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Game Recap: Lakers Fail To Execute Down The Stretch Reviewed by Momizat on . First Quarter The Lakers started off with a three by Steve Blake off an assist from Kobe Bryant but looked rusty allowing the Suns to get off to a quick 10-0 ru First Quarter The Lakers started off with a three by Steve Blake off an assist from Kobe Bryant but looked rusty allowing the Suns to get off to a quick 10-0 ru Rating: 0
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Game Recap: Lakers Fail To Execute Down The Stretch

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First Quarter

The Lakers started off with a three by Steve Blake off an assist from Kobe Bryant but looked rusty allowing the Suns to get off to a quick 10-0 run. Things turned around quickly for the Lakers with Meeks providing most of the offense. After air balling his first shot attempt in his first game back, Bryant threw down a dunk for his first points in this game. The Lakers countered the Suns’ early run with an 11-4 run of their own. With Bryant and Gasol on the bench, the second unit provided some great plays with Hill knocking down a jump shot and Blake connecting with Johnson for an impressive alley-oop. Both teams exchanged buckets and kept the game close, but Markieff Morris hit a few field goals to put the Suns up. At the end of one, the Suns led the Lakers 26-21.

Second Quarter

Phoenix came out strong in the quarter pushing their lead to 10 points after a Goran Dragic layup. The Lakers had an impressive play with a sweet pass from Young to Hill resulting in an easy bucket, but the team looked sloppy in the first few minutes of the quarter turning the ball over. After a nice start by the Lakers second unit earlier in the game, the bench took some difficult shots that did not go down and the Suns added to their lead. Henry and Young got the Lakers going after they each hit consecutive shots, but the Lakers did not close out on defense with Bledsoe hitting a three for the Suns. Bryant hit his second field goal of the game off a great pass by Gasol midway through the quarter. The Lakers cut the Suns lead to five after Gasol knocked down a jumper. On defense, the Lakers struggled to get back, allowing the Suns to get some easy buckets. The Lakers pulled within three after Meeks, who was doing it all offensively, hit a three. Phoenix continued to keep the lead with the Lakers unable to get stops on the defensive end. Gasol knocked down a jump shot to beat the buzzer and the quarter ended with the Lakers trailing 56-51.

Third Quarter

The Lakers came out flat to start the quarter not getting anything to go down and letting the Suns get off to a 9-0 run. About three minutes in, the Lakers finally got their first points of the quarter with Williams getting a layup to go down off a pass by Gasol. Lakers started to find a rhythm scoring in the paint on consecutive positions. A 6-0 run by the Lakers cut the Suns’ lead to eight points. The Suns started to cool off, turning the ball over and had trouble scoring, however, the Lakers did not take advantage. Bryant started to look more aggressive and hit a beautiful bank shot to give him 12 points in the game. Phoenix had a 14-point lead but the second unit came out strong bringing the lead down to just five points. With some good defense, the Lakers brought the Suns’ lead down to one point after Hill put back a miss by Henry. After two quick layups by Bledsoe, the quarter finished with the Lakers still trailing, 79-74.

Fourth Quarter

Henry got the Lakers started off in the quarter drawing a foul after getting a layup to go down. The Suns started to get their shots to go down with the Lakers struggling on the offensive end. Phoenix pushed their lead back up to seven but the Lakers got a much needed three from Johnson. With the game close, Young missed free throws to cut the lead to seven and turned the ball over. The Suns took advantage, with Dragic getting in the paint and scoring on a layup. The Lakers could not get stops on the defensive end and allowed the Suns to take control of the game. Kobe started to look like his old self knocking down a nice fade away to put the Lakers back in the game. Unfortunately, the Lakers continued to give up shots, a crucial offensive rebound and could not score when it was needed. Kobe records his 1st 20 point game, but the Lakers lose to Phoenix, 114-108.

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VIDEO: Kobe Bryant On Weight Loss And Ankle Issues

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Number of Entries : 35
  • Jim213

    Things will get worse, going on the road yall. Until management pulls the trigger and moves the bad apples things won’t change. From hearing the crowd at Staples it’s clear that the team prefers small ball over the first unit.

    • kobe24

      Who are the bad apples and how would we move them???

