1:31 PMLakers 106, Blazers 101: Feb. 23 Running Diary
Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Wednesday evening road contest, the team’s second since the All-Star break, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:
2:21 Keeping the crowd quiet by scoring consistently is always a key in this game, but an ill-advised early-shot-clock jumper from Artest allowed Portland to piggy-back on a Fernandez three by another from Batum, quickly producing a six-point lead. The Blazers got another shot in the arm as Brandon Roy checked in for the first time since Dec. 15, though Bryant hit consecutive shots after missing his first five. He’d then miss a two more, however, to finish the quarter 2-for-9 as the Blazers took a 29-23 lead into the second.
0:00 When the Lakers held onto the ball and executed their offense, things went fine. But nine first half turnovers led to 15 Blazers points at the other end. That combined with the Lakers being whistled for six more fouls (12 to six) and shooting only three foul shots to Portland’s 12 produced a 47-41 Blazers lead at the break.
4:15 L.A.’s best offensive player was … Bryant? No. Gasol? No. Odom? No. Bynum? No. Yup, Ron Artest, whose jumper got him to a team-high 17 points on an efficient 6-of-9 shooting. On the next possession, Artest fed Gasol for a Spanish jumper, giving the Lakers their first lead since early in the first quarter at 61-59, though one of Bryant’s threes would be changed to a two during a time out after a Matthews jumper (thus making it 61-60 Portland).
6:37 Upset that he didn’t get a foul call, Odom instead got hit with a technical, the Blazers converting and then adding a Matthews’ floater to open an 85-75 lead. At that point, the Lakers had been whistled for 19 fouls to Portland’s nine, and taken 16 fewer free throws. Bryant was perhaps at his most frustrated point from a reffing stand point, which is saying something.
3:28 Frustrated or not, other than a 5-for-7 third quarter, Bryant’s shot had been off, his mark at 11-for-26 on the game. With the Lakers down 87-80, he didn’t get a shot off before the clock expired. Gasol had taken not a single shot in the fourth and only five since the first quarter, and Bryant missed again on the next possession.
0:04.7 Of course, he is Kobe Bryant after all. Despite all those misses, Bryant managed to drain the two toughest shots at the biggest moment, first a baseline fadeaway with 46 seconds left, then drilled a fadeaway from one of his favorite spots on the floor, the left elbow, to tie the game at 87. On the other end, Aldridge missed three consecutive shots near the rim, including a potential game winner at the buzzer.
1:51 The game of swings continued as Artest hit his fifth three only to see Fernandez counter at the other end. Then Miller hit a baseline J only to watch Gasol counter with a terrific and-1 around Aldridge, giving the Lakers a one-point lead. A terrific possession followed for the Lakers, as Artest cleared Gasol’s miss on the offensive glass in a play that ultimately resulted in an open jumper for Bryant in the paint that produced a 100-97 lead with 27 seconds left.
0:16.1 That should do it. Aldridge, who had not scored since a third quarter in which he was 12-of-15 for 29 points, missed two free throws, and Bryant converted both of his on the other end. Bryant then forced an over-and-back turnover on Miller, and hit the ensuing free throws to put the Lakers up seven, capping a 9-0 run. That would do it, the final score reading 106-101 for the Lakers, who scored 19 points in overtime. Stay tuned for your postgame numbers:
24 Points for Ron Artest, a season high, thanks largely to his 5-for-6 shooting from three-point territory. Artest added six boards, four assists and two steals in perhaps his best game of the season.
14 Rebounds for Pau Gasol, who also came up big in overtime with five of his 18 points after not taking a shot in the fourth quarter.
11 Years since the Lakers had won back-to-back games in Portland before this night, coming after their victory last February.
0 Points for LaMarcus Aldridge in the fourth quarter and overtime after he was dominant with 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting in the first three quarters.
|Total comments: 1|