni said he really loves how hard Meeks has been competing, sharing that his work ethic and energy on the floor – for a guy known mostly as a shooter – is fantastic.

Meeks will be called upon once again for the short-handed Lakers on Sunday, with only 10 players available. Jordan Hill (back spasms) joins Pau Gasol (knee tendinitis), Steve Nash (non-displaced fracture) and Steve Blake (abdominal surgery) on the shelf.

Bryant On The Record in D.C.

Kobe Bryant took questions from media members after L.A.’s win at Washington for several minutes, before stopping to chat with United States Attorney General Eric Holder.

Among the topics discussed were how Bryant’s body is feeling playing big minutes through back pain and general soreness, going home to Philly to play (Sunday), former teammate Andrew Bynum, how the Lakers should increasingly use Pau Gasol inside when he returns and more:

Q: On why the team was able to get over the hump:
Kobe: We had better ball movement. We moved the ball very, very well. We changed sides of the floor, and guys took shots that were available. Jodie (Meeks) played lights out, Metta (World Peace) played well and Devin Ebanks came in and played well. That’s what’ll happen in this system if we continue to move the ball and guys continue to attack and take opportunities that are presented to them.

Q: On how the team came out defensively in the first quarter:
Kobe: We talked about getting back in transition. That’s really been our Achilles’ heel, and we did a good job of (tonight). They got back in the game by us making careless turnovers and that led to easy points for them. They seized the momentum, then we came back in the second quarter and got it back.

Q: On his back:
Kobe: It’s pretty stiff. It was better going into (Washington’s) game than it was New York’s game, so that’s very encouraging.

Q: On if he knew when his back flared up:
Kobe: Running a lot and getting old. It kind of comes with it. You sleep one time and all of a sudden, your back is jacked up.

Q: On late-game execution:
Kobe: We just read the defense and what they’re doing. If they’re going to come down and double, we just kick it, and then move the ball and get penetration. That’s what we’re trying to do – change sides of the floor and get penetration. You saw a couple times there we went to Metta (World Peace) cause he had the advantage, and he attacked on the perimeter, then myself and then obviously Dwight (Howard) at the end.

Q: On playing heavy minutes:
Kobe: I’m not tired. I’m sore, but when I play, I’m in really, really good condition. I’m just not tired. If you have the opportunity during the game to sit me, you can sit, but I’m not tired.

Q: On going back to Philly and playing:
Kobe: It’s always special. I’ve always enjoyed it. It’s always been fun. Now it becomes even more significant because it’s coming toward the end.

Q: On how things will run through Pau Gasol when he returns:
Kobe: If you’re a guard, you don’t really have to do anything. If you have a shot, you pull it. If you don’t, you go or you pass it. It’s pretty simple. When Pau (Gasol) gets back, we’re going to play through him a great deal. Probably at the start of the shot clock, we’ll move around the perimeter, this that and the other. Last 10 seconds of the shot clock – when we don’t have anything – we’ll post him up. Then he can make plays and make guys better, which he’s fantastic at.

Q: On Dwight Howard fitting in the system:
Kobe: What Mike (D’Antoni) wants him to do is just hit the ball – go set screens, roll down the paint and free guys up. He’s really good at that – by him rolling down the middle of the lane, he makes guys better. At the end of the game when he posts up and they come and double, kick it out and make guys better. If they play you straight up, shoot the ball. If they double you, kick it (out).

Q: On Jodie Meeks’ all-around play:
Kobe: He’s extremely, extremely aggressive. He doesn’t shy away from contact. He loves taking on the challenge on defensively, playing in passing lanes and staying in front of guys. Again, guys that have games like that – he’ll have games like that consistently by us continuing to move the ball and sharing the ball.

Q: On former teammate and current (injured) Sixers center Andrew Bynum:
Kobe: He can do everything. There’s really nothing he can’t do. The biggest thing for Andrew is his health. That’s the only thing that’s limiting to him. When he gets healthy, they have an incredible, incredible center.

