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LAst Night's Action: Lakers Fight for a Victory

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Trevor Ariza is the playmaker for the Lakers. AP Photo/Matt Slocum

LA Lakers defeat Dallas Mavericks 106-99. The Lakers should have lost this game. They were outrebounded 58-48 by the Mavericks and lost the three-point shooting battle going 15.4% compared to the Mavericks 27.3%. But the Lakers defense came alive in the second half outscoring the Mavs 52-39. The second team anchored by Trevor Ariza on defense and a +/- differential of +16 (the Lakers scored 16 more points than the Mavs when Ariza was on the floor). Last season the Lakers would have lost this game. But this season, well you know. The Lakers are now 6-0 along with the surprising Atlanta Hawks and will play the second game of the back-to-back at New Orleans Hornets tonight.

LA Kings defeat Dallas Stars 3-2 (SO). The Kings improved penalty killing helped them win their third straight game to dig themselves out of the cellar in the division. They shut out the Stars in all nine minutes they played shorthanded while the Stars gave up a powerplay goal. The Kings will now cap off the home-and-home at Dallas on Thursday.

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Notable Notes

  • Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants starter Tim Lincecum. He won the NL Cy Young Award with 23 of 32 first place votes. The Diamondbacks Brandon Webb came in second with Johan Santana (NY Mets), Brad Lidge (Philadelphia Phillies), CC Sabathia (Milwaukee Brewers) and Ryan Dempster (Chicago Cubs) following. He becomes only the second Giant to win the award joining Mike McCormick (1967) and only the first second-year player since Dwight Gooden of the Mets and Bret Saberhagen of the Kansas City Royals who both won in 1985. Lincecum went 18-5 for the horrible Giants and led the league in strikeouts with 265 and was second in ERA with 2.62.
  • Let's say you're a fan of a college football team with a head coach who is in his fourth year at the job. In his first year he led the previously hapless team to a 9-3 record, a berth in the Fiesta Bowl and a 10-year contract extension in the middle of the season. He then managed to have three recruiting classes that ranked in the top ten. In his second year he led the team to a 10-3 record with a Sugar Bowl berth against LSU. Then somehow in his third year his team went 3-9 despite having a soft schedule. Now his team is 5-4 and though they might make a bowl game they're nowhere near as good as their potential. Yes Charlie Weis is coming under fire beneath the outstretched arms of Touchdown Jesus at Notre Dame. He has the players, so what is the only other factor in their mediocre play? And to top it off Weis will take over the play calling duties against Navy this weekend. This is the same Navy team they lost to 46-44 last year.

Tonight's Action

LA Lakers at New Orleans Hornets. The Lakers will face their biggest test in the second game of a back-to-back roadie. This is a Hornets team that's reeling after losing two of their last three to the Atlanta Hawks at home and the Charlotte Bobcats on the road. 5:00 pm KCAL 9, AM 570 KLAC.

Prairie View A&M Panthers at #4 UCLA Bruins. What better way to kick off the college basketball season than a game against the Panthers of Prairie View A&M? 7:00 pm ESPNU, AM 1150 KTLK.

Sacramento Kings at LA Clippers. After getting their first win against the Mavs, the Clippers are looking to build on that against the Kings. 7:30 pm FSN Prime Ticket, AM 710 KSPN.