PORTLAND, Ore. — The streak reached nine in a row tonight. The Lakers haven’t won here since 2004-05. Kobe Bryant scored 32 points on 14-for-37 shooting. Brandon Roy led Portland with 32 points on 9-for-11 shooting. That sums it up. The Lakers never led and never threatened in the late going. Next: Milwaukee visits Staples Center on Sunday.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Kobe Bryant scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds in the first half tonight, but he was a solo act. No one else in purple-and-gold had more than seven points. The Lakers shot 40.9 percent and were outrebounded, 22-17. Jerryd Bayless scored 16 points in a reserve role. Brandon Roy added 13 points and Andre Miller, fresh off a 30-minute shouting match with Blazers coach Nate McMillan, scored 10. The Lakers went into the game with eight consecutive losses in Portland. No. 9 didn’t seem far away.
Despite averaging only seven points per game and despite coming off a game in which he scored only three points on 1-for-3 shooting while playing 20 minutes, 23 seconds in the Lakers’ loss Wednesday to the Clippers, veteran guard Derek Fisher said today he’s not worried that he’s mired in a slump. Said Fisher: “I’m not overly concerned about my individual game. With the type of team we have, there will be different guys doing different things every night. I’m comfortable with that. I realize what my role is on this team.”
The Clippers ended their nine-game losing streak to the Lakers with a solid victory tonight at Staples Center. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers (28-7) with 33 points and eight assists. Baron Davis led the Clippers (16-18) with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
Andrew Bynum on the Lakers’ performance: “We played like boneheads. We didn’t play like we should have. I was out there missing buckets. It was a tough shooting night for everyone, but we can’t let that stop us from winning.”
Davis on the Clippers’ victory: “I think our best is yet to come. We need to take a victory like this and build on it. The best thing about it was that the Lakers made that push and carved into that 15-point lead quick, put the pressure back on us. But we responded. We held our composure and made some big shots.”
The Clippers led by as many as 10 points in the first half tonight. Eric Gordon led the Clippers with 11 points, and Rasual Butler added nine. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 12 points, and Andrew Bynum had eight. Lamar Odom added seven points and nine rebounds. The Lakers shot 15 for 44 in the first half (34.1 percent), which explained their small deficit. The Clippers shot 22 for 47 (46.8 percent). So far, there’s been nothing to get anyone excited about. It looks like a game the Lakers can take if they put their minds to it.
The Lakers hardly missed a beat without injured power forward/center Pau Gasol. Andrew Bynum scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Kobe Bryant added 22 points and Lamar Odom had 17 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists. The Lakers never trailed but they never led by more than 12 points. Carl Landry led Houston with 19 points, and Aaron Brooks scored 18. Houston beat the Lakers the last time the teams played, Nov. 14.
The Lakers had their best defensive first half of the season tonight. limiting the Houston Rockets to 33 points on 35.9 percent shooting. Their previous best was Nov. 28, when they held the New Jersey Nets to 34 points. This was a better effort since the Rockets are a credible team and the Nets are not. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting. Lamar Odom had a team-leading 13 points despite playing with a stomach ailment. Former Lakers forward Trevor Ariza had another rough homecoming, scoring only five points on 2-for-8 shooting. Carl Landry led Houston with 13 points.
Ron Artest received medical clearance to play tonight against the Houston Rockets. He sat out five games in a row after suffering a concussion in a fall at home Christmas Night. Pau Gasol could not play because of a strained left hamstring suffered before Sunday’s victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he doubted Gasol could play Wednesday night against the Clippers. He said Gasol’s status was “game-to-game.”
Pau Gasol suffered a mild to moderate left hamstring strain, the results of ultrasound and MRI exams revealed today. Dr. Steve Lombardo examined Gasol, whose status for Tuesday’s game against the Houston Rockets was termed doubtful. He will be listed as day-to-day for future games and practices. He was injured during the first quarter of the Lakers’ 35-point victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. The 7-foot power forward/center sat out the season’s first 11 games because of a strained right hamstring.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson on Pau Gasol’s strained left hamstring: “Any time Pau has an injury we’re very concerned. Obviously, we thought the initial one (a strained right hamstring) in the preseason was very slight because there was no activity and there was no significant impression that he’d had a pull. So, obviously, it’s something we have to take seriously.”
Jackson on the significance of the Lakers’ rout of the Mavericks: “They had a game last night. It’s hard to judge. I think it’s their fourth consecutive road game. … Obviously, we’ll see them in eight or 10 days and we’ll find out what it’s like to play on their home court.”
Jordan Farmar on whether it was a case of the Lakers playing great or the Mavs playing poorly: “I think it had to be a little bit of both. We played pretty well. You could tell that they were tired from the night before (beating the Kings in Sacramento). It was over early. We just had to make sure we kept it up. We’ve gotten big leads before and let down and played lackadaisical, so it was good to see us play, for the most part, the whole night like that.”
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle: “It’s the first time all year we really didn’t put up the kind of fight we really needed t. That’s disappointing. Again, it’s on all of us: coaches, players, everybody. It’s on all of us. It’s very disappointing.”
–The Lakers’ 35-point win was their widest margin of victory this season.
–They set season highs for points (131) and shooting percentage (63.4 percent).
–Their reserves set a season high with 66 points.
–Kobe Bryant tied Patrick Ewing for 15th on the all-time scoring list (24,815 points).
–Jordan Farmar tied his career high with 24 points.
–Lamar Odom tied his season high with 15 rebounds.
–Sasha Vujacic tied his season high with 11 points.