      The only person I can imagine you stating would be Nash, Gasol (although I think hes alrite). Tell me which NBA team will pay $9 Million for Nash who can barely stay on court??? And who will want to take Gasol’s $17 Million or so salary when he is barely playing all start level?

      • Jim213

        Been through this view plenty of times. It comes down to management making the moves as teams have shown interest in both but it’s a wait and see with Nash given he needs to show signs of improvement.

        • kobe24

          Okay, you still didn’t answer my questions though (and you can’t really answer it since you don’t work with Lakers so I don’t blame you on that)

          But no sane minded GM will take Steve Nash (at current status), maybe if he comes back and actually shoots and gives 12 PPG/5 APG then maybe… but for now Nash is just a nuisance for ANY team.

          And ill mention my point again Gasol…yeah hes horrible right now…

          • Jim213

            SMH, it’s a wait and see with Nash but he should’ve been dealt sooner. The fact that the Lakers could improve their starting rotation but can’t given that Blake is filling in at the 1 hurts the starting rotation.

            Might as well trade Pau who hasn’t lived up to his billing aside of his pay. But management gets the blame for the bad moves that have left the team without a starting PG aside of a capable starting center who can play consistently day in and out on both sides of the floor.

            But things would be worse if DH was still around (thankfully DH choose the Rockettes). Again bad management moves has clumsy management (basketball operations) giving #1 picks for mediocre talent aside of trying to acquire mediocre future bigs who don’t fit the mold today’s style of play mostly.

      • Daryl Peek

        Excellent question. Something may or may not be done but the gloom and doom is a bit dramatic IMO.

        • LakersHeatBeef

          Agreed Doom and gloom is not going to help matters.Fixing the issue will be done with all people involved.

        • e3bonz

          Amen.

    • Lakers Fan

      Our interior defense is awful, I mean god awful. The sad part is that there is possibly nothing we can do about it but ride it out til seasons end. This lost had little to nothing to do with Kobe coming back cause we put up 108 points. Our defense is terrible, and unfortunately cost us the game.

      • e3bonz

        I thought the second unit played well, but Jordan F was missed and it showed. The defense was better tonight.

        • Lakers Fan

          Phoenix scored 56 points in the paint and they put up 114 points. That’s not good defense whatsoever.

          • e3bonz

            I didn’t say great defense, but I thought it was better than previous games. The Suns shot at higher percentage. 51% to our 48%.

          • jeremy

            lakers defense might of look better then past games, but i say it was still bad. we wont win if we keep allowing teams to kill us down low. also allowing 51% shooting isnt a good thing any way you look at it

          • e3bonz

            They also killed us at the free throw line 90% to 78%

          • Jim213

            It comes down to Pau, 5 rebounds as this bad talk about interior defense starts with the starters.

          • Lakers Fan

            They shot that percentage because of our poor defense. I mean they were getting to the rim at will. I didn’t see a bright spot in the defense at all tonight. A team shooting 51%, scoring 56 points in the paint, and scoring 114 points is not a sign of the defense getting better.

          • e3bonz

            …and 58 points outside the paint. They were just flat out shooting better.

          • Lakers Fan

            So protecting the rim was not an issue? There is no excuse for the defensive effort of our bigs. This isn’t the first time. This is a repeat offense. Big men are putting up career numbers every time they play the Lakers. Big men that are not ever known for scoring (Mozgav/Amir Johnson). I’ve run out of excuse to give when it comes to this team’s defense. We can score as many points as we want, but that will get us no where if we are playing awful defense.

          • e3bonz

            Nope, there is no excuse for not protecting the rim.

          • Daryl Peek

            Yeah, either Rambis is not getting through or certain players just don’t have it in them. I’m not so much concerned with rim protection as I am rebounds. We’ve got to start winning that battle more.

            The guards need to help stem the penetration also. Staying in front of your man or doing a better job of fighting through the high pick VS. going under them forcing a big to switch will help in rim protection also.

          • Lakers Fan

            I think since we are in a run-and-gun offense, most players will take off down the court before they even think about going for a rebound. There needs to be more focus on that. We need to crash the boards as much as possible, because Gasol is going to get out rebounded a lot if that is the game plan.