Q: On handling those injury issues:
Kobe: He’s pretty even keeled. When he was here, I didn’t have to tell him much. He’s pretty even keeled guy. But he has a temper, which I always enjoy. He was kind of always on edge. I just hope he can get healthy.

Q: On the turning point for Bynum:
Kobe: Coming into the 2010 season, he was ready to make his mark. He got himself healthy and he was determined to have a great year, and he was able to do it.

Q: On if he’s excited about one win:

Kobe: I am actually. I am, I am. I’m very happy to win one damn game.

Q: On if it’s imposing to think of winning two in a row:
Kobe: Coming into tonight, yes, but hopefully we can put something together. I thought we had a pretty good feel of how Mike (D’Antoni) communicated how he wanted the offense to flow in moving the ball, if you have a shot take it and if not, continue to let the ball hop – and we got the message. We did a pretty good job of it. That’s why you saw Jodie Meeks had a big game and Devin Ebanks came in and made big plays.

Q: On the performance of the bench:
Kobe: I think they played extremely well. We got guys that are really stepping up and showing us something in their professionalism and being ready to go – (Devin) Ebanks in particular. He hasn’t been called on virtually all year and his number gets called tonight to step in the starting lineup and he did a fantastic job.

Q: On Steve Nash and how he’s trying to deal with everything:
Kobe: He’s trying to keep it together, he’s trying to keep it together. I can sense the frustration and the antsyness for him to get going. But he’s doing a good job of keeping it under wraps.

Q: On if he remembers short periods of time being off the court for so long and thinking he could help here or there:
Kobe: Oh yeah, it’s always a tough time because you really see a lot of things you can help out with and you’re anxious to get back.

Lakers – Wizards Postgame Numbers

We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 102-96 win at Washington, which snapped a four-game losing streak:

Minutes from Kobe Bryant in the past two nights, despite back spasms that began in New York on Thursday and required a heat pack every time he went to the bench. Bryant has now played at least 40 minutes in at least five games, and told me after the game that he’s not tired at all thanks to being in great condition … he’s just sore. He played the entire second half for the second straight game, but still finished with 30 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Second-half points for the Wizards, after recording 55 in the first half. The Lakers limited Washington to 15 of 44 shooting in the final two quarters (34.1 percent) after the home team managed 53.8 clip in the first half, including a 15-point explosion from little-known Cartier Martin.

Points off the bench for Jodie Meeks, a season high, on 9 for 14 from the field (4 of 6 from three). He scored 12 in the second quarter alone, giving LA a spark off the bench. It was his fourth double-digit scoring effort off the pine in the team’s last five games. In that second quarter, Meeks keyed a run that gave the Lakers a 3-point lead at halftime after they’d trailed by as many as nine when Dwight Howard picked up his third foul with seven minutes still to play in the period.

Turnovers forced by the Lakers, with Metta World Peace and Meeks collecting three steals apiece. L.A. coughed it up only 13 times, which is pretty good for one of the NBA’s worst teams at taking care of the ball thus far in the season. They average 16.2 per game, second to last in the league.

Number of three-pointers hit by both teams, though the Wizards needed eight fewer attempts to get there (29-21). Bryant had been hot from three all season, hitting 39.8 percent, but he converted just 1 of 8 in D.C.

Points for Antawn Jamison in only 6:24 of playing time, despite Jordan Hill missing the game with back spasms, and Pau Gasol, who missed his seventh straight game with knee tendinitis. Mike D’Antoni started Devin Ebanks, who had eight points and five boards in 29 minutes, and often played small with Metta World Peace (13 points, six boards) at the four and Bryant at three.

Lakers 102, Wizards 96: Dec. 14 Running Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Friday evening contest at Washington against the Wizards, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:

Lakers: Duhon, Bryant, World Peace, Ebanks* and Howard
Wizards: J. Crawford, B. Beal, M. Webster, C. Singleton, E. Okafor
*In addition to Pau Gasol being out with knee tendinitis, reserve big Jordan Hill would miss the game with back spasms unrelated to the herniated disc he suffered in preseason.

