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 Lakers breeze to 12-1 with 120-93 romp over Nets

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Posts : 373
Join date : 2008-11-21

PostSubject: Lakers breeze to 12-1 with 120-93 romp over Nets   Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:15 pm

LOS ANGELES(AP) When Pau Gasol made his
Lakers debut back in February following his trade from the Memphis
Grizzlies, he led Los Angeles to a 15-point victory at New Jersey on a
night when Kobe Bryant had the lowest-scoring game of his MVP campaign.
looked eerily similar against the Nets on Tuesday night in the rematch
at Staples Center. Gasol had 26 points and eight rebounds before
sitting out the fourth quarter, and the defending Western Conference
champions overcame Bryant's shooting woes in a 120-93 rout that
improved the NBA's best record to 12-1.
"I think it's a good sign
and it's a healthy sign,'' coach Phil Jackson said after the Lakers'
most lopsided victory ever over the Nets. "But we want Kobe to shoot
the ball well and have big games, obviously. That's the focal part of
our offense - to get things through him. We want to have him be the
threat, so that everybody has to overplay and always be concerned with
him. That makes everybody else have an easier game.''Bryant had
difficulty with Vince Carter's defense, going 5-for-17 from the field
in 28 minutes and finishing with 12 points in the Lakers' fifth
straight victory. He shot 1-for-9 in the first half and didn't get to
the free-throw line until 1:11 remained in the second quarter. The last
time they met, the two-time scoring champion was outscored 27-6 by
Carter and shot 3-for-13 with no free-throw attempts.
"It just
shows you their balance,'' Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "I think
that's the greatness of the Lakers. Kobe is obviously one of the elite
players in this league, but they have so much around him. They are a
high-level team. They're 12-1, and they have Gasol from the beginning
Devin Harris had 21 points and six assists for the Nets,
who again played without Stromile Swift (back), Josh Boone (bruised
left ankle) and Chris Douglas-Roberts (right knee strain). Eduardo
Najera, who has an injured back, did not make the trip.
Jianlian had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Nets, who shot only
34.5 percent and went 3-for-19 in the fourth quarter while getting
outscored 30-17. Carter scored 14 points before sitting out the final
6:51. Rookie center Brook Lopez made four of his first five shots, but
went 2-for-10 the rest of the way and finished with 17 points and 10
"We did not play like the Nets tonight,'' Harris said.
"The ball was not moving and we took bad shots. I can put that on
myself, because I started that trend.''
Lakers big man Andrew
Bynum picked up his fourth foul midway through the third quarter with
his team ahead 70-66, but his teammates responded with an 11-4 spurt
and took a 90-76 lead into the fourth. The second unit opened the
period with a 15-2 run, including 3-pointers by Sasha Vujacic, Jordan
Farmar and Lamar Odom, and capped it on an 18-footer by Trevor Ariza
that gave Los Angeles a 105-78 cushion with 8:19 left."Their
bench was tremendous,'' Carter said. "I thought their second unit was
the difference. If you do not match their energy and play your `A'
game, you will not beat this team - especially here.''
The Nets
missed their first eight shots of the fourth before ending the drought
on a 20-footer by Trenton Hassell with 5:24 remaining. By then, the
Lakers led 113-88.
"Their bench was huge - guys like Jordan
Farmar and Lamar Odom and the intensity they brought,'' Frank said.
"Then we just started taking a bunch of shots and lost our way a little
bit, and never responded to their run. That's why it's 48 minutes.
We're not going to win many games shooting the way we did and then
compounding that with poor defense.''Gasol, who had 24 points
and 12 rebounds against the Nets in the 105-90 win last February, paced
the Lakers to a 56-54 halftime lead with 16 points.
"Our emphasis
was the inside game,'' Jackson said. "They have a lot of young players
on the interior, so I thought both Pau and Andrew would be players we
could feature as far as getting the ball inside. But Pau made outside
shots, too. He played a fine game. We just like his overall game -
defensively and the way he talks and helps people through the defensive
Notes: The Nets won their first 13 games after
Frank replaced Byron Scott as head coach on Jan. 26, 2004. Since that
streak, they are 184-184 in the regular season and 18-20 in the
playoffs. ... The Nets had allowed 30 or more points by an opposing
player in each of their previous five games and seven of eight. ... Yi,
the Nets' 7-foot forward, made a 3-pointer in the first quarter and is
23-for-57 from behind the arc in 79 NBA games. The other four 7-footers
who were in uniform - Gasol, Bynum, Lopez and Lakers reserve center
Chris Mihm - have yet to attempt a 3-point shot this season. ... The
Nets did not attempt a free throw until 6:56 remained in the first
half. ... The Lakers are 7-6 against the Nets since sweeping them in
the 2002 NBA finals.
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