The Space Cadet is starting tonight instead of Ariza or Luke (injured).
12:00 – And we’re off an auspicious start! The jump ball is whistled dead and goes the Lakers way, although I have no idea why and Joel doesn’t bother to tell us why. That’s great. Something confusing happens and neither announcer deems it necessary to clarify the situation.
11:45 – First possession the Lakers go to the oft used Fisher-in-the-low-post set. Fisher gets two point-blank tries and blows them both. Shocked, I say.
11:27 – The Hornets will throw up their initial shot with a David West jumper over Pau. Nope.
11:02 – Too close. Peja’s fake the three, one dribble to the midrange pull-up shot is short.
10:33 – David West draws first blood. Same pull-up jumper over The Spaniard this time goes in. 2-0 Hornets.
9:49 – Disjointed offensive possession by the Lakers. Kobe got stopped and Fisher ends up trying to penetrate from the corner. Bynum gets the feed inside and draws a foul. The Lakers bench is still standing and wishing they didn’t promise to stand until the first field goal is made. Bynum misses the first makes the second.
9:20 – Radmanovic throws his easy layup off the backboard like a young man meeting Scarlett Johansson. that is to say, it was spastic and overeager. Speaking of Ms. Johansson, she is not not not ugly. Yeah, that’s right. I busted out the rarely used triple negative.
8:57 – Double team on Pau and Fisher benefits with a wide open three. The Bench Mob can finally sit down. I was starting to feel bad for them. If they made it 4 minutes without a field goal, does Sun Yue just say, “aww forget it. I’m sitting. You guys are professional basketball players and can’t score. That’s pathetic.” 4-4
7:50 – Lakers look like they could use a Garmin Nuvi. They are lost. And then Kobe bails them out with a behind the back dribble that frees him for a jumper over Rasual Butler. Bucket. 6-6.
7:11 – Chris Paul has been relatively quiet. I feel it’s time for him to show his stuff. I’m psychic. It’s official. He gets a good screen and hits a 17 foot jumper.
6:19 – CP3 to TC6 (doesn’t quite have the same ring to it) alley-oop. 12-9 Hornets “stinging” the Lakers. Bad Pun Alert #1
5:50 – Pau’s turnaround hookshot comes up shorter than the Federal Budget.
5:03 – Kobe runs through a gauntlet of teal-clad defenders, draws a foul, and hits the running tear drop to spite his face. I’m pretty sure that cliché doesn’t apply here. Oh well. You can write your own live blog. Kobe converts the three point play 16-12 Hornets still lead.
3:04 – Lamar uses his own “crab dribble” (Lebron clearly traveled, btw) and picks up a couple free throws. FSW shows a great slo-mo of a chris paul tear drop on a prior possession. The ball never rotated more than a couple degrees. Great demonstration of the difficulty and skill of that shot.
2:35 – Sasha subs into the game and takes about three seconds to decide to shoot. THE MACHINE WILL STOP AT NOTHING! NOTHING! He drills the short corner three. Lakers still trail 24-18.
1:50-James Posey says, “BUT MOOOOOOOOM” Except in this case, Mom is Joey Crawford. I’m not sure he’s going to win this argument. Just sayin’. Kobe gets fouled out at the top of the circle (whistle sounds) and then when Kobe runs past, Posey fouled Kobe again as Kobe went up for the shot. Crawford whistles Posey for a technical and Posey can’t believe it. I’m okay with the call (Posey’s second foul was fairly late) but I also understand his confusion. If players can go for a second or two and still get continuation, defenders should be able to go for a second or two and still foul. New rule: a player can earn TWO fouls on the same play. Write that down. I’m a genius. After the free throw situation, Kobe’s Lakers are still down 27-20.
1:40 – Flopper award goes to: Chris Paul. Sasha hits him on the arm as he shoots and Chris acts like he got hit by Brian Urlacher. Sorry dude, that was too much.
1:13 – Sasha picks up a second foul going around a screen and he tells Phil not to take him out. Phil plays genie and grants his wish.
0:46 – Sasha wants to get embarrassed. He’s on an island against Chris Paul. The instectoids don’t take advantage.
0:15 – CP3 again on an island against Sasha. Chris bangs into Sasha 35 feet from the bucket and gets another foul. That call was questionable at best. Questionable or not, that was Sasha’s third and we’ll not be seeing him again for a long while.
0:10 – Lakers will try and get the last shot of the possession.
0:03 – Lamar gets a lefty scoop to fall.
0:00 – Peja has a wide open shot to end the quarter that is too long. Radmanovich puts on his Chevy Chase impersonation and falls down face first into the lap of the first row ticket holder. I’m not sure what happened there. Maybe he wanted some popcorn. The result was Peja had too much space to shoot and the ensuing vacuum screwed up his usually text book form.
11:11 – Posey shows off his Olajuwon moves and hits a running hook over Radman. The Space Cadet’s a stout defender, to be sure. ::throws shoe at tv::
10:13 – Bynum shows some “energy” and dunks the ball around Hilton Armstrong. I’m not sure why this play isn’t run every time. David only beat Goliath once. The other 99 times Goliath would’ve eaten David as an h’ordeuvre.
