The Los Angeles Lakers lost Kobe Bryant due to an injury to his left knee that he suffered against the Memphis Grizzlies. Many started to think and talk about the Lakers having to tank now. They have no point guards and Bryant is expected to miss six weeks.
It did not matter against the Minnesota Timberwolves because the Lakers played an impressive game to come out on top 104-91. The Lakers lost their first meeting with the Timberwolves back when Nash only played 13 minutes before sitting out the game due to back issues. Even though the Lakers have been hit with big injuries they managed to move on and show that they can still be entertaining and stay competitive.
Pau Gasol had a big game with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists, even hitting a big three in the fourth quarter to push the Lakers lead. Both Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry also hit double digits in the starting lineup. Meeks hit some difficult shots in the game to give him 17 points while Xavier Henry started at point guard and finished with 21 points and 4 assists. Off the bench, Nicky Young provided some great energy and offense with 25 points to lead his team in scoring, and hitting a total of four three-pointers. It was a great team effort and it was the second game in a row with Pau having a great offensive game after struggling a few games ago.
The Lakers did sign a new point guard in Kendall Marshall, a former Phoenix Sun lottery pick, but he did not play in the game. Chris Kaman, who had fallen out of the rotation played 16 minutes and finished with six points. The team will be on the road again and will face the Golden State Warriors tomorrow, in a game that can put them back over the .500 mark.
After losing to the Atlanta Hawks, the Los Angeles Lakers played against the Memphis Grizzlies in what was their last game of their four game road trip. Fortunately, the game ended with the Lakers coming out on top 96-82. With the win the Lakers finished their road trip with two wins and two losses.
Both Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant played a great game to help the Lakers get the win. Gasol played like an all-star finishing with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Bryant also recorded 21 points and had 4 assists as well. Off the bench, Nick Young led the way with 18 points and 3 rebounds.
The Lakers caught a break with the Grizzlies being without the services of both Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. Memphis led the game in the fourth quarter by three points but the Lakers were able to go on a big run and escape the game with the win.
There was a scary moment in the game when Bryant went down in the third quarter. Everything seemed to be okay after the game with Bryant telling reporters, “I just twisted my knee a little bit,” but everything would be fine. The Lakers will be back in action again on Friday and will be taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves at home.
By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers entered this season with a lot less expectations than they faced last season. Dwight Howard is in Houston, Metta World Peace is in New York and Kobe Bryant is still recovering from his injury. Many people were just hoping the Clippers would not embarrass the Lakers on opening night. A starting line-up that featured a player that did not play at all last season and an aching Steve Nash would be no match for stacked team in the Clippers.
When the final buzzer went off and you looked at the scoreboard it said 116-103, in favor of the Lakers. A line-up that did not have the big names (other than Gasol and Nash) some might have hoped it would but had plenty of young players wearing the purple and gold for the first time had Laker fans smiling and Doc Rivers frowning. The Lakers bench was a big factor in the game scoring a total of 76 points, the third highest in team history. New Laker Xavier Henry led the team in scoring and posted his career high with 22 points coming off the bench. The next player with the most points was Jordan Farmar with a total of 16 points adding six assists.
The team came into the game playing with fast pace but the Clippers were looking like they could control the game. Blake Griffin was a handful and with a smaller starting line-up the Lakers were having trouble getting rebounds and protecting the rim. The game stayed close the whole way and it seemed as if perhaps Chris Paul will just take over the game and the Clippers would walk away with the win. Pau Gasol, who finished the game with 15 points, seemed to be the only player in the starting line-up to have a good game going leading to Mike D’Antoni giving the bench players an opportunity they gladly took. All of the bench players that played scored, five of them finished the game in double digits.
Nick Young struggled offensively in the first half but found his rhythm as the game went on scoring 13 points. Wes Johnson, who is expected to play an important role off the bench this season did not have a big impact in the game only scoring 3 points but it did not matter because his teammates picked it up. Farmar showed he can take control of a game as he did a few times in the preseason having a few big plays.
The Lakers will take on the Golden State Warriors tomorrow in what will be a similar match up as the Clippers in terms of their roster and style of play. The purple and gold will look to continue with the same energy and aggressiveness they had today and beat another team that is expected to be in the top of the Western Conference standings.
By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to sign forward Elias Harris who played for the Lakers in their summer league squad. Harris was reportedly signed to a two year contract for the minimum salary. The signing of Harris comes with the team needing more depth at the forward position after amnestying forward Metta World Peace who agreed to sign with the New York Knicks.
Harris played his college ball at Gonzaga where he played with Lakers back up center Robert Sacre who was also playing for the Lakers in the summer league.The former Gonzaga forward impressed the team in Las Vegas, where the NBA summer league is held, averaging 10.2 points and 5.6 rebounds.
With the Lakers adding another forward to the roster it is becoming less likely that they will look to bring back former Laker Lamar Odom who played with the Los Angeles Clippers last year. The Lakers are however still looking for a player to bring to the squad. This off season the Lakers have signed Robert Sacre, Chris Kaman, Jordan Farmar, Nick Young, Wes Johnson and now Elias Harris.