Posted January 12, 2013 on
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Los Angeles Lakers
Oklahoma City Thunder
With the Los Angeles Lakers mired in their longest losing streak in almost six years, coach Mike D'Antoni wants his team to solely focus on the moment.
Looking to avoid a seventh consecutive defeat, the banged-up Lakers hope a matchup with one of the league's worst teams can help turn things around as they host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
Even without stars Dwight Howard (shoulder) and Pau Gasol (concussion), not to mention key reserve Jordan Hill (hip) possibly being done for the season, D'Antoni believes Los Angeles can quickly end its worst stretch since a seven-game slide March 2-15, 2007.
"I told the team, the biggest thing is our season starts Sunday," he said. "We've got to make a run. We've got one shot at it, and everybody needs to get ready mentally and physically.
"... We won't be mathematically out of it Tuesday if we don't do it Sunday, but it has got to turn around somewhere. And we have to make our stand and do it. I am an optimist and I think it can happen."
Though Howard and Gasol are both likely to miss a fourth straight game, the Lakers (15-21) might have a good chance to get back on track at home against Cleveland (9-29), owner of the NBA's second-worst record. Los Angeles is looking to avoid dropping four straight home games for the first time since a five-game skid Jan. 26-Feb. 21, 2007.
"They're not done," Russell Westbrook said after helping Oklahoma City to a 116-101 win at Los Angeles on Friday. "They have a lot more games left, and I'm pretty sure they're going to find a way to get it together."
If that's to happen, Los Angeles must improve defensively after yielding an average of 111.8 points on 49.1 percent shooting during the six-game slide. Kevin Durant scored 42 as the Thunder built a 27-point lead and shot 50.6 percent Friday.
"We're just very frustrated and upset about what we're going through right now, and how we're playing," star Kobe Bryant said. "We're going to have to make some big adjustments if we're going to be successful."
Though Bryant is averaging a league-leading 30.0 points and shooting a career-high 47.2 percent, he's averaged 25.0 points and shot 37.7 percent in three games since Howard and Gasol got hurt. Bryant is 13 of 50 (26.0 percent) from 3-point range over the last seven.
He's scored 42 in each of the last two games against the Cavaliers, most recently a 100-94 loss at Cleveland on Dec. 11.
These teams have split four meetings since LeBron James bolted Cleveland after the 2009-10 season. Both Lakers' victories were at Staples Center as they held the Cavs to a combined 34.0 percent from the field.
Though three of Cleveland's five total wins away from home have come over its last six road contests, it has lost the last two.
The Cavs opened a five-game western trip with a 98-91 loss at Denver on Friday. Kyrie Irving shook off an illness to post 28 points, seven assists and five steals, but Cleveland blew an 11-point halftime lead while being outscored 53-35 in the second half.
"We're still young and dumb and don't understand what we have to do in the third quarter," coach Byron Scott said. "It happens over and over. I'm tired of us giving games away."
Irving is averaging 27.8 points over his last five games and has totaled 49 in two matchups with Los Angeles.
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Lakers center Dwight Howard is a game-time decision Sunday against Cleveland after missing three games because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
He has worked out with Lakers trainers the last few days and might return a bit earlier than expected.
Howard was initially injured Jan. 4 against the Clippers and showed no ill effects in the Lakers' next game, tying his career...
Dwight Howard is back in the Los Angeles Lakers' starting lineup after missing three games with a right shoulder injury.
Howard started at center for the Lakers against Cleveland on Sunday night as Los Angeles attempted to end its six-game losing streak.
Howard apparently tore the labrum in his shoulder earlier this month during a game against the Clippers, and he aggravated...
Lakers center Dwight Howard has been cleared to play on Sunday night against the Cavaliers.
Howard has been battling with a shoulder injury since Jan. 4, after colliding with Clippers forward Caron Butler. The Lakers big man tried to play through pain but aggravated it the following Sunday against the Denver Nuggets.
The injury was reported as a torn labrum by the Lakers. Howard...
The Los Angeles Lakers are in trouble. They can't string together enough wins to claw their way out of the hole they've dug. They can't stay healthy. They can't find their identity. It's a mess. Oh, and they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight. They'll do so with continued injury concerns. Paul Gasol will continue to sit as he recovers from...
On the bright side for Kobe at least he isn’t getting divorced anymore. Call me crazy, but I think Bean is taking the losses a little harder than Dwight Howard.
Remember when Jim Buss said it is 95% that Dwight re-signs with Lakers?
He might have been using Romney math with that one.
It appears the Lakers' best course of action is to keep Gasol and then re-evaluate the situation in the summer.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol was scheduled to miss his fourth straight game on Sunday because of a concussion, but center Dwight Howard might play in Sunday night's game against Cleveland. It will be a game-time decision on whether Howard, who has a shoulder injury, will play against the Cavaliers, according to the Los Angeles Times. Howard will be re-evaluated just before tip-off.
Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds in his return from a three-game injury absence, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their six-game losing streak with a 113-93 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
Kobe Bryant scored 23 points for the Lakers, who finally earned their first victory of 2013 while ending their longest skid since February 2007. Howard went...
Stemming from an article by USA Today Sports, Dwight Howard made his comeback on Sunday evening against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Howard missed three games due to a shoulder injury. The Lakers, on the other hand, were stacking losses like no other. Dwight Howard’s return included an impressive 22 points and [...]
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds in his return from a three-game injury absence, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their six-game losing streak with a 113-93 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
Kobe Bryant scored 23 points for the Lakers, who finally earned their first victory of 2013 while ending their longest skid since February...
For the sake of not attempting to manufacture a controversy, we’ll lay out a comment from Kobe Bryant from October and a recent comment from Steve Nash and leave it at that.
Back in October, just days after Dwight Howard was traded to the Lakers, Kobe Bryant emphatically stated that the Lakers are “still his team.” At the time, Howard and Nash predictably backed Kobe in his...
Kobe and Vanessa Bryant didn’t give up on their marriage, but Magic Johnson has divorced himself from this Los Angeles Lakers season. Facing their 6th-straight loss against the Thunder on Friday night, the former Lakers legend called it a season for the Lakers as they trailed by 16 at halftime. “It’s over for my Lakers. No playoffs, no nothing,” The Lakers ended up losing...
From Rudy Gay to DeMarcus Cousins to Pau Gasol, the rumblings of major deals in the NBA are picking up steam as the league approaches the Trade Deadline on Feb. 21.
And one teams owner has become vocal in just how active his team will be over the next five weeks.
"I would say there's a 100 percent chance we'll do something," Dallas Mavericks owner said in an interview...
Has Metta World Peace finally found the true meaning of his name? After finally putting an end to a 6 game losing streak, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-93 last night. it appears Metta World has finally found some peace in his life. The star of the night was Dwight Howard, who returned backed to the court with an impressive 22 points and 14...
Click on photo to see the Great 8 Debate on NFL Conference Games
We mine as well give it a go and give you our picks for this weekend: Ravens +10, Packers +2.5, Seahawks +1.5, Patriots -10. Bonus bet – OVER in the New England vs. Houston game (47.5). Good Luck.
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NBA ref blatantly holding...