Young Drops Season-High 41 Points

young_postgameTied at 86 heading to the fourth quarter at Utah, L.A. opened the period on a 23-3 run, spurred by Nick Young’s hot shooting from the floor.

He scored nine of the first 11 Laker points of the quarter and 17 altogether in the final frame. The USC product finished with a season-high 41 points, and shot an efficient 14 of 23 on field goals and 6 of 11 on three-pointers.

“He can get his shot off against anybody,” coach Mike D’Antoni said postgame. “And when he gets on rolls, he’s uncanny about how he can score the basketball.” 140414_young

In the last five games, Young is averaging 26.0 points on 50.6 percent field goals and 43.8 percent on three-pointers. He’s hit the 40-point mark on two separate occasions and hit at least six triples three times in April. Post All-Star break, the swingman has been sharp from beyond the arc, hitting at a 46.0 percent clip. 140414_young_threes

Lakers-Jazz Postgame Numbers

Los Angeles Lakers v Utah JazzWe broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 119-104 win at Utah:

60.0
Percentage of field goals made by the Lakers in the fourth quarter as they outscored the Jazz 33-18. Knotted up at 86 apiece at the end of the third, L.A. reeled off a 23-3 run to open the final frame en route to snapping their seven-game skid.

41
Points for Nick Young off the bench (14 of 23 field goals, 6 of 11 three’s), besting his season high of 40 vs. Portland on Apr. 1. Young caught fire in the fourth quarter when he poured in 17, including nine in a row at one point. Below is a shot chart of his efficiency from the floor, courtesy of NBA.com/stats.140414_young

18
Turnovers forced by the Lakers that led to 29 points (five in the deciding fourth quarter that led to 11 points). “Tonight, they were turnovers that didn’t give us an opportunity to get back and make stops,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “They made us pay for them.”

15
Assists for Kendall Marshall, 11 of which came in the first half. It was his third double-digit assist effort in April and his sixth such game this season with at least 15 dimes.

5
Steals for Wesley Johnson, to go along with 12 points, six boards, four assists and three blocks. In the last five games, Johnson is averaging 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.2 steals while shooting 50.0 percent from beyond the arc.

LAL 119, Jazz 104: 4/14 Running Diary

Los Angeles Lakers v Utah JazzBelow is a running diary of L.A.’s road contest at Utah with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:

Starters
Lakers: Marshall, Meeks, Johnson, Kelly and Hill
Jazz: Burke, Burks, Hayward, Favors and Kanter





Lakers-Grizzlies Postgame Numbers

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles LakersWe broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 102-90 loss against Memphis:

52
Rebounds for Memphis, 16 of which came on the offensive end. Overall, the Grizzlies held a plus-20 edge on the glass in part due to their size advantage in the frontcourt with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, plus Kosta Koufos and Ed Davis off the bench.

31
Fastbreak points for the Lakers compared to nine for the Grizzlies. In the last five, L.A. is averaging 23.0 points in transition, which would rank first in the league (the Clippers currently top the NBA with 18.8 fastbreak points per game).

29
Assists for the Lakers on 35 made field goals. L.A.’s backcourt of Kendall Marshall and Jordan Farmar combined for 16 dimes, while three others added at least three apiece (Wesley Johnson, Ryan Kelly and Jordan Hill).

24
Plus-rating for Marc Gasol, a team high. The big man recorded 18 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three steals, and keyed the Grizzlies third-quarter run that saw them stretch their halftime lead from a single point to 18 entering the fourth.

15
Rebounds for Johnson – a career high – to go along with 15 points and four assists in a team-high 40 minutes. It was his third double-double of the year and his third double-digit rebounding effort in the last six games.

LAL 90, Grizzlies 102: 4/13 Running Diary


Below is a running diary of L.A.’s home contest against Memphis with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:

Starters
Lakers: Marshall, Meeks, Johnson, Kelly and Hill
Grizzlies: Conley, Lee, Prince, Randolph and Gasol



Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Lakers





Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Lakers

Gasol Ruled Out for Rest of the Season

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers Prep for Home Regular-Season Finale

140412_youngWhile the Lakers go into Sunday’s matchup vs. Memphis losers of their last six, the Grizzlies are battling for one of the final two playoff spots with Dallas and Phoenix.

Marc Gasol, who missed 23 games earlier this season with a sprained MCL, is one of the key reasons for Memphis’ success. Since his return to the lineup, the Grizzlies have rattled off a 30-13 record. With him out of the lineup, they went 10-13.

Gasol has come on strong of late in particular, averaging 20.5 points and 12.0 rebounds on 60.7 percent field goals in wins over Miami and Philly in the last two.

While Marc has been instrumental in the Grizzlies’ postseason push, older brother, Pau, has been sidelined the last five games and nine of the last 10 due to vertigo. Pau, as well as Steve Nash (nerve root irritation), did not practice on Saturday and both are being listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. Chris Kaman, who has also missed the last five, went through basketball-related activities but is still doubtful to play.

