(Getty Images/Stephen Dunn)
By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves just one win away from making the playoffs. The Lakers big win over the San Antonio Spurs without Kobe Bryant, who will be out for the season and playoffs, was one that was much needed as the Utah Jazz won against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Dwight Howard led the team in the game against the Spurs with 26 points. Steve Blake, who is starting for Steve Nash who is now expected to miss the last game of the season, scored 23 points providing a much needed spark.
The Lakers with just the final game left against the Houston Rockets can find themselves out of the playoffs, remain at the 8th and final spot or even move up to the 7th spot. With a win over the Rockets on Wednesday the purple and gold will find themselves at the 7th seed. If the Lakers were to lose against the Rockets, they would need the Utah Jazz to lose against the Memphis Grizzlies to remain at the 8th spot. If the Lakers were to lose against the Rockets and the Jazz beat the Grizzlies the Lakers would be out of the playoffs.
The Lakers will have a size advantage over the Rockets with both Pau Gasol and Howard. If the Lakers manage to get into the playoffs both Howard and Gasol will be their biggest weapons. The best outcome for Los Angeles would be to beat the Houston Rockets to climb up to the 7th seed and avoid playing the Oklahoma City Thunder. The match up against the Spurs would be better for the Lakers due to the size advantage. The Lakers beat the Spurs without Kobe Bryant and the other games played earlier in the season ended with L.A. losing but by a margin no greater than three. NBA fans will also be please to see the match up of the Thunder against James Harden and the Rockets as well. The Lakers are in control of their own destiny and will have to look to beat the Rockets because the Utah Jazz will bring a fight to Memphis because it is “Win or Go Home.”
(Richard Mackson/USA Today)
By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers barely escaped with a victory beating the Golden State Warriors 118 to 116. The Lakers managed to hold off the Warriors, who are ahead of them in the playoffs, staying ahead of the Utah Jazz at the 8th seed.
The Lakers did not leave the game without facing a major problem as Kobe Bryant was injured late in the game. Kobe stayed in the game after falling hard but left the game after he fell to the floor when heading to the basket. After the game Kobe said he felt a pop and said to reporters “I can’t walk.” After the game it was reported that it is possible that Bryant might have torn his Achilles tendon.
Despite the injury, Kobe led his team to a much needed victory scoring 34 points. Kobe had another game playing almost the whole game up until he left due to his injury. Both big men, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol had a good game. Dwight scored 28 points and Gasol scored 26. Steve Blake had a good game as well scoring 14 points replacing the injured Steve Nash who is probable for the next game.
Kobe caught fire before going down keeping his team in the game. The Lakers have reported that recovery time for Kobe, who will be having surgery, is 6-9 months. Now that Kobe will be out for this season the pressure is on the Lakers and for Dwight Howard and the rest of the team to step up. With Dwight, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash, who should return before the end of the season, the Lakers can still pull through and keep the 8th playoff spot. The Lakers play a tough opponent on Sunday facing the San Antonio Spurs at the Staples Center.
(AP Photo/Don Ryan)
By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers have managed to do something they have not been able to do all season, that is to win back to back games. It could not have come at a better time with the season ending and the battle for the last western conference playoff spot becoming tighter and tighter.The Lakers beat the Portland Trailblazers in another close game ending at 113 to 106.
The Rose Garden was filled with MVP chants, not for Damian Lillard, but for Kobe Bryant of course. Kobe Bryant had another impressive game and did not sit the whole game. Kobe scored 47 points to lead his team to the win and added 4 blocks. Pau Gasol had another good game with 23 points. Dwight Howard scored 20 points and had another double double with 10 rebounds making it his 47th double double of the season. In total the big 3 for the Lakers scored 90 points all together. Damian Lillard had an impressive game himself scoring 38 points and added 9 assists. Kobe was impressed saying after the game “that boy is serious.”
The Lakers are now a full game ahead of the Utah Jazz who have three games left, two against the Minnesota Timberwolves and one against the Memphis Grizzlies. For the Lakers all opponents they have left are in the playoffs. They play the Warriors, Spurs and the Rockets. The Lakers are on a three game winning streak and need to keep it going to get into the playoffs and if they do carry the momentum into the first round. The Lakers play again on Friday at home against the Golden State Warriors.
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a tight spot trying to win the 8th and final spot of the western conference playoffs. Losing to their rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, just made it worse. The Lakers lost to the Clippers 95 to 109 making it the first time the Clippers have won the season series against their rivals with a sweep. The Lakers played a good first half as they looked to go inside to Dwight Howard but they could not find success in the second half. Both Kobe Bryant and Howard led the team scoring 25 points each.
The win gives the Clippers their first division title in franchise history. With plenty of more important banners of their own, the Lakers had bigger problems to worry about than having their rivals win the division title. Kobe and the Lakers find themselves out of playoffs with only five games left in the season.
The Lakers are at the 9th spot right behind the Utah Jazz who would stay at the 8th playoff spot if the two teams were to tie. Steve Nash continues to be doubtful in returning for the next game which means minutes for Kobe Bryant will not be going down during their playoff push. Good news for the purple and gold is that Metta World Peace is having a very good recovery after surgery. It was announced that World Peace would be expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks but he is way ahead of schedule already being listed as game time decision in the team’s next game.
The Utah Jazz have four games left in the season. Their next opponent is the Oklahoma City Thunder who are in second place in the west. After the Thunder the Jazz play the Minnesota Timberwolves two times before taking on the Memphis Grizzlies to bring the regular season to an end. The Lakers will need to win all they can as they take on the New Orleans Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets. Three of the next 5 opponents for the Lakers are currently in the playoffs. The Lakers take on the Hornets at Staples Center on Wednesday.