6:45 An early 10-0 LAL run featured back-to-back triples from Kobe Bryant and Chris Duhon, then consecutive alley-oops to Dwight Howard and then Devin Ebanks producing a 15-6 lead. This stood in stark contrast to LAL’s starts at both Cleveland and New York in the previous two losses.

0:07.0 The Lakers controlled much of the quarter, but got sloppy in the final two minutes only to see their 9-point lead whittled down to zero, at least until a hanging jumper from Bryant made it 27-25 heading into the second. The late miscues included a wide-open layup miss from Jodie Meeks – who appeared unsure of whether to dunk or lay it in – and Bryant turnover, allowing a quick 7-0 Washington spurt. The Lakers had lost five of six games without Pau Gasol, and could ill afford yet another one.

10:04 With L.A. again getting outrun for a stretch – allowing an 8-0 Wizards run to start the second – Meeks gave the kind of effort Mike D’Antoni’s been asking for, grabbing his own miss and sticking it back. Yet Washington led 33-30, and was playing with confidence as seemingly every Lakers opponent has in the past several games.

7:36 Things got quickly worse, a Wizards push allowing a sudden 9-point lead when Cartier Martin – not the most well-known name in the NBA – had reached 15 points himself, hitting all three of his triples and converting an and-1 in the paint that also happened to be Howard’s third foul (he couldn’t have agreed any less with the foul, as he specifically stepped to the side to avoid a foul). L.A. got buckets from Robert Sacre and Devin Ebanks to cut the lead back to four, but nonetheless, the negative vibe on the court continued from recent games.

0:00 With the Lakers needing energy more than anything else, it was Sacre, Darius Morris and Meeks who sparked a run that first tied the game, then allowed a lead on an MWP and-1 at 56-53. Meeks had eight straight of his 14 total points during the run, while Morris hit both of his shots from the perimeter and had a hockey assist on a Meeks triple. In the seven minutes without Howard, L.A. outscored the Washington by 12.

8:43 The Lakers played well in the opening minutes of the half, responding with energy on both ends to build their lead to 10 at 68-58, with World Peace scoring back-to-back hoops and Howard protecting the rim on the other end.

3:49 After a 6-0 Wizards run occurred during a 3+ minute Lakers scoring drought, Bryant capped off an 8-0 run of the purple and gold’s own to push the lead to 12 at 76-64. The fifth and sixth Bryant field goals came in 18 attempts, but he’d added seven foul shots and was a game-best +23 on the evening. After three, the lead was 14 at 83-79, L.A. finally in good shape into a final period. The D was key in the third, Washington managing only 14 points in the period.

11:16 Make that 88-72, with two more buckets from Meeks, who’d made 9 of his 13 shots (four of six triples) to reach 24 points, two more than Bryant. However, after getting up by 16, the Wizards suddenly reeled off a 9-0 run to cut the lead down to just seven with a healthy 9:20 to play.

5:31 The lead was down to just four after two Nene free throws, but Howard responded with a jump hook and Bryant drew a foul while shooting a triple, hitting all three to put L.A. up 97-89, a bit of breathing room yet again.

2:00 Howard was having a slow night with only 11 points and 11 rebounds, but he was protecting the rim, affecting a driving Cartier Martin to secure a late stop. Howard then grabbed Kobe’s miss on the next trip down, earning two foul shots with 1:22 left. He hit the first … and then out of nowhere, Bryant flew in and tipped home second with his left hand, allowing a 102-93 lead that essentially ended the game. Kobe had another 30-point game in the process. Even with L.A.’s offense stalling, 19 points being scored in the fourth quarter, that decisive third period was enough to secure a 102-96 victory, snapping a four-game losing streak in the process.

