Lakers’ Jordan Hill said he had good intentions with post-game celebration

SALT LAKE CITY — Jordan Hill sat on the bench staring at his cell phone and looking fairly downtrodden. It marked a much different mood than following the Lakers’ overtime win on Sunday over the Boston Celtics where Hill, Nick Young and Carlos Boozer crashed Jeremy Lin’s post-game interview and expressing elation over a rare victory.

Such images became light-night fodder on Jimmy Kimmel Live that featured Kobe Bryant offering an annoyed and silent reaction. Lakers coach Byron Scott saw the footage and scolded his team about his behavior during Tuesday’s practice.

“We’ve been doing this the whole season, but I guess it’s a problem now,” Hill said in an interview with Los Angeles Newspaper Group, referring to when Young frequently interrupts teammates’ post-game interviews after a win. “It is what it is.”

Yet, Hill walked the tight rope between understanding and respecting Scott’s criticism and also defending his behavior.

“He’s right about it,” Hill said about Scott. “But we’re just trying to finish this out with our heads high. It’s not the way we want it. But we don’t want to let our heads down.”
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Lakers’ Nick Young out against Utah with swollen left knee

LakersÕ Nick Young thought he had a three point shot at the end of the third period, but it was called back during second half action at Staples Center Sunday, March 30, 2014.  Lakers defeated the Suns 115-99.  ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News )

LakersÕ Nick Young thought he had a three point shot at the end of the third period, but it was called back during second half action at Staples Center Sunday, March 30, 2014. Lakers defeated the Suns 115-99. ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News )

SALT LAKE CITY – Nick Young will not perform any post-game antics that Lakers coach Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant consider offensive.

Young will stay sidelined for when the Lakers (14-41) visit the Utah Jazz (XX) tonight at EnergySolutions Arena because of a swollen left knee.

“He’s trying to get as much inflammation out there as much as possible,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

Young also missed practice on Monday and Tuesday after feeling soreness in his left knee during Sunday’s win over the Boston Celtics. He had also suffered a non-displaced fracture and bone bruise left knee last season that kept him out for two weeks, but Scott said he remains unaware if the injuries are related.

The Lakers will still field the same starting lineup for the second consecutive game, featuring Jordan CLarkson (point guard), Wayne Ellington (shooting guard), Ryan Kelly (small forward), Carlos Boozer (power forward) and Robert Sacre (center). But with veteran Ronnie Price out for around six to eight weeks after having surgery on his right elbow, Scott plans to play both Clarkson and Jeremy Lin around 20 to 25 minutes per game.

“If one is playing better than the other, they’ll get the bulk of the minutes,” Scott said. “I’m thinking of playing them both together and give them added shots.”

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Lakers’ Kobe Bryant shoots down retirement talk

Kobe Bryant struck down an issue with as much fierce and precision as one of the many times he has scored against his opponent.

The whole idea on whether Bryant will definitely retire before or after his contract worth $25 million expires next season.

“They’re ready to put me in my grave, man,” Bryant joked Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “I’m just trying to come back from this injury. I take things a day at a time. This is a huge challenge I have in front of me right now. I just want to come back from that.”

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Lakers’ Nick Young, Robert Sacre listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game in Utah

Portland Trail Blazers' Steve Blake (25) defends against Los Angeles Lakers' Nick Young (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday Feb. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)

Portland Trail Blazers’ Steve Blake (25) defends against Los Angeles Lakers’ Nick Young (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday Feb. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)

MRI exams turned out negative surrounding both Nick Young’s sore left knee and Robert Sacre’s sore left foot, leaving their status as questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz (20-34) at EnergySolutions Arena.

The Lakers do not consider the injury serious and they still have time before Tuesday’s practice to further assess if they will participate.

Young did not practice on Monday after the feeling pain in his left knee during the Lakers’ win on Sunday over Boston. Scott said that Sacre tried to practice before feeling a “sharp pain” in his left foot.

Young has averaged 13.4 points on 36.6 percent shooting in 23.8 minutes off the bench. Sacre has averaged 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 16.2 minutes. He has also averaged 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds through the past 12 games as a starter.


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Lakers’ Byron Scott says he should have won more NBA titles as a player

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Lakers’ Nick Young (left knee), Robert Sacre (left foot) suffer injuries

Celtics, Gerald Wallace,45, Los Angeles Laker Nick Young ,0, during the second quarter at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, February 22, 2015. (Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)

Celtics, Gerald Wallace,45, Los Angeles Laker Nick Young ,0, during the second quarter at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, February 22, 2015. (Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)

The rare euphoria and buzz over the Lakers’ overtime victory on Sunday over the Boston Celtics relatively simmered with some more unwelcome injury news.