8:51 – Lakers force a 24-second violation. It wasn’t great defense so much as disjointed offense. Without Chris Paul directing traffic, the Hornets had a little difficulty getting the ball into threatening position.
Whoa. Vlade Divac must have found some wonderful eateries in Europe. He’s carrying a lot of extra baggage. And, no, a psychiatrist would not be the right person to see about it.
8:15 – I <3 Ariza. He forces a steal at half court and then hustles for the ball. Sitting down he throws it to a streaking Radmanovich who finishes the layup with Posey fouling him hard. Beautiful sequence if you’re a Lakers fan. Lakers closing the gap, 35-36.
7:15 – Maybe it wasn’t CP3’s absence before that caused problems. They have a careless turnover even with him on the floor. Chandler felt the relentless pressure of Lamar and threw it into the backcourt.
7:03 – Lamar does his patented make one, miss one routine. Any other imitators will need to pay him royalties. 38-36 Hornets.
Kobe and Pau are back in. and of course, the right shot is a Lamar 3 pointer. What bizarro world are we living in? even more bizarre, Lamar nails it. First lead for the Lakers.
Hornets don’t let them keep it.
5:43 – Perhaps it’d be a good idea to pretend to guard David West from 18 feet. Just a thought. The Lakers can’t even manage to look like they are guarding him. 43-39 Hornets.
Lamar ignores PJ’s wish for a timeout and drives hard to the rim earning a bucket and a foul. Lamar converts it. Phew. 43-42 Lakers behind again.
5:00 – Hilton Armstrong is a beast on the boards. Well, that’s what LO is going to say, anyway. Armstrong gets an offensive rebound and a nice running hookshot to go. ::currently shoeless::
4:18 – The Lakers fans dust off the AIRBALL chant for Peja. That was muy feo. Where’s Pau??? He has been a virtual no-show.
3:59 – Fisher gets creamed drawing a charging foul on a 3 on 1 break. That’s going to leave a mark.
3:44 – Kobe has just turned the ball over for the second time on a sideline trap. Stu tells us that Kobe needs to avoid going to the sideline. Ya think? It would also help if the rest of the Lakers didn’t stand and punch their time cards on the other side of the court waiting for a Jesus and Lazarus moment.
3:14 – Kobe tries his hand at a three. It was pure all the way. Devin Brown, you got served.
3:03 – Lamar hyperextends his knee on a weird defensive play. He goes back to the locker room. He might not be back for a while.
2:22 – BYNUM! Hello young fella. He’s showing some energy again as he follows his own miss and gets fouled on the putback. Great stuff. Let’s see more of that! 50-48 going into a timeout with free throws coming. Bynum hits both and we’re tied.
2:11 – That was the fastest defensive two second call ever. Oh you’ve never heard of the defensive two second call? Me either. But Joey Crawford has. What a bald-headed ninny.
1:40 – Kobe is doing the right thing, passing when he’s double/triple teamed and his teammates aren’t hitting squat. Fisher misses so badly it leads to a NO fast break.
0:54 – I think that’s three or four straight turnovers by the Lakers. Yikes. 57-50 Hornets.
0:34 – Paul shows off his unstoppable teardrop again. This time it’s a cross-cultural learning project as he takes the Spaniard a la escuela.
0:01 – Paul hits a ridiculous shot over a couple defenders on the inside.
0:00 – Kobe gets the last shot on a great inbounds pass to half court and drills it as the lights come on. I’m not even going to mention Devin Brown is a knucklehead and fouled Kobe right before he took that shot. 61-56 Hornets take the lead into the intermission.
Lamar’s status is unknown. Officially it’s a hyperextension of the right knee. Pau is 0-4 with 0 points.
11:13 – Kobe matches david West as both of them hit three pointers. 63-58 Hornets.
10:50 – Maybe Kobe will just score another 81 points tonight. He seems to be the only Laker willing to make a bucket. Lamar will not return with an MRI coming tomorrow.
10:32 – Tyson Chandler has a beautiful free throw technique. It’s a little bit like a break dancer at the charity stripe.
10:01 – Six Pac! CP3 tries to find chandler rolling for the alley-oop and bynum spikes the pass into the first row of spectators.
9:30 – David West. How about we guard him? kthxbye. 69-65 Hornets.
8:57 – Pau doubles his scoring total with two free throws. 71-67 Hornets.
8:35 – West showed up to play tonight. He puts some man sauce on that one. A nice jump hook over the outstretched hands of Gasol.
So far Paul has 23 points and 10 assists with 0 turnovers. That’s some nice contribution.
8:01 – The Kobes score again. I’m calling them the Kobes because he’s the only one who seems to be able to score. David West answers back.
7:22 – david West is human after all. He misses.
7:10 – Rainbowwwwwwww. Kobe nails it from long distance. 77-72 Lakers trailing.
6:22 – mistmatch? Chris Paul vs. Andrew bynum at the arc. Awkward. Hornets don’t make them pay.
