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Game 4 Shootaround

After L.A. concluded its Saturday shootaround building into Game 4 against the Jazz, Phil Jackson suggested that there is a possibility of Lamar Odom starting in place of Andrew Bynum.

“I think it all depends on if Mehmet (Okur) is going to play or not,” said Jackson. “If he does that’s a tough cover because he’s a 3-point line shooter. He’s a guy that we probably have to put someone that has a little more mobility than Drew on him. That’s alright with us, we’re fine with that. Otherwise the lineup will stay as it has been.”

Okur is being called a game-time decision after the Jazz went through their morning shootaround at EnergySolutions Arena. Okur is particularly threatening from the three-point line, Jackson would prefer to have the more mobile Odom for defensive purposes.

Check out the video above to see all of Phil’s remarks and what Kobe Bryant had to say about tonight’s matchup.

Pau Records First Triple-Double as a Laker

Pau GasolAt halftime, Pau Gasol had eight points, eight boards and five assists, but was a central player in the third quarter run by getting to 10 points, 12 boards and 10 assists at the 4:10 mark. His 10th dime came on a 25-foot triple from Bryant, his second of the quarter, to put L.A. up 75-52.

This is Pau’s third career triple-double and his first as a member of the Lakers.

Gasol had his first career triple-double with 21 points, 12 boards and 12 assists on March 8, 2006 at Seattle, and his second on January 24, 2007 at Utah, when Pau recorded his second triple-double as a Grizzly with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists.

The Finals Game 5: In-Game

Inactives For Tonight’s Game:
Celtics: Kendrick Perkins, Game Pruitt, Scot Pollard
Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Coby Karl, DJ Mbenga

1st Quarter:
11:28 Gasol puts the Lakers on the board first, making an aggressive move toward the basket before throwing up a soft hook shot over Garnett that hits nothing but net. Although Pau finished with 17 points in Game 4, there’s been few instances where he’s looked as confident in his post-up game as he just did on that opening play.

9:05 Fisher continues the hot start for the Lakers, nailing the team’s second three pointer of the game to give L.A. an 8-2 lead. So far, the purple and gold are shooting 4-7 from the field. It’s only been three minutes, but once again, the Lakers’ offense looks in sync the same way it did during the first quarter of Game 4.

7:01 Without Kendrick Perkins’ bog body clogging up the lane for Boston, Gasol is having his way down low against the much smaller Powe. After missing his first attempt, the center just grabbed the offensive rebound and tipped in a shot right at the basket while also drawing a foul on Leon. Pau is tied for team high in scoring with five early points.

6:36 Boston is forced to call timeout with a boisterous STAPLES Center crowd rising to their feet in appreciation of the Lakers’ 18-5 lead. Kobe just nailed his second trey of the game and is shooting 3-6 overall from the field. Halfway through the first quarter, Game 5 is almost a mirror image of L.A.’s fast start in Game 4.

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The Finals Game 4: In-Game

Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Celtics: Scot Pollard, Gabe Pruitt, Brian Scalabrine
Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Coby Karl, DJ Mbenga

1st Quarter:
11:49 Obviously heeding the advice of Coach Jackson, Odom starts the scoring off for both teams by making an aggressive drive to the basket, drawing a goaltending call for a 2-0 Lakers lead. Hopefully, the move is a sign of things to come for the forward.

10:05 The strong start for the Lakers continues as Kobe, Odom and Gasol put on a clinic in interior passing, with Kobe throwing it Odom who dished a perfect pass to a running Pau who slammed it home to give the Lakers an early 7-2 lead.

8:31 The crowd is rocking early after consecutive layups by Lamar who has clearly come into tonight’s game a determined man, leading the team with six points. After a low-key Game 3, the atmosphere inside STAPLES Center is absolutely electric tonight.

6:39 Doc Rivers is forced to call timeout after another series of perfect passes results in Odom’s fourth layup of the game already. Meanwhile, the Lakers’ offense is looking as crisp as it has all series, now up by double digits early 16-6. All five players on the floor have scored.

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The Finals Game 3: In-Game

1st Quarter:
10:18 After a sloppy first two minutes of play, the Lakers finally get on the board with a free throw by Gasol after L.A. received their first foul call of the game–much to the delight of a raucous STAPLES Center crowd. Early on, it’s Celtics 2, Lakers 1.

9:00 Odom stops midway into his drive and dishes to a wide-open Radmanovic who drains the three to give the Lakers a 6-2 lead a lot of early momentum. It’s only been three minutes, but the purple and gold are sending an early message to the Celtics that the two teams aren’t in Boston anymore. More good news for the Lakers, Kobe’s driven to the basket on each of his past three possessions after hearing criticism from across the nation for taking too many jump shots in Games 1 and 2.

7:32 Standing ovation for the Lakers heading into the timeout after a steal by Fisher led to a near monstrous dunk by Kobe. Instead, the MVP will head to the line for a pair with a chance to add on to the Lakers’ early 9-2 lead. L.A. is playing with an incredible amount of energy in the first four and half minutes of the game, obviously feeding off a hungry crowd that’s desperate for a Lakers victory.