Bryant had 30 points with his game-high seven dimes, Meeks 24 points with five boards and three steals, Howard 14 rebounds and four blocks in the victory. Up next: Sunday’s contest at Philly. We’ll see you there.

Lakers – Knicks Postgame Numbers

We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 116-107 loss at New York:

Minimum number of points the Lakers have allowed to three of four opponents (OKC, Utah, NY) during their four-game skid. The Knicks recorded 116 on 53.2 percent shooting and hit 12 for 25 from deep.

Percent from the free-throw line, the Lakers converting on 25 of 29 attempts. LA had ranked second to last from the charity stripe coming into the game (67.5 percent). Dwight Howard made 4 of his 6 tries.

Points the Lakers conceded to the Knicks in the first quarter – the most NY scored in any quarter this season – as the home team jumped out to an early 14-point lead. The Knicks shot 17 for 23 (73.9 percent), with Melo recording 22 of his 30 points in the opening frame before leaving in the third quarter with an ankle sprain.

Fastbreak points for the Knicks, a team that ranked last in the NBA averaging under nine transition points per game. Thirteen of those came in the first half, nine in the opening first quarter.

Turnovers for the Knicks, who lead the league in fewest per game.

Offensive rebounds in the second half for the Knicks after none in the first half. Tyson Chandler was credited with three, but tipped multiple others to keep plays offensive plays alive for NY while LA tried crawling back in the second half.

Lakers 107, Knicks 116: Dec. 13 Running Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Thursday evening contest at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:

Lakers: Duhon, Bryant, World Peace, Jamison and Howard
Knicks: R. Felton, J. Kidd, R. Brewer, C. Anthony, T. Chandler

7:00 Carmelo Anthony shot 33.5% from three last season, but showed why he’s among the league leaders at 45 percent by draining three from downtown in the first few minutes. The only player in the league scoring more points than him, Kobe Bryant, did have an answer with two triples of his own, plus a long two, that cut New York’s lead to three at 16-13. The lead had been as many as eight (13-5) before Kobe got going.

0:00 Anthony continued a fantastic individual quarter by nailing all but one of nine field goal attempts (22 points), the Knicks shooting 74 percent as a team to take a 41-27 lead out of the period. Bryant kept L.A. somewhat afloat with 13 points (hitting his first three triples), but the defense was very poor, and both Dwight Howard and Jordan Hill picked up two personal fouls.

8:05 Things became increasingly painful for the Lakers, who found themselves suddenly down 58-32 after Rasheed Wallace backed up consecutive three-pointers from Steve Novak by hitting a fading triple in the corner, even with Howard in his face. That made it a 58-32 margin. L.A.’s second unit players like Earl Clark and Devin Ebanks were struggling, but with injuries to Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Steve Blake, Mike D’Antoni had no choice but to use them.

2:28 L.A. found a bit of life, going on a 15-4 run capped by Howard’s and-1 and then put-back of an airball from Devin Ebanks, yet the deficit remained huge at 62-45. Ebanks had six of those 15 points, but had a few defensive breakdowns on the other end that had plagued L.A. throughout, helping the Knicks to 8 of 10 triples. However, New York responded with a quick 6-0 run to push the margin right back into the 20′s at halftime: 68-49.

8:12 Dwight Howard got a 5-footer to fall off Kobe’s third assist, but Carmelo answered with an and-1 to put the Knicks up 20 at 77-57. Anthony had 29 points, Howard 18 and Bryant 13, the Knicks still hitting 60.8 percent of their shots, the Lakers only 39.2 percent.

5:54 We learned that Bryant was suffering from back spasms, which helps explains his lack of lift while missing nine straight shots after starting the game 4 of 4. L.A. had the lead cut slightly to 16 points after Ebanks scored at the rim, but Howard picked up his fourth PF, bringing No. 60 overall pick Robert Sacre into the game.

