Posted November 21, 2012 on
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Coach Mike D'Antoni may be somewhat wobbly on his surgically replaced knee, but the Los Angeles Lakers seem to be finding their stride.
Another meeting with the Sacramento Kings may keep their run going.
Coming off D'Antoni's winning debut on the bench, the Lakers look to continue their surge Wednesday night when they try to send the Kings to a sixth consecutive defeat.
Los Angeles (6-5) named D'Antoni coach on Nov. 12 after firing Mike Brown following a 1-4 start. D'Antoni's debut, though, had been delayed due to recovery from knee replacement surgery, but he was finally on the sideline for Tuesday's 95-90 win over Brooklyn.
"With this team, there's no reason not to win every game," D'Antoni said. "That's our goal. It's not, 'Let's get two out of three.' We can win every game we play. ... I feel like we're the best team in the league. We've got the most talent, so they can do what they want. We've just got to keep perfecting things."
While D'Antoni was not actively roaming the sidelines much in Tuesday's win, the Lakers have won five of six games since the coaching change, including a season-high three in a row.
"We're definitely playing with better flow," said forward Pau Gasol, who has 17 points in each of the last two games. "We're playing with more confidence, looser out there. We're playing together and moving the ball, just playing basketball and not really worrying about actions; just playing the game."
Production from Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard is also helping.
Bryant leads the NBA with 26.3 points per game, and Howard is among the leaders with 20.3 points and 11.7 rebounds. Both came up big in D'Antoni's debut, as Bryant scored 25 points - six coming in the final two minutes - while Howard contributed 23 with 15 boards.
The All-Star center is pulling down an average of 14.6 rebounds over the past five games, including 18 with 23 points in a 103-90 victory over Sacramento (2-8) on Nov. 11.
Bryant was held to 20 points in that meeting, but he's averaged 33.3 points in his last 13 games at Sleep Train Arena.
The Lakers, though, have lost the last two visits, including last season's finale on April 26 when Bryant was rested ahead of the playoffs.
The Kings are averaging 89.6 points during a five-game slide that continued with Sunday's 99-90 loss to the Nets. Coach Keith Smart tried to stop the skid by starting Aaron Brooks at the point and John Salmons at forward, but they combined for six points and seven rebounds.
"Overall, when you make some changes like we have it's hard, but they were smiling for the most part," Smart said. "This is an adjustment period. That's something we have to go through to get out team turned around."
DeMarcus Cousins is trying to do his part, leading Sacramento with 17.8 points per game and 10.3 boards. The center scored 23 of his season-high 29 points in the second half Sunday, bouncing back from a nine-point effort on 4 of 15 shooting in a loss to Atlanta on Thursday in his return from a two-game suspension.
The team-imposed ban forced him to miss the Nov. 11 loss to Los Angeles.
BEST OF MAXIM
Kobe Bryant is no stranger to putting up a lot of shots and scoring points by the bucketload.
But even the Lakers superstar was impressed by the NCAA-record 138 points on 108 shots by Grinnell College guard Jack Taylor on Tuesday night.
"Really? Wow. That's impressive. That's crazy," Bryant said when told of the feat following the Lakers' 95-90 victory over...
Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant both had impressive games Sunday night as Durant racked up his first triple-double and showed the legions of not-so-smart social media sports fans, he does more than just score. In fact, his passing and ball-handling skills have improved over the past two seasons, and this year it seems he is [...]The post Kevin Durant’s First Triple-Double; Kobe Bryant’s...
I grew up just a few hours east of Chicago, you know in one of the states that you’re consumed by basketball 24/7/365, yeah, Indiana. I was very blessed to have the ability to be driving distance from the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, and Detroit Pistons. Needless to say, I went to plenty of NBA [...]The post Appreciating Kobe Bryant. Even If You’re A Hater. appeared first on...
FREE THROW (BETTING) LINE
Nets forward Gerald Wallace said that he and Lakers star Kobe Bryant discussed a bet during Tuesday's game where Kobe would have shot free throws with his eyes closed.
Los Angeles Lakers all-star guard Kobe Bryant made strides with 10,000 people for the sixth annual “HomeWalk to End Homelessness” through the streets of downtown L.A. Bryant served as the honorary chair at the event that led participants on a 5K walk. The black mamba took to his Facebook to show his excitement:
“Great day yesterday! Home walk was a huge success and I...
Lakers beat up on the Rockets 119-108 to win their fifth game of the season and bring their record to 5-5. Rocking their Sunday home whites- ::Pause:: the Lakers are the only team that doesn’t rock white home jerseys. Only on Sundays. See, Jill loves to teach and inform:: Let’s look at the highlights [...]
In last night’s game against the Houston Rockets, Kobe Bryant recorded his 18th triple-double of his veteran career. Not only was the Black Mamba being his usual self being a scorer and hitting the most difficult shots, but he was also grabbing rebounds and dishing out assists. Most of his assists came from Dwight Howard being active and catching Kobe’s lobs.
When the Dwight...
Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
1: Kobe with the Lake Show
Kobe Bryant's reputation is one of a scorer. He leads the league in scoring in the early part of the season. Mike D'Antoni's offense though is about moving the ball and running the pick and roll. Bryant will still have his isolation sets,...
Tweet The Los Angeles Lakers are finally on a roll. The high-profile team has gone 4-1 since firing head coach Mike Brown, and appear to be playing with a lot more energy since scrapping the Princeton offense and just playing basketball. Kobe Bryant is off to one of the best starts of his career, with [...]
Kobe Bryant scored six of his 25 points in the final two minutes, and the Los Angeles Lakers hung on for a 95-90 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night in coach Mike D'Antoni's sideline debut.
Dwight Howard had 23 points and 15 rebounds despite a horrific 7-for-19 performance at the free-throw line for the Lakers, who have won five of six and moved above .500 since...
(Eds: With AP Photos.) By JIM LITKE AP Sports Columnist Right after Kobe Bryant made every one of his first five shots, you knew the Lakers weren't going to let new coach Mike D'Antoni lose his debut.
As it turned out, just enough good things happened after that to produce Tuesday night's 95-90 win over the visiting Brooklyn Nets. The Lakers shot the ball well enough...
Down by a basket, clock ticking down, emotions running high. Who do you want with the ball in his hands?
For more than a decade, the correct answer to that question was Kobe Bryant. Like Derek Jeter in baseball, Bryant had simply come through too often in the clutch to deny that he had a knack for that sort of thing. As Bryant closes in on his 35th birthday, though, does he still...
Kobe Bryant and Gerald Wallace took trash talk to another level on Tuesday night.credit: blogs.ocweekly.com
The Los Angeles Lakers opened the Mike D’Antoni era with a 5 point win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night. It’s a solid win for a team who started the year out sluggishly, considering the Nets are thought to be one of the better teams in the league this year.
PAST IS THE PAST
Lakers big man Dwight Howard doesn't appear too concerned about a rift that has seemingly developed between him and his former pal, Nets star Deron Williams.