After what may be one of the best games the Lakers have played all season against the Pelicans, the Lakers could not keep the momentum going against the Denver Nuggets losing 111-99. The Lakers played great throughout the game against the Pelicans but were very inconsistent in what was the second of back to back games.
Mike D’Antoni went with the same starting lineup and Jordan Hill continued to look great showing a lot of aggressiveness. However, as a team, the Lakers could not get going trailing the Nuggets most of the game. The Lakers would cut the lead down to as little as four points but Nuggets were not going to hand this game over. There were chances for the Lakers both in the third and a couple in the fourth quarter but they would get cold offensively.
Pau Gasol quietly worked his way into becoming the leading scorer for the Lakers with 25 points to go along with 12 rebounds and 3 assists. It seems like Hill will be staying in the starting lineup after getting 18 points and 15 rebounds. Hill was battling throughout the game for every rebound he could get his hands on even though getting into early foul trouble. With Steve Nash out for at least two weeks, Steve Blake played well with 15 points and 11 assists.
The Lakers had trouble containing both Kenneth Faried, who scored 21 points, and Ty Lawson with 19. Off the bench for the Nuggets Timofey Mozgov had 23 points to lead the team and 9 rebounds. The Lakers will play again on Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies who have recently been struggling.
(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
By Kevin R. Linares
The Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks in the Staples Center 101 to 81 in a must win game for Los Angeles. Coming into the game the Lakers were a game and a half ahead of the Mavericks in 9th place and with the win are now 2 and a half games ahead. The Mavericks were making a late run to make it into the playoffs and with a win would have been a serious threat for Los Angeles.
The Lakers were without their point guard Steve Nash who is out with injury. Nash has two days to rest and will determine whether he will play Friday but is expected to give it a try. The purple and gold dominated most of the game and were led by Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant. Dwight Howard had a double double scoring 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Kobe had an impressive game with a triple double scoring 23 points, dishing out 11 assists and added 11 rebounds as well. Earl Clark played one of his best games after having somewhat of a slump and returning to the bench with Pau Gasol returning. He had 17 points and played well on defense blocking 5 shots. Pau Gasol had another solid game with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Only 7 games remain in the regular season and they find themselves out of the playoffs behind the Utah Jazz. They are tied with Utah but have lost the season series so need to finish with a better record than the Jazz. Both teams have similar schedules with the Jazz’s toughest opponents being the Thunder, Warriors, Grizzlies and Nuggets. For the Lakers the Spurs, Warriors, Clippers, Grizzlies and the Rockets. The Lakers take the floor again at the Staples Center on Friday against a tough team in the Memphis Grizzlies.
Image from bleacherreport
By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers came into Atlanta with a four game win streak and it sounded like they would have it easy as it was announced that Josh Smith would miss the game due to a sprained knee. That was not the case, the Hawks beat the Lakers 96 to 92. Not only did the Lakers lose the game but they also suffered an injury. Kobe Bryant had trouble shooting tonight but put in 31 points and almost had another late heroic performance to lead the Lakers over Atlanta but fell short.
Kobe went up for a jumper to tie the game but fell missed and landed on Dahntay Jones’ foot. Kobe had x-rays after the game which came out negative. It was announced that he had suffered a severe left ankle sprain and would be out indefinitely. Bryant after the game told reporters that referees need to do a better job of protecting shooters. He also tweeted out saying “#dangerousplay that should have been called Period.” Kobe has played through injuries numerous times but when asked about the injury he said it was his worst pain since back in 2000. Dahntay Jones also tweeted after the game saying “Tape doesn’t lie. Ankle was turned on the floor after the leg kick out that knocked him off balance. I would never try to hurt the man.” Back in 2009 Jones received a flagrant 1 foul for tripping Bryant in a playoff series against the Denver Nuggets. The following is a clip from that play:
Now the injury happened right before the end of the game. There is no excuse for the Lakers losing this game especially playing an Atlanta Hawk team missing one of their best players in Josh Smith. Luckily for the Lakers, the Utah Jazz also lost their game to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 87 to 110. With both teams losing, the standings stay the same with the Lakers a half game over the Jazz in the 8th playoff spot.
Kobe’s injury might require him to miss a game or more. It is fair to say he should miss at least a game to rest and heal up. Aside from Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers, the upcoming schedule for the purple and gold should not be too difficult, but who knows if the Lakers will continue to make games that should be won easy look hard. The schedule includes teams like the Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards. If Kobe needed to rest and heal an injury this would be the best time to do it.
The problem here is if the rest of the players on the team would step up to the plate. A team that has Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace in the starting line up alone should be able to win against the teams coming up, not including the Pacers of course. If Kobe were to miss a few games, Dwight Howard needs to be the Dwight Howard that showed up in Orlando just the other day. Steve Nash is not the same guy that played in a Sun’s uniform but he can still take over a game and needs to do so.
The Lakers are finally sitting in a playoff spot, for now. They need to find ways other than Bryant to make their playoff push. They have been hit with injuries all season and cannot seem to catch a break. With Pau Gasol possibly coming back next week maybe he can try and take some of the load off Kobe. For now we will have to wait and see if Kobe does need to take a game or more off. If he does, will Dwight, Nash and the rest of the team be able to keep it together?