            I think it is more about the players willingness to play defense instead of Rambis. Remember, during our championship runs, we were a good defensive team. That was because the players on the roster at the time put forth effort on defense. This is all on the players when it comes to defense. They are young and athletic, so they have more than enough energy. It’s all about the effort.

          • Daryl Peek

            Oh, I’m not blaming Rambis. I’m saying with Kobe back the energy is different and that’s to be expected. The energy is different with Farmar out also. X is the player most impacted by Kobe’s return and X was a big part of the collective energy on defense with the bench mob. Again I’m not blaming Kobe but this line up change can’t help but effect all of that.

            The dynamic of the team is completely changed now. MDA said it best on a few occasions “we just got to figure it out”

            Unfortunately trial and error is the only way and error seems to be the syllabus so far.

          • Lakers Fan

            Agree 100%

          • Daryl Peek

            Our defense has been inconsistent like that all season. The problem were running into now is a lack of that frenzied fun energy from a team chemistry stand point. It’s more than just Kobe’s return also.

            Were missing Farmar big time! Gasol is getting worse for some reason? The Kobe factor is an issue, as he cannot bring meld into that collective energy of Farmar, Henry, Johnson & Meeks. The fun and energetic passion is missing. The change in rotations from Kobe being back and injuries contributes to it all. We’ve got to keep in mind Farmar recently got hurt, Gasol and Hill are hamperd and Blake is also. No excuses but we can’t ignore all of this either.

            Trades aren’t the answer either. Trades will be eventually made but the panic mode change is in order fixes nothing.

          • Lakers Fan

            That’s why I said we may have to ride this out til seasons end. I don’t know of any teams that will take on Pau or Nash’s contracts, especially with health and on the court performances being an issue.

            Kobe coming back did indeed cause a frenzy within the chemistry of the team. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that these new guys have never played with a guy like Kobe and are afraid of error. Kobe’s style of play is not D’Antoni’s style of play. Although Kobe is a professional and is willing to do what it takes to help the team win, it will take some adjusting gaining that chemistry the team had before he came back. Like you said, it’s like the energy and fun has gone missing. The team passed the ball and there was a different player leading in scoring every other night. But with Kobe back, it’s like they have taken a step back instead of keeping that energy going. But eveything has to start on the defensive side of the ball. Scoring is not the issue, defense is. And since Pau is our rim protector, we might as well get used to these types of games.

          • Jim213

            The coach looked comfortable with the loss which is likely due to Kobe being back given that all the criticism will go to him though he put up good numbers.

            Always said Blake couldn’t play with the elite PG’s but he’s doing alright but given the team will be playing OKC This will be a bigger test than just quick legs.

          • jeremy

            you can tell blake injury truly effecting him he not the same player

          • Jim213

            Agree, but keeping up with quicker legs is a different story though he’s doing his best given his condition which is all one can ask.

          • Daryl Peek

            His shooting percentage (Blake) has suffered big time from the injury.

            Meeks is a big part of the collective energy of our perimeter offense and his role is changed with Kobe back. Kobe seemed to be more focused on fitting in VS. forcing things tonight. It’s a fine balance that will take a little time to figure out for all…

          • Lakers Fan

            Anyone who blames Kobe for this lost is an idiot. This is the team Mike D’Antoni wanted. He wanted players who care more about scoring than defense. He wanted players who can play in this run-and-gun offense. I sometimes wonder during the off-season, did he even think that this type of offense maybe was not meant for Kobe? Did he even try to make adjustments to it? Now that Kobe is back, he is surrounded by a bunch of players that are meant for D’Antonio’s offense. And Kobe being a ball dominant player, this would indeed ruin any type of chemistry this team would have. That is why he looked comfortable, because now people will blame Kobe for ruining the chemistry, when Mike maybe should have gone with an offense that fits more to Kobe’s style of play. Now I’m not knocking D’Antoni because he has done a great job with this team, but he had to know what he was doing when he wanted these types of players.

            As for Blake, he’s ok with me. I would just rather him be our backup instead of our starting point guard.

          • Jim213

            The media will get on Kobe given his new contract while being the torch barer of the franchise. Don’t know why Kaman isn’t brought in to replace Gasol given his more consistent with his shooting. Hear he’s available but for some reason hasn’t been activated.