6:00 – Kobe’s rain dance paid off. His long three rattles home after almost bouncing out.
5:35 – chris Paul gets a three point play. Kobe just goes down and hits another three. 80-78 Hornets. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!! (zoolander fans?)
5:04 – Lakers tie it up. Not for long. Peja burns them with the corner three.
4:27 – Kobe isn’t playing against David West but he is taking the challenge personally. He drills another jumper. 83-82 Hornets.
3:48 – The crowd is ready to erupt as The Spaceman has a wide open three and he decides that it’s too early for histrionics. Brick.
3:17 – Fisher drains his three attempt. Lakers take the lead
2:52 – All of Staples Center breathes a sigh of relief as Peja’s wide open three (radman, I’m looking at you) misses. A Chris Paul foul takes us to a timeout. I’ll remember to breathe now.
2:06 – This game has long since turned into a defense-optional affair. It’s like all this talk about the effect of 7SOL has somehow made these teams want to shoot threes all over the place.
1:33 – Great hustle by Bynum to track down a long rebound, get it ahead to Kobe, who passed up a three to feed Pau under the rim for an easy dunk. Great play.
1:04 – Lakers prove to be bullet-dodgers as Peja misses what seems like his umpteenth open three.
0:35 – Kobe and Bynum two man game. Kobe drills a long three.
0:30 – Chris Paul whirling dervish shot in the post against fisher. Money. 87-92 Lakers up.
0:00 – Lakers finish the 3rd up by 3. 92-89.
It’d be nice if the Lakers played better defense on their penetration. Whoever is defending West and Peja need to not sag in. they should just stay on their man.
11:30 – Hornets strike first with two Rasual Butler fouls.
Josh Powell sighting. He has two negative plays to start the quarter. He doesn’t stop West from getting an offensive rebound and he gets called for a traveling.
10:21 – Great hustle. Ariza tries to get his miss and it gets tapped out towards the New Orleans bench. Pau saves it. Kobe wastes the possession and throws up a prayer hoping to get fouled. The zebras (outdated moniker) don’t bail him out.
9:52 – david West needs more muscles. He clearly doesn’t work out enough. Yikes. He and Derek go to the same body sculptor.
9:51 – I learned something new. You can’t closed-fist contact the basketball. Hilton Armstrong is guilty of this little-known infraction.
9:10 – Kobe does the righty scoop in honor of Lamar and gets it to go.
8:50 – David West answers with a nice 15 footer of his own.
8:31 – If at first you don’t succeed… Ariza takes his billionth shot from downtown and finally hits it. 94-99 Lakers lead.
8:10 – David West gets his 30th point.
7:39 – Rasual Butler ties the game at 99 with his short corner three. Kobe’s on the bench and the Lakers will need to figure out how to score without him setting the court aflame.
7:10 – Or not. Kobe will check back in.
6:38 – A weak chant of “defense” breaks out. Lakers follow suit and allow david west to get his 34th point.
5:58 – Ariza gets a great steal and Fisher has himself a contested layup. He feels there is contact but the refs don’t see it that way. He is unable to convince them of the error of their ways and earns a technical. Wasted opportunity. 104-99 Hornets up after the T.
5:52 – The majestic Bynum has checked back in to re-ignite the twin towers. Posey beats them with a three from the corner. 107-99.
4:48 – Mr. West is going to win this one by himself. He raises up over The Spaniard to put the Hornets up 109-99.
4:07 – Ariza is left all alone…again. And he misses. Again. ::smacks forehead:: Did someone order a Coors Light? The Lakers are ice cold.
3:02 – David West might have gone to Xavier. I’m not sure. The big ‘X’ tattoo seems to indicate the possibility. He is now sitting on 39 points. 1 shy of his career high. 111-102.
2:29 – Lakers get a much-needed stop. Bynum bulls his way into an offensive foul. That should pretty much do it.
1:53 – 24 second shot clock violation on the teal marauders. No big deal for them.
1:22 – You know what’s awesome? Watching Chris Paul being guarded by a big and the big looking around like someone played a practical joke on him. Senor Gasol, I raise my glass to your befuddled bewilderment.
0:45 – Kobe saves some dignity by taking Rasual Butler’s. Kobe two-hand blocks Butler’s breakaway layup. Sick play. If Kobe did that at the park, Butler wouldn’t be allowed back on the court till Friday. Too bad it doesn’t mean anything. Hornets are too far ahead. Fisher hits a three off the turnover.
0:30 – That’ll do it. What a sad fourth quarter that was.
0:00 – 116-105 is your final count here. Man, I would love to thump David West on the ear right now. He killed the Lakers tonight. I guess that is a back-handed way of tipping my hat to him. Lakers fans go home disappointed. Hopefully they’ll make it up tomorrow night in Alameda County where we’ll be treated to the sweet sounds of Nellie Ball.
Things the Lakers did well:
- Limited the Pick and Roll leading to an alley-oop
- got open looks
Things the Lakers could’ve done more awesomely:
- stopped the Juggernaut that was David West
- hit a shot in the 4th.