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WCF Game 5: Lakers vs. Spurs In-Game

Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Spurs: DerMarr Johnson, Ian Mahinmi, Damon Stoudamire
Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Coby Karl, Ira Newble

1st Quarter:
11:49 Gasol follows up Radmanovic’s near layup by slamming the ball home to send the energetic, yellow-clad crowd to their feet just 11 seconds into the game. Pau’s aggression is a good sign for the Lakers after he only scored 10 points in the Lakers’ Game 4 victory.

9:05 With the Lakers looking a little confused on offense in their early possessions, Kobe finds a way to score all by himself, making a contested fadeaway jumper that ends a 5-0 Spurs run. It’s early, but both teams seem to be playing with a lot of energy–San Antonio knowing its season is on the line and the Lakers, fully aware that a win tonight equals a birth in the NBA Finals.

6:38 Radmanovic hits a high-arching three pointer to tie the game at 11 nearly halfway through the opening quarter. The make sends San Antonio into their first timeout of the night with Popovic obviously not pleased with the open look for one of the Lakers’ best outside shooters.

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WCF Game 2: Lakers vs Spurs In-Game

Inactives for Tonight’s Games:
Spurs: Matt Bonner, DeMarr Johnson, Ian Mahinmi
Lakers: Coby Karl, Ira Newble, Andrew Bynum

1st Quarter:
11:43 Odom makes good on his pre-game promise of coming out more aggressive in Game 2, putting a great spin move on Oberto before gently laying the ball in off the glass for the first basket of the game for either team.

10:00 After practice yesterday, Coach Jackson said that he expected Bryant come out in Game 2 looking to score more out of the gates and early, on Kobe makes him look like prophet, making a strong move to create some space from about ten feet out before nailing the open jumper.

7:54 The Lakers are playing well on both ends of the floor through four minutes of play, with Bryant answering Parker’s driving layup by making a rare bank shot from about twenty feet out to give the Lakers a 13-8 lead. Kobe’s four points are second on the team to Fisher’s five.

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Game 1: Lakers vs. Spurs In-Game

Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Spurs: Matt Bonner, DeMarr Johnso, Ian Mahinmi
Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Trevor Ariza, Coby Karl

1st Quarter:
11:11 Radmanovic gets the Lakers first points of the Conference Finals after Bowen flashed a nice jumper on the Spurs’ first possession. The Lakers will need Vladi’s contributions this series after he was up-and-down against the Jazz in the Second Round.

8:48 After San Antonio built a four point lead, 8-4, Radmanovic makes an unexpected driving layup off glass that surprised the Spurs and just about everyone else in the building. On the Lakers’ next possession, Vladi nailed a soft hook shot to tie the game and give him a game-high six points with just over three minutes of the first quarter gone by.

6:55 Radmanovic is all over the place to open up the game, this time making a mid-air tip-in on Fisher’s layup miss. Prior to the make, Odom made a great help block on Duncan to ignite the Lakers fast break. Vlad is shooting a perfect 4-4 from the field so far.

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Game 5: Lakers vs. Jazz In-Game

Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Jazz: Morris Almond, Kyrylo Fesenko
Lakers: Trevor Ariza, Andrew Bynum, Coby Karl

1st Quarter:
11:44 Kobe shows no ill signs of his back injury, nailing the first basket of the game for either team–a three pointer from the left corner. So far, STAPLES Center is trying to do their best Energy Solutions Arena impression, reaching decibel levels not yet heard during the Lakers’ current playoff run.

9:18 Lamar Odom drives deep into the lane, making the layup and one to give the Lakers an early 11-4 lead amidst an early “Utah Sucks” chant from the sold-out crowd. Odom had a tremendous Game 4, scoring 26 points–second only to Kobe’s 33.

7:43 Kobe’s made three of his first four field goals, nailing a jumper from the to of the key to increase the Lakers’ lead to 13-8. Bryant leads the Lakers in scoring with seven points. As a team, the Lakers’ execution early–outlined as a key for tonight’s game by Coach Jackson–has been crisp, while the Jazz have been sloppy so far.

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Game 2: Lakers vs. Jazz In-Game

Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Jazz: Almond Morris, Kyrylo Fresenko
Lakers: Coby Karl, Andrew Bynum, Trevor Ariza

1st Quarter:
12:00 Kobe gets a raucous standing ovation from the gold-clad crowd after receiving his first MVP award from NBA Commissioner David Stern. After thanking the crowd, Kobe screamed, “Let’s get this party started!”

10:57 The Lakers hit their first two shots of the game, the first a near three pointer by Fisher and the second, a jumper by Radmanovic that hits nothing but net. It’s only been a minute, but the Lakers look focused and ready to play, easing any initial concerns about a hangover effect from the pre-game MVP ceremony.

9:11 Mr. MVP hits his second consecutive shot to open the game, the first on a driving reverse layup and the second on one of his signature fadeaway jumpers. The STAPLES Center is buzzing early–much more so than they were in Game 1. Kobe is tied with Lamar for the early lead in scoring with four.

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