Lakers forward Nick Young experienced soreness in his left knee and Robert Sacre nursed a sore left foot, prompting the team to end practice early on Monday. The Lakers (14-41) will reexamine Young and Sacre later on Monday before determining their availability for Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz (20-34) at EnergySolutions Arena. But Lakers coach Byron Scott initially reported that Lakers trainer Gary Vitti did not consider the injuries serious.

“I’m not really worried about it right now,” Scott said. “Gary didn’t seem too overly concerned about it. But we want to make sure there is nothing there before we saw where those guys are.”

Young did not practice on Monday after the feeling pain in his left knee during the Lakers’ win on Sunday over Boston. Scott said that Sacre tried to practice before feeling a “sharp pain” in his left foot.

Young has averaged 13.4 points on 36.6 percent shooting in 23.8 minutes off the bench. Sacre has averaged 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 16.2 minutes. He has also averaged 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds through the past 12 games as a starter.

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Lakers add spice to Celtics rivalry with 118-111 overtime victory


Lakers’ Byron Scott says he should have won more NBA titles as a player


Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Lakers still find meaning in Celtics rivalry with 118-11 overtime win

Los Angeles Laker Jeremy Lin,17, drives for a basket during the fourth quarter agains the Celtics. (Photo by Stephen Carr/Daily Breeze)

Los Angeles Laker Jeremy Lin,17, drives for a basket during the fourth quarter agains the Celtics. (Photo by Stephen Carr/Daily Breeze)

The boos serenaded all over Staples Center as the despised Celtics stepped on the court one-by-one during starting lineup introductions. The buzz roared louder and louder like a flock of bees when the Lakers fought for every loose ball and made clutch shots. Once the Lakers concluded a 118-111 overtime victory over the Boston Celtics on Sunday at Staples Center, the purple and gold streams dropped out of the rafters.

With everything else falling apart in this broken Lakers season, it at least appeared comforting that one positive development remained. The Lakers (14-41) snapped a seven-game losing streak by defeating the Celtics (20-33), the team that everyone that bleeds purple and gold loves to hate through both NBA Finals slugfests and otherwise meaningless regular season games.

“The boos were louder than I’ve heard in a while,” Lakers coach Byron Scott, remembering what the atmosphere was like when the Showtime Lakers slugged it out against the Celtics in the 1980′s. “I think our fans understand that history of the two organizations. I’m enjoying it a little bit more tonight.”
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Lakers’ Byron Scott second guesses not fouling Celtics’ Avery Bradley on game-tying 3

The smile widened on Byron Scott’s face. His voice sounded at ease. Scott appeared noticeably relaxed as he sat at the podium talking about a rare Lakers’ win.

But this wasn’t just any ordinary victory. The Lakers secured a 118-111 overtime win against the hated Boston Celtics on Sunday at Staples Center, an outcome that snapped a seven-game losing streak and provided nostalgia and competitive moments in a rivalry usually playing out in June.

“I enjoy this a lot more,” Scott said, grinning. “I’m a happy man tonight.”

Yet, Scott’s feeling of ecstasy could have easily vanished had the Lakers not held Boston scoreless for nearly a four-minute stretch in overtime, while both Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer and Wesley Johnson provided key baskets. Celtics guard Avery Bradley forced the game into overtime after hitting a 25-foot three-pointer as time expired, a play that could have been avoided had the Lakers intentionally fouled beforehand.

After all, the Lakers also refused to foul Milwaukee Bucks forward and former USC product O.J. Mayo three weeks ago only for him to make a corner 24-foot 3-pointer with .5 seconds left to force overtime. The Bucks won, 113-105, in extra regulation.

“That’s twice I was thinking about it and they hit a three and went into overtime,” Scott said. “I don’t know if I’ll think about it next time. I might just do it. I don’t know yet.”
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Lakers’ Carlos Boozer to start against Boston

"Lakers Carlos Boozer slams in two points during first half action at Staples Center Sunday, December 7, 2014.   ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News ) "

“Lakers Carlos Boozer slams in two points during first half action at Staples Center Sunday, December 7, 2014. ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News ) “

It took nearly two months for Lakers forward Carlos Boozer to reclaim his starting spot. It took only two days for him to do so after sitting out of a game because of a coach’s decision.

