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[picappgallerysingle id="3800274"]Otherwise known as Where Amazing Didn’t Happen At All.
After getting mauled by the bear that is the Cavaliers and gutting out a win against the Kings, the Lakers swoop into Phoenix to take in their third viewing of The Steve Nash Show. Will the Lakers rise above the ashes or Icarus their way to a scorching?
Artest remains out.
11:46 – Pau hits a nice turn around jumper from the right block. Great to see him start with good lift in his legs. Pau seemed a bit taken by surprise by the intensity of the Kings’ big men.
10:58 – Lakers run an atrocious “fast” break off a turnover. No spacing and the suns clog the middle.
10:06 – Grant Hill = Speedster? Hill beat the lakers down the floor for an easy bucket. LAL 2, PHX, 6
9:28 – The Lakers have turned into the Washington Generals. Derek charges down the floor and shoots an airball from 5 feet against Amare. This game is full of rec league hallmarks. Jason Richardson airballs a wide open three on the ensuing possession. I want to throw my face through a plaster wall right about now.
6:42 – Kobe gets smacked on the hand and it falls off! Just kidding. He’s in a little pain but he’ll hit the free throws. Lakers are settling down and figuring out how to use their height. Pau got a nice offensive rebound on a missed free throw by Bynum. LAL 12, PHX 10.
5:49 – Bynum gets a three point play. Rumors of his hibernation are being debunked a little here. He’s finding his height useful here against the smaller Suns players. Who would have thunk it?
1:55 – Jared Dudley throws a post entry pass to Josh Powell. I bet he wishes he had ctrl+z available there. LAL 20, PHX 20
1:30 – Whoa! Ammo nails a nice looking threeball. Sign him up for the three point contest at all-star weekend! Okay, maybe not yet. But hitting the long ball is helpful in opening up the middle for the bigs. LAL 23, PHX 20.
0:00 – Steve Nash pays himself some royalties at the end of the first after throwing a patented left-handed pass from the top of the key to Lopez who gets the shooter’s bounce as the lights go red. LAL 23, PHX 25.
Lakers defense has been pretty active but a few mistakes and missed communication have led to some easy layups/dunks. They’ll need to tighten that up and continue to find ways to improve the offense.
11:15 – Louis Ahmandson rides his bike to the scorer’s table to check in. Almost immediately he gets to watch Academy Award winning acting by Channing Frye as he mimes a tall person being hit by a sledgehammer in the chest as Gasol backed him down.
10:27 – The bench is doing well here. And by well, I mean they are struggling mightily. More ctrl+z material as Channing Frye tries the tomahawk. With furious anger he throws the ball down it goes straight up. And over the backboard. Dunk Fail. LAL 23, PHX 32.
9:12 – Farmar gets his Ariza on by knocking the ball out of a passing lane, takes the ball to the hoop. But then, he gets his Lamar on and throws the ball out of bounds. Farmar had Mr. Fantastic (Shannon) running with him but threw it about 4 feet behind him. LAL 25, PHX 35.
8:12 – A couple minutes ago, Lamar had his hand smashed in between his crotch and Barbosa’s backside (don’t ask) and has some sprained fingers on his right hand. We’ll see if Kobe points to his own broken finger and tells Lamar to man up. LAL 27, PHX 39.
5:02 – Bynum is forced to hold down the bench due to foul trouble.
4:48 – Kobe threw up a wonderfully ugly airball. It’s easy to blame the finger here. That finger should be admonished. Has one entry ever said the word ‘finger’ so many times?
3:16 – Suns shooting 41% so far, and brick it up nicely here. Hard to talk too much trash. Lakers are shooting below 35%. LAL 38, PHX 48.
2:30 – Kobe reattached his finger to his hand and immediately stroked two jumpers. Just as we should remember to appreciate Lamar, of course we should not forget Kobe’s evolution as a player and LAL 43, PHX 48.
1:56 – Amar’e dunks the crap out of the ball. Too bad the ball didn’t get the memo. It bounces out past the three point line. He and Channing Frye work on designing membership cards. LAL 45, PHX 48.
0:10 – It turned into the Amar’e and Kobe show here at the end. Kobe has hit 10 of the Lakers last 12 points and Amar’e has the last 10. Why did anyone else even suit up tonight? LAL 50, PHX 54.
0:02 – Lakers take Kurt’s advice and make Steve Nash a scorer. He obliges by drawing a foul on DJ Mbenga under the hoop with 2 seconds to go. Dear Mbenga, you don’t need to jump to block the shot of a 36 year old 6’0” point guard with no vertical. Shoot, I wouldn’t need to jump to block it. LAL 50, PHX 56.
11:10 – Channing Frye hits a beautiful shot from outside. He “nets” two points only, however, because his toes were on the line. LAL 50, PHX 58.
10:00 – Lakers and Suns are “hot” here to open. The teams have combined for only two misses in 8 shots. Mr. Nash had an unorthodox fading jumper from the wing. LAL 54 PHX 64.
8:58 – I enjoyed this possession. I’d characterize it like a nice red wine. With enough space and air, the offense worked well. Pau drew the attention of multiple defenders and Lamar took advantage by cutting to the middle. LAL 58, PHX 64.
