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LAst Night's Action: Lakers Continue to Struggle against Bobcats

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Charlotte Bobcats defeat LA Lakers 98-83. Right after the Lakers overtime loss in Miami I tweeted that the Lakers would also lose this game in Charlotte, and they did not disappoint. After trailing the Bobcats by six going into the half, the Lakers came out in the third quarter playing their worst basketball in years. Three turnovers, two misses and blocked twice, the Lakers did not get a field goal until Derek Fisher knocked in a three 4:27 into the quarter which cut the Bobcats lead to 12. The Lakers collective shot 36% and turned the ball over 20 times. Kobe Bryant scored 26 points but went 9-for-21 missing all four three point attempts. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum got double-doubles but no one in purple and gold could stop the Bobcats. Stephen Jackson led the Cats with 21 points while DJ Augustin lit things up from the bench with 12 points and five assists. The Lakers now look forward to a Sunday showdown in Orlando for a 2009 NBA Finals rematch.

Oklahoma City Thunder defeat LA Clippers 104-87. Too much Kevin Durant. That’s all that needs to be said about this game. Durant scored 32 points and went to the line 14 times missing only twice. The Clippers looked to be in the game at times. Chris Kaman anchored the middle with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Rasual Butler added 17 points for the Clips who collectively shot 37%. But just as the Clippers looked to get close to the Thunder, the Thunder would pull away thanks to contributions from Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. Even though Russell Westbrook wasn’t as explosive as he had been in recent games, James Harden came off the bench to pick up the slack.

Notable Notes

  • Former Narbonne High standout, Arizona State Sun Devil, St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers tight end Brandon Manumaleuna signed a five-year deal with the Chicago Bears. The 30-year old free agent wanted to be reunited with Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz with whom he played for in St. Louis. Manumaleuna is primarily a blocker though he has the ability to make some plays in the passing game. I’ll say this. If Brandon doesn’t do his job for the Bears, I will personally harass him like I did during junior high and high school. You got that Brandon? I’m coming after you! Oh and the Bears also signed Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers to a six-year, $91.5 million deal and Vikings running back Chester Taylor to a four-year $12.5 million deal.
  • A scary moment in Cleveland a day after remembering the 20th anniversary of the death of Loyola Marymount’s Hank Gathers. Detroit Pistons’ point guard Rodney Stuckey collapsed into a trainer’s arms on the bench after a time out was called in the third period of their game against the Cavaliers. Stuckey was conscious and breathing on his own as he was taken to a local Cleveland hospital. The game was stopped for 12 minutes as Stuckey was attended to. After the Cavs eked out a 99-92 win, players of both teams gathered in prayer at center court.
  • Going back to the 1989-1990 Loyola Marymount basketball team. One thing that still nags me is why the team was seeded 11th in the West Region for the NCAA Tournament. The Lions were ranked #21 in the final regular season AP poll. That alone should have given the Lions a six-seed. It’s understandable for their seed to drop some with the loss of Hank Gathers, but all the way down to 11? Isn’t that a bit much even for a small West Coast Conference team?

Tonight’s Action

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Montreal Canadiens at LA Kings. 7:00 pm FSWest, AM 1150 KTLK.

Anaheim Ducks at Phoenix Coyotes. 5:00 pm KDOC, AM 830 KLAA.

LA Clippers at Utah Jazz. 6:00 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 980 KFWB.

USC Trojans at Arizona Wildcats. 10:30 am AM 710 KSPN.

UCLA Bruins at Arizona State Sun Devils. 1:00 pm CBS, AM 570 KLAC.