1:26 PMLakers 114, Rockets 106: Feb. 1 Running Diary
Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Tuesday evening home contest against the Houston Rockets, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:
2:03 What the Lakers may lose in defense with Bynum out of the game they pick up with ball movement and general effectiveness on offense with Odom’s inclusion in the starting line up (which isn’t to say Odom hasn’t been very good on D, which would be false). We saw this affect early, as L.A. opened a 27-19 lead with Steve Blake’s transition layup. Odom had four points, six rebounds and two dimes, while Fisher and Artest were benefiting from that ball movement by combining to go 6-for-6 from the field, including three triples.
0:00 Kobe Bryant didn’t join his teammates with the excellent shooting (60 percent in the first) because he was too busy dishing out seven assists en route to surpassing the 5,000 mark for his career. To put that in perspective, Sam Cassell’s 5,939 ranks 30th among all players in league history. The Lakers used the ball movement to take a 31-23 lead over Houston, who stuck around thanks in part to six offensive rebounds that made up for 39.1 percent shooting.
3:51 We saw both the good and bad Shannon Brown on offense in the second, at least as far as L.A.’s coaches see it. First came an in-rhythm jumper from three that he swished home. But later, instead of taking the open triple, Brown tried to put the ball on the floor, and traveled. Meanwhile, the Lakers held a seven-point lead, still operating pretty well on offense.
0:23.7 The Rockets managed to cut a once 12-point lead down to just one when rookie Devin Ebanks got caught by Kevin Martin’s swing-through move resulting in three free throws, but Gasol led a quick charge back on the other end by scoring four points, the second bucket created by his offensive rebound, to give the Lakers a 54-48 lead at the break.
6:31 A poor start to the second half for the Lakers continued as Martin drew a three-shot foul, his second of the game, to take his 8th, 9th and 10th free throws, then hit a wide-open three in transition after a long miss from Bryant to put the Rockets up 64-61, the first lead of the night for the visitors.
1:54 A pull-up triple was Odom’s second of the quarter, but just his fourth make in 13 attempts overall for the game. Nonetheless, the long-range J put the Lakers up a bucket, though Scola’s jumper on the other end would tie the score entering the final quarter. Odom’s frontcourt partner Gasol had made only one of his four shots in the quarter, meanwhile, though the two had combined for 24 rebounds.
7:06 L.A.’s bench hadn’t had much of an opportunity to play with Gasol and Odom logging heavy minutes, but Blake and Brown made the most of their early fourth action by combining with the two bigs to push L.A. to a seven-point lead. Phil Jackson then tried to get a couple minutes of rest for Gasol, who along with Odom had already logged 37 minutes.
3:30 The Rockets erased L.A.’s six-point lead in under a minute thanks to back-to-back threes, their 9th and 10th makes of the game, but the Lakers responded out of a time out with a 6-0 run of their own, including two buckets from Bryant (26 points) and one from Odom (16 points, season-high 19 rebounds).
0:05.5 So … the Lakers couldn’t protect their six-point lead with just over three minutes to go, instead allowing buckets to Scola and Brooks before a beautiful play with five seconds left got Scola a wide-open layup. Bryant had missed twice on the previous possession, the second one over the outstretched hands of two Rockets on the baseline, though LAL still had a chance for a buzzer beater…
… but they weren’t able to get anything better than a contested three from Odom, who missed to send the game to overtime.
0:38.3 Consecutive buckets from Gasol (reverse layup from Kobe) and Kobe (driving lay-in) came at a good time for the Lakers, allowing a two-possession lead for the first time in overtime. Then came Blake’s* season-high sixth rebound and two converted free throws at the other end after Lowry poked him in the eye.
5,000 Career assist plateau reached by Kobe Bryant in the first quarter with one of his seven early dimes.
141 Combined minutes played by Bryant (45), Pau Gasol (47) and Lamar Odom (49).
20 Rebounds for Odom, a season high, alongside his 20 points and three assists.
16 Bench points for the Lakers, which doesn’t look great on paper but was more significant since Shannon Brown and Steve Blake were very good early in the fourth quarter, and Blake the entire overtime while matching up with Aaron Brooks. The stat also reflected how few minutes were afforded to Lakers bench players with Odom starting in Andrew Bynum’s absence and playing huge minutes.
11 Free throws attempted by Kevin Martin, who herks and jerks his body in all different ways throughout the game trying to draw fouls. He managed to get both Lamar Odom and Devin Ebanks to foul him on three-point attempts. Martin, however, did not attempt a free throw after the third quarter.
10 First quarter assists for the Lakers, matching their total for the entire game against Boston on Sunday. The Lakers finished with 22 assists on 44 field goal makes.
1 Overtime games played this season by the Lakers, who hadn’t gone to an extra session once in their first 48 contests.
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