          • Lakers Fan

            I’ve been wondering why Kaman hasn’t been playing for the last two weeks now. I’m just as lost as you, especially considering he was playing better than Gasol in limited minutes.

          • Daryl Peek

            I don’t blame Kobe but his return is impacting the flow that was being forged. That was inevitable.

          • Lakers Fan

            That’s what I mean. Kobe is 35 coming off an Achilles injury, and is being thrown into the fire right now. The type of offense that was being run before Kobe came back is not the type of offense Kobe can play in because it’s run-and-gun. Now that Kobe is back, the pace is slowing down, the ball is on his hands(not Blake’s), and it’s affecting the team to some degree. But what I’m eluding to is D’Antoni knowing this is not Kobe’s type of system, but implementing it anyway knowing it would cause problems when he came back.

          • Daryl Peek

            Kobe actually made an adjustment tonight. Blake had the ball in his hands more and his assist numbers went up. Kobe was more aggressive offensively looking to score VS facilitate. Of course he does not fully have his explosiveness but I like the change. He played a bit like he did under MDA with the Olympic team.

            This is how it can work IMO. The adjustment will be a slowed process due to the injury recovery time. Whether it was the D’Antoni system or something else there was gonna be the awkwardness of Kobe’s reintegration regardless.

          • Al Haldie

            MGT. went with D’ANTONI becaus that was a fast track game,knowing that KOBE would be back, should not be a problem if there is a fault it is not the COACH-13 guys should not have to change their their game to fit one person-no matter who that person is…long time lakers fan

          • Daryl Peek

            First thing, I like the D’Antoni hire. I think he’s the right guy to help groom a new crop of good young Lakers. Trying to become a championship contender is a whole different story though.

            This may be an apples to oranges reference (due to the different system’s stance) but it’s very relevant in comparing the bigger picture on the court competition wise and from a franchise marketability perspective also.

            The 93-94 Bulls were a solid team without MJ. They too won games and had a good team chemistry without him. MJ was the difference maker in championship contention no question about it. This is the case with these Lakers.

            Will KObe lead them to the promised land this season? Not likely but he will be the difference between putting up a fight VS missing the playoffs all together this season. And again, he will fill seats in doing so…

            The Lakers play for championships but you better believe the FO keeps an eye on the ticket sales!

          • Al Haldie

            It might help if D’ANTONI would play kaman WHO SAID HE HAS NO PROBLEM with his back now, at least he will BANG in there-and he does play D, AND THAT WOULD LET PAU get some rest for his foot…just a thought..

          • Al Haldie

            I will never believe that 13 players need to change their game for one player-it would be much better for one to change and we went from 10/11 rotation to 9 players-and i dont see anyone haveing fun as befor-its a sad day….long time lakers fan

          • Daryl Peek

            Double edged sword so to speak. I agree with you on a team theme level but Kobe is a rare type like MJ. The Lakers are Kobe’s team and there’s no disputing that. Kobe like MJ commands the center of attention.

            The only thing I personally think he should do (and I’m no elite status expert) is slowly work himself back up to his old self. MJ did the same thing upon return both in 94 and with the Wizards. Eventually when he gets his legs back he will dominate and that’s just the way it is. Kobe will likely take the Dominique route. Nique came back on a mission. Like it or not, this team will always follow and flow with the Mamba.

    • LakersHeatBeef

      I concede the Suns are a better team than the Lakers right now.

    • RKM

      My opinion is that….the main problem is…”DEFENSE”…i’ll hesitate to trade pau…but if he continues with his soft D…he better go

  • kobe24

    Although it sucks Lakers couldn’t get the win since they had good runs but just couldn’t erase the 1~2 point deficit. However, I am not too concerned just yet since Kobe just came back and the team is adjusting how to play with him. Kobe starting to look great I’d say hes only 70% or so of what he was last year but looking way better then sundays game.

    I don’t know if this is glaring to anyone else but, Lakers desperately need a PG at least until Jordan Farmar comes back. The bench hasn’t been doing great ever since he got injured. Kobe is a good ball handler but he just isn’t ready to dish out 6~10 assist when he is just coming back form an Achilles injury

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Lakers seemed to be down 6 to 10 most the game.Terrible defense by the Lakers this is no fun to watch for me.Actually i didn’t watch the game since i was out tonight but it seems like bad defense is the Lakers Achilles Heal this season tbh.