7:37 – Adam Morrison looking like a seasoned veteran. Pau dishes the ball off to him block to block after Ammo recognizes he has Steve Nash in the post. It would have been fun to see Adam throw down a hammer there. I’m not sure he’s capable but I would be inordinately entertained. LAL 62, PHX 67.
5:15 – En tu Ojo! Steve Nash drills a three straight down the tube over the outstretched tentacle of The Spaniard. LAL 64, PHX 73.
4:51 – Derek loses his cool a little. After a blocking foul he pushes Nash out of the way. Good call. Nash hits the T. LAL 66, PHX 74.
3:58 – Lakers are reaching vaunted heights here. They’re going to give up a four point play. Channing Frye hits a three and fisher gets called for a foul underneath.
3:39 – A nice little run here for the Suns (if you’re a suns fan) as they are now up by a whole bunch after some sloppy play and a Jason Richardson three pointer. LAL 66, PHX 82.
2:48 – Lakers try and stop an 11-0 run as Kobe misses with his left but Odom tips in the putback. LAL 68, PHX 84.
1:18 – Kobe wins the battle with Frye but his face loses.
0:56 – OOOooo. Amar’e absolutely demolishes the rim with a dunk. He just ran by Bynum and then threw it THROUGH the basket. Actually reminiscent of Dwight Howard’s superman dunk a couple years ago.
0:00 – Kobe gets the ball (UGLY miss by “shooter” Channing Frye) with 6 seconds to go and races down the court. Unfortunately he’s not 19 anymore and his layup is blocked. Great hustle by three Suns players to get back and contest it. LAL 77, PHX 89.
11:55 – Chants of “Beat LA” rain down. Jared Dudley hits a nice corner three. Lakers are looking a little umm..sad out there. LAL 77, PHX 92.
10:39 – Dear Sasha, I’ll send you a postcard from the rim. Please give my best to my wake. I’ve left it for you. Regards, Leandro Barbosa. In two steps Barbosa had him beat so bad Sasha gave up and just went down to the offensive end.
9:31 – Timeout called. For those of you who believe in The Secret, now would be a good time to start Secreting or whatever it’s called. LAL 84, PHX 98.
9:21 – Jeebs! Dudley just rakes Bynum across the wrist and the refs call a jump ball. I’m not sure how that qualifies as a jump ball. It gets more awesome. Dudley has to go against Bynum but can’t outjump him. So he does what anyone who’s ever gone against a giant does. He waits for Bynum to tap it backwards and then intercepts it. I’m not sure what the rule is but the refs let it go. I’m not sure that the Lakers can complain about the refs missing two calls when they have barely shown up tonight.
6:40 – After a Dudley three and a Barbosa jumper it’s time to shut this thing down before I stab myself in the pancreas with a macbook. If the Lakers make some sort of miraculous recover, I shall make sure to update and credit to you Secreters. LAL 89, PHX 108
Happy New Year everyone! Don’t take this one too hard. It just wasn’t meant to be.
I’m at Staples and I’ll be chatting at ESPN’s Daily Dime live plus posting thoughts on the game here as it progresses.
Pregame notes: Phil Jackson strongly hints that DJ Mbenga will get the start. The key for him, he said, is not to get in foul trouble. He said in the preseason when DJ got a start they joked there was a pool on whether or not he would get four fouls in 10 minutes. He might break that tonight.
Also, Phil said that Artest may get time on Zach Randolph, so at some point the Lakers will go small. As for AI, Farmar will apparently get the first shot but if he can’t stop him Brown will get a chance. 30 minutes left to tip off.
• In the media room pregame, Mitch Kupchak was sitting and talking to the Memphis owner. (Insert your own joke here.)
• Almost halfway through the first quarter, and here’s what I learned: OJ Mayo can’t handle Kobe’s dream shake on the block, and the Grizzlies apparently have a philosophical opposition to help defense.
• I a very touching gesture, the Lakers just officially named the scorer’s table after John Radcliff, the team’s long time scorer and a great man. They also gave his family his championship ring from last season. Classy.
• Not a pretty first quarter of shooting — Lakers not named Kobe were 5 of 14. And it wasn’t the Griz defense that did it.
• Luke Walton gets in the air, without knowing what he wants to do far too often. But this last time he made up for it by not hustling back on defense. But his passing keeps him on the floor.
• Just a bad shooting half for the Lakers. The Grizzlies were by far the worst defensive team in the NBA coming in, but the Lakers shoot just 37.7% for the first half and trail by two at the break. Kobe shooting 50%, everyone else 33.3%. The only thing keeping the Lakers close, they have grabbed 51% of their missed shots for
• 7-0 Lakers run to start the second half changes the feel of the game. For now.
• A Fisher PUJIT makes it 10 for 16 from the floor for the Lakers in the second half, and they are up by 11.
• The Lakers go with the small unit (as I’d wanted, but with Powell as the center instead) and keep extending the lead. Lakers shoot 66% and score 38 points in the third.
• Sorry for the site crash, but we’re back.
• Post game, Phil praises Kobe for his shot selection, and calls Josh Powell the best sub the Lakers have had so far this season.
• In the end, this is what the Lakers needed, a comfortable win. Memphis is not a good team (despite a lot of good athletes) and these are the games the Lakers should win handily. They did. You can’t really knock a 16 point win with two starters out.