Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher will present Jordan Farmar with his championship ring before Friday night’s game against the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center. Farmar helped the Lakers win their second consecutive title last June, and then signed a three-season, $12-million contract with the Nets. It’s the first season Farmar has played away from home. He went to high school at Taft of Woodland Hills and college at UCLA before the Lakers selected him in the first round (26th overall) in the 2006 draft. Farmar is the last of the 2009-10 championship team members to get his ring. DJ Mbenga received his when the New Orleans Hornets played at Staples on Jan. 7. The team mailed Adam Morrison his ring after he failed to hook on with an NBA team this season.
The Lakers hit the midway point of the season with Friday’s game against the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center, and Coach Phil Jackson issued his report card today. “We’re definitely a ‘B’ team right now,” he said. “We have room for improvement. We’re not displeased where we’re are, but we’re unhappy we had some consecutive losses. … What I like is we’ve gotten their attention. They’re starting to be attentive on defense. And they know they have the opportunity to be a really good team.”
OAKLAND — The Lakers got their sixth consecutive victory and their eighth in nine games, rallying to overcome the Golden State Warriors tonight. Monta Ellis finished with 38 points for the Warriors, but Kobe Bryant scored 39, including 30 in the second half. The Lakers trailed after the first, second and third quarters but Bryant and Lamar Odom rallied them. Odom scored 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. Next: the Lakers reach the midway point of the season when they face the New Jersey Nets on Friday at Staples Center.
Of scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter, Bryant said: “You have a responsibility to your team to try and come through in those situations and make the right play, and tonight I did that.”
OAKLAND — Monta Ellis scored 23 points for Golden State in the first half tonight, which helped to explain why the Lakers trailed the Warriors. Pau Gasol countered with 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Lakers, who were trying for their sixth consecutive victory and their eighth in nine games since a three-game losing streak. There were no signs of the ease with which they dispatched the Cleveland Cavaliers by 55 points on Tuesday.
No, really. The Lakers set a team record for the fewest points given up in a game played with a 24-second shot clock. It had been 66 points. They also threatened the franchise’s largest margin of victory, which remains 63 points. Their biggest lead was 56 late in the game. They won their fifth in a row and their seventh in eight games. Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest each scored 15 points for the Lakers. Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Shannon Brown and Lamar Odom added 13. Gasol also had a team-leading 14 rebounds. Derek Fisher scored 10. Artest, Bryant and Fisher left to a standing ovation late in the third quarter. Cleveland shot 29.9 percent. It was that kind of night.
What, you expected a close game in the first half tonight? Sorry to disappoint. The LeBron James-less Cleveland Cavaliers were halfway to their 11th consecutive and their 21st in 22 games. The Lakers weren’t exactly taking it easy on the Cavs, but Kobe Bryant did score only two points on 1-for-2 shooting in the half. Pau Gasol scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. J.J. Hickson scored five points for Cleveland.
Matt Barnes will be sidelined for about eight weeks after undergoing surgery to mend the torn lateral meniscus in his right knee, the team said today. Steve Lombardo, the team’s physician performed the operation at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.Barnes, who was injured in the first half of the Lakers’ victory Friday over New Orleans, is averaging 7.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 20.8 minutes. Ron Artest and Luke Walton are expected to receive more playing time while Barnes, a backup forward, is out.
The second of Andrew Bynum’s two technical fouls Sunday night was rescinded today by the powers that be in the NBA office. Now, we can’t go back in time and Bynum can’t go back and play the final 11-plus minutes of the Lakers’ 22-point victory over the New York Knicks at Staples Center, but it is a fine gesture by the league. So, technically, the Lakers only had three Ts on Sunday, one each for Bynum, Ron Artest and Kobe Bryant.
Before he got ejected for beefing about a call that went against him in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, Andrew Bynum had another in a string of superb games. He scored 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds and helped to play strong defense against Amare Stoudemire of the New York Knicks. Stoudemire had 23 points on 7-for-24 shooting and 10 rebounds. Bynum is averaging 13.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots in seven starts. Meanwhile, Ron Artest’s takedown of Stoudemire near the end of the third quarter could result in a suspension since it was ruled to be a flagrant-1 foul. Stay tuned. The Lakers won their fourth in a row and their sixth in their last seven games.
The Lakers’ big men gave Amare Stoudemire fits during the first half tonight, scoring easily against him and pressuring him into only five points on 1-for-10 shooting. Andrew Bynum scored a team-leading 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Lakers, and Pau Gasol had nine points and nine rebounds and Lamar Odom added eight points and seven rebounds. The Lakers outrebounded the Knicks, 34-20. They should have led by much more by halftime, but committed nine turnovers, including four in the opening minutes.