    Kobe looked good in the highlights i have seen already.I had my sports ticker on and it was no fun seeing the final score.

    Box Score says Kobe score 20 points on 6-11 shooting.Kobe is working himself back into shape and still scoring 20,very impressive stuff tbh.Lakers lose another game at home.Off to the road games a 4 game trip is us next for the Lakers.Starts in OKC on Friday night.

  • Jack

    Pau gasol might be in the top 5 worst defensive players in the league. There may not be many quick fix solutions but it is just absolutely pathetic to me that nash kobe and pau are taking up 55 million of our luxury tax this year and have contributed the least to the teams current success. Kobe will return to form from what its looking like which is great. But his game still does not fit the system and chemistry and from watching tonights game kobe isnt doing the little things it takes to win like hustle plays, consistent d, and moving the ball consistently. Management NEEDS to make sure they build a well rounded team this upcoming season with the available money whether we get an all star or not. And resigning farmar, johnson, and xavier wouldnt be a bad start jim buss.

  • jeremy

    lakers will keep losing if the lakers cant have better defense in the post. we cant keep allowing teams to kill us down low. other then that lakers been pretty good

  • jeremy

    willams should be off the bench, wes is one of the best dfenders we have so he needs to start and why didnt we use sacre dude plays some solid D which lakers could of use. im tired of all these line up changes.

    • Daryl Peek

      Robert may have helped defensively but he creates a huge floor spacing problem with Kobe back. Tho I must admit, I doubt Robert would be able to handle the Morris twins or Frye on the perimeter.

      • jeremy

        good point might of been the reason he didnt play

  • Daryl Peek

    Luke Walton and Big game James both hit on a key issue, REBOUNDS. We started the season off doing fairly decent on the boards but are now stinking it up losing that battle.

  • joe23

    All i can say is it doesnt matter if we have an elite pg if kobe always demanding the ball the pg is gonna be useless.look when blake run the game and didnt give the ball to kobe we made a run and guys are moving and the ball movement is great, but when kobe get the ball the game is stagnant and kobe always looking for gasol, when theirs other guys that are widely open. Trust issue.

    Kobe need to stop demanding the ball let the pg make a play.

    He need to play what his teammates play the game with energy not his teammates play what he wanna play the game. just like james worthy said he need to step back. if he wants another ring and so be it.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Moneyball is a concept small market teams love to use.Lakers finances for next season look bleak as of now.Here is why.

    Steve Nash $9 million next season may never play again.Eating up cap space.
    Kobe Bryant $24 million dollars next season.Worth every damn penny.
    Jordan Hill projected $5 million dollars next season
    Pau Gasol will be gone IMO.$0
    Shawne Williams will be back IMO.$1 million dollars.
    Jodie Meeks $3 million dollars per next season.Will be back IMO.
    Steve Blake $4 million dollars he will be back IMO.
    Wesley Johnson $3 million dollars per season.He will be back IMO.
    Jordan Farmar $3 million dollars per season.He will be back IMO.
    Chris Kaman will be gone IMO.$0
    Robert Sacre will be back $1 million dollars per.
    Nick Young $3 million dollars per season will be back next season.

    Leaves no room for a max free agent and no room to re-sign Pau.Moneyball bit the Lakers in the butt.Once we re-sign our own players we will be out of money.The new CBA forces teams to build through the draft.Lakers must figure out a way to make the salary cap work out.2014 Free Agency is a Afterthought.

    • J24

      So no X?

  • J24

    What’s worse than being mad at a team? Being disappointed. I knew the minute D’Antoni put both Pau and Kobe to close the game out our defense would go down the drain, and sure enough it did. It was sad watching the last 3 min, but till the last 32sec I had hope. But in end the I knew what the outcome would be, so there was no reason to be mad. Oh well, keeping my fingers crossed and hope we all get shocked by a surprise win at OKC.

  • Al Haldie

    Well things are not getting any better- so why not us SACRE/KAMAN at least they will bang sacrer can block shoys give them equal time as starters and hill with the bench , let PAU GET THINGS FIXED-KAMAN said there is nothing wrong with his b ack now-so why not use them, it would be better then what we are doing now–it cant hurt us…

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