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LAst Night's Action: Lakers Pecked in Eyes by Hawks

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Atlanta Hawks defeat LA Lakers 109-92. No defense, no Lamar Odom, no bench, no win. The Hawks dominated the paint outscoring the Lakers 44-26