Welcome to the Lakers’ 2014-15 season where tonight’s game against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center will have little to do with rekindling a once great rivalry. Instead, this will mark one of the Lakers’ 28 remaining games where coach Byron Scott could field a different starting lineup. Boozer will replace rookie Tarik Black, while Jordan Clarkson, Wayne Ellington, Ryan Kelly and Robert Sacre will still start.

“The second unit, he was our go to guy,” Scott said of Boozer. “He did a great job. With the starting unit, I’m trying to see if he can keep that same type of role and playing the way he was playing. It’ll be interesting to see. He’s a professional and will be okay with it.”
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Lakers’ Byron Scott could make lineup changes against Boston

Byron Scott

A Sunday matchup between the Lakers and Celtics usually meant a few things.

The NBA would showcase a nationally televised game that featured its fiercest rivalry based on plenty of star power and physical play. The game would also serve as an NBA Finals preview. Yet, when the Lakers (13-41) host the Boston Celtics (20-32) on Sunday at Staples Center, none of those elements will emerge.

Instead, the most captivating storyline could entail which starting lineup Lakers coach Byron Scott will showcase. Scott conceded there are “one or two things I’m thinking about doing,” before declining to reveal those contingency plans.

“It’s a little bit of a gut feeling and things I want to see,” Scott said. “Try to see if I can get more of a chemistry with certain guys working with other guys.”
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Lakers’ Byron Scott praise Carlos Boozer, Wesley Johnson for handling DNP

The Los Angeles Lakers held a press conference to announce the addition of Carlos Boozer to the team Friday, July 25, 2014, El Segundo, CA. Photo by Steve McCrank/Daily Breeze

The Los Angeles Lakers held a press conference to announce the addition of Carlos Boozer to the team Friday, July 25, 2014, El Segundo, CA. Photo by Steve McCrank/Daily Breeze

The demotion to the bench earlier this season once seemed so beneath Lakers forward Carlos Boozer. The two-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist openly questioned Lakers coach Byron Scott publicly, while refusing to address him about it privately.

But when Boozer sat because of a coach’s decision in the Lakers’ 114-105 loss on Friday to the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center, the 12-year NBA veteran handled the matter completely differently. Boozer talked to reporters, but declined to question Scott’s rotation. Scott then reported that Boozer approached him about it afterwards.

Scott reported Boozer expressed concern that his absence during Wednesday’s practice after the All-Star break because of transportation problems returning from his hometown in Miami influence his eventual DNP.

“It’s never personal with me. “I never play guys because I’m mad,” Scott said on Saturday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “I don’t hold no grudges because of that. If you can help me win games, I’ll put you on the court. I don’t have to like you at all. But that’s not the case with Carlos.”

Instead, Scott explained that Boozer’s absence stemmed from something else. Scott wanted to play Jordan Hill off the bench after missing the previous five games because of a right hip flexor. Scott also became curious with how Hill would fare with forward Ed Davis. The pair combined for 28 points and 24 rebounds, and represented a fourth-quarter unit that nearly chipped away at the Nets’ 22-point lead. Yet, Scott suggested Boozer’s absence likely will not become prolonged.

“I just told him it was something I was trying to experiment with and it didn’t go the way I expected it to go,” Scott said. “I wasn’t happy with it. It probably won’t happen again.”

The same applies to Wesley Johnson, who also sat because of a coach’s decision while Ryan Kelly (12 points on 4 of 8 shooting) and Nick Young (five points on 2 of 9 shooting) played at small forward.

“Wes was good, too,” Scott said. “I told him the same thing. It was something I was trying.”

Scott normally does not explain his thought process directly to players about his rotations. He only does so when reporters ask him. Or if players approach him. Young talked with Scott after the Lakers’ forward sat last month in New York despite receiving medical clearance from a sprained right ankle. Jeremy Lin also spoke with Scott both after losing his starting point guard spot 20 games into the 2014-15 season and when he sat during Jordan Clarkson’s starting debut because of a coach’s decision.

But Scott has occasionally differed from his approach. He alerted veteran guard Ronnie Price two weeks ago he would sit up until the All-Star break partly to heal from a sprained right elbow. Scott also decided to circle back with Boozer and Johnson, both of whom had declined to complain about their absence.

“Because of those two guys, and the respect I have for them is the only reason I told them that,” Boozer said. “This is what I did last night and this is the reason why. I don’t have to explain to why I’m doing it. Carlos has been great a true professional. So I thought, Let me tell you what I’m doing and why I did it and we’ll just go from there.”

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Lakers’ Mitch Kupchak stresses he won’t “jeopardize” financial flexibility, youth in offseason rebuild

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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