After Friday’s game vs. Golden State, the Lakers set a franchise low for most losses in a season with 54, although a rash of injuries and a lack of continuity in the starting lineup have attributed to that factor.

“We started off with everybody in place,” Nick Young said. “And when people get hurt, it forces other people to play different roles and play out of rhythm.”

Young, who missed 17 games total earlier this season, has come on strong of late, averaging 24.3 points on 49.5 percent field goals and 42.6 percent on three-pointers in April. Despite the up-and-down season, the L.A. native had nothing but positive things to say about his time here.

“For me personally, it was great,” he said. “Even though we kept losing, I got an opportunity to play at home, play for the Lakers and I learned a lot being around Kobe (Bryant) and (Steve) Nash and the coaching staff and I think it helped my game blossom.”

Jodie Meeks’ game has also improved considerably from a year ago. Meeks is currently posting career bests across the board in points (15.6), rebounds (2.6), assists (1.8), steals (1.4) and field-goal percentage (45.6), while logging a team-high 33.1 minutes per game.

“I’ve gotten more minutes and coach Mike D’Antoni has given me a lot of confidence to go out there and play freely,” he said. “He doesn’t worry about mistakes as long as you’re playing hard. He gives you a lot of rope to do what you have to do and play your game.”

As for the final three games of the regular season, Meeks hopes to see the team end on a high note to end the season.

“Collectively as a group, we want to finish strong,” he said. “You can accomplish something every game. For the most part, we want to go out, not give up and keep playing hard. We have a good opportunity the last game at home to try and come out with a good mindset and try to get that win.”

Lakers-Warriors Postgame Numbers

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles LakersWe broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 112-95 loss against Golden State:

19
Plus-rating for David Lee in his return to the Warriors lineup after a seven-game absence (hamstring). Lee posted his 34th double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench.

13
Double-doubles for Jordan Hill this year as he scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. While Pau Gasol (vertigo) and Chris Kaman (calf) continued to be sidelined, Hill is averaging 16.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals in April.

11
Game-losing streak snapped by the Warriors in Los Angeles with the win. In the process, Golden State won the series for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

4
Triple-doubles for Stephen Curry this season after recording 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Curry became the first Warrior to have at least four triple-doubles in a season since Wilt Chamberlain had five in 1962-63.

3
Three-pointers for Steve Blake towards 13 points, his highest scoring game as a Golden State Warrior. Blake also added five rebounds, five assists and two steals in 30 minutes.

LAL 95, Warriors 112: 4/11 Running Diary

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles LakersBelow is a running diary of L.A.’s home contest against Golden State with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:

Starters
Lakers: Marshall, Meeks, Johnson, Kelly and Hill
Warriors: Curry, Thompson, Barnes, Green and Bogut

FIRST QUARTER


Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
SECOND QUARTER



THIRD QUARTER


Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
FOURTH QUARTER

Thursday Practice Report

ts_140410farmar670Injuries have been a recurring theme all year long for the Lakers, and with four games remaining in the regular season, the return of Pau Gasol remains uncertain. Gasol has missed the last four games – eight of the last nine – because of vertigo and is being listed as doubtful for Friday’s game vs. Golden State.

“He’ll play if he can, but he has to be medically cleared,” D’Antoni said of Gasol’s status. “He and Gary (Vitti) will come to me if he can go, but I don’t think it’s clear right now whether he can go or not.”


Aside from Gasol, Steve Nash is also being listed as doubtful. Nash passed Mark Jackson for third all-time in assists in NBA history vs. Houston, but aggravated his nerve root irritation issues in the process. Nash said after the game that he doubts he’ll be able to return to action in the final four games.

Chris Kaman is still out with a calf injury, and Kobe Bryant, Xavier Henry and Kent Bazemore have respectively been ruled out for the season. In total, the Lakers have missed 292 games due to injury/illness this season.

“I think the guys are going to play hard regardless,” Kaman said. “We’ve had some games where we’ve been in it and we’ve been really close lately. I think you’re going to see us battle the rest of the year.”


Although the Lakers have been hampered by numerous injuries, they did get Jordan Farmar back vs. Houston on Tuesday. Farmar had missed the last 11 games because of a strained groin and has also suffered hamstring tears on two separate occasions earlier in the season. He scored 15 points and dished out eight assists in his return, to go along with five boards, three steals and two blocks.

“I thought he played well,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He gives us a guy who can really score and puts a lot of heat on the defense.”

On the year, Farmar has been particularly efficient from beyond the arc as he currently ranks fourth in the NBA in three-point field-goal percentage at 45.8, trailing Kyle Korver (47.8), Pablo Prigioni (46.3) and Anthony Morrow (46.1). That mark would be a career high, besting his 44.0 clip set during the 2011-12 season in New Jersey.