3:21 Mike D’Antoni couldn’t believe that L.A. missed yet another rotation on D and left Steve Novak – who only shoots threes – wide open for him to hit his fourth in as many attempts. Meeks did answer with a triple, but the lead was still 19. Meanwhile: Anthony, who scored 30 points in 23 minutes, hurt his ankle earlier in the quarter and was listed as “doubtful” to return. And with that in mind, L.A. put a bit of pressure on the Knicks with a 7-0 run to close the quarter (capped by Kobe’s three), the lead cut to 13 heading into the final period.

7:48 A quick 5-0 run from World Peace, who hit his 3rd triple and two foul shots to reach 18 points, cut the Knicks lead to 11. L.A. was in striking distance, but would need to find a way to get stops, which they hadn’t even in their best defensive quarter (NYK 25 in the 3rd).

3:48 After Bryant came up with a real tricky three in the corner off a deflection (29 points, nine boards, five assists in 40 minutes) to cut it to just seven, the Knicks reeled off a quick answer with Chandler’s alley-oop dunk and J.R. Smith’s pull-up three. It was back to 12 at 111-99, the Lakers holding out hope for a final push that’d certainly be unlikely.

0:00 And unlikely it would be. They’d trim it down to as few as six after Bryant’s runner and an MWP and-1 off his steal on the other end with 1:27 to play, but could not clear a defensive rebound on the next possession, resulting in 20 more seconds off the clock and 1 of 2 Tyson Chandler free throws (8 of 14 total) with 18 seconds left. The final, after another missed Lakers three (they were 12 of 37, the Knicks making as many in 12 fewer attempts), was thus 116-107. Bryant had 31 points, 10 boards and six assists in 44 minutes despite the back spasms, MWP had a season-high 23 points and Howard added 20 points and seven boards in the defeat.

L.A. lost for the fifth time in six games since Pau Gasol went out with knee tendinitis, in advance of the back end of a back-to-back at Washington tomorrow night. We’ll see you there.

Lakers 12/12/12

Happy 12/12/12!! That’s Riley/Divac/Howard in Lakers speak. Who’s your favorite #12 in Lakers history?

Here’s the full list:
Don Smith
Gene Stump
Ed Beach
Howie Schultz
Jim Holstein
Bobby Watson
Alex “Boo” Ellis

Los Angeles
Gene Wiley
Fred Crawford
Pat Riley
Don Chaney
Ronnie Lester
Vlade Divac
Jerome Kersey
Derek Harper
Mike Penberthy
Jannero Pargo
Shannon Brown
Dwight Howard

Lakers – Cavs Postgame Numbers

We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 100-94 loss at Cleveland:

Points from C.J. Miles and Kyrie Irving for the Cavs, as each player totaled 28 on the evening. Miles came into the contest averaging 7.1 on the year, and made the start as a better matchup for Metta World Peace than regular starter Daniel Gibson. Cleveland scored 100 points, having come in ranking 21st in the league at 94.6 per game.

League-leading points per game average by Kobe Bryant, after he scored 42 on 16 for 28 shooting in an impressive individual effort, as much of his work came from the perimeter. It was the third time Kobe recorded at least 40 this season, and the 115th time in his career, but in a strange stat, the Lakers are now 1-10 when he scores at least 30.

Free-throw attempts for Dwight Howard, who made 13 for a 59 percent success rate, actually well over his season average of 48.8 percent. Collectively, the Lakers missed 15 of their 40 free throws

Rebounds collected by Howard, who ranks third in the NBA on the glass at 12.1 collected per game. Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao ranks first at 14.9 per game, down from 15.2 coming in, as L.A. held him to nine in this one. It was the first time in 12 games he hadn’t been in double digits on the glass.

L.A.’s halftime deficit, due in part to 13 first half turnovers that the Cavs turned into points on the other end. It was the biggest halftime deficit of the year, and despite cutting the lead to six after the third and coming as close to two points at the 7:36 mark, but they never got over the hump.

In what seemed entirely implausible before the season tipped, the number of Lakers losses through Dec. 11.