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Lakers – Pacers Running Diary

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Previous L.A. – Pacers Running Diaries/Postgames
Lakers – Pacers Running Diary 12-02-2008

Joe Crawford Goes Nuts For Defenders
Despite a 110-100 loss to the Utah Flash, Los Angeles guard Joe Crawford set a franchise record scoring 44 points on 15-of-25 shooting in the loss, the top scoring performance in the D-League.

Inactives
Lakers: Jordan Farmar, Lamar Odom
Pacers: Maceo Baston, Marquis Daniels, Jamaal Tinsley

Is there such a thing as a revenge game between teams that play just twice in a season? Sure. Why not. Particularly when that first game featured a buzzer-beating loss in a game your squad led by as many as 16 in the final quarter. The Pacers already have wins over L.A., Boston, Houston and other solid squads this season, and their 13-22 record is not necessarily indicative of their talent or capability. They give the Lakers some problems in particular because of mismatches like Troy Murphy, a power forward who shoots threes and killed the Lakers on the offensive glass, plus sharp-shooting, bigger wings in Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Danny Granger, who’s put up at least 35 points in three consecutive games.

But the bottom line for L.A.’s game plan should be the same as it was against the Warriors on Wednesday: Get the ball inside to Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, and let them go to work while not getting caught up in the opponent’s style of play.

Starters:
Lakers Fish, Kobe, Vladi, Pau and Bynum
Pacers Jarrett Jack, Stephen Graham, Danny Granger, Troy Murphy and Roy Hibbert

First Quarter
9:38 Bryant cans a tough, fading-away triple at the end of the shot clock. Decent.

8:59 Radmanovic three. If anyone needed to make a three at a certain time, it was a struggling-considerably Vladi in his favorite corner spot. The Serbian’s swish made it 11-8 Lakers.

7:20 Granger, who should be an All-Star this year, canned a three for his seventh early point on 3-of-3 shooting to knot the game at 15. Kobe’s guarding him.

6:10 Bynum’s 17-footer (he can make this shot consistently) gave him five points, the same total as Gasol on a combined 4-of-6 from the field and 2-of-4 from the line. Game plan in effect. No reason to stop pounding it inside anytime soon if you’re the Lakers. In fact, Gasol would score again on the next possession for a 20-18 Lakers lead heading into a timeout at the 5:32 mark.

If you read the last running diary, you know we spent some time talking about favorite actors, movies, and such from Bynum for an article that’ll go up this weekend or early next week. One thing I didn’t mention is that when asked about his top fives, Bynum generally responded as follows: “I mess with ___.” Meaning, if I asked him his favorite actors, he’d go, “I mess with Keanu Reaves.” So that’s fun.

4:32 Vladi from three again. Swish again. However, Ariza was waiting to check in at the scorer’s table, so we’ll have to wait and see if his rhythm continues later in the game.

3:46 Josh Powell in for Gasol, a substitution we haven’t seen this early as Bynum’s usually the big going out first. JP paid off a minute later when he collected a loose ball (he was credited with an offensive board, though it looked like a steal) and stuck it back in for a 29-27 Lakers lead. That’s precisely the kind of play Powell seems to make with the consistency that Butterfingers taste good.

1:50 There’s that JP jumper for which we’ve been waiting (swish from 19 feet).

0:01 After fouling a jump shooter (we like your aggression, JPeezy, but don’t do that), Powell exploded off the baseline for a layup as time expired to give the Lakers a 41-36 lead after one.

By the way — both teams were absolutely on fire in the first quarter, as in, 17-for-24 from the Lakers (71 percent) and 13-of-17 from the Pacers (76.5 percent). Since Indiana made almost everything they took, they grabbed not a single offensive board, while L.A. did manage three offensive boards … but only four defensive. The Pacers collected three defensive boards, which has to be some kind of season low. Furthermore, the teams combined for 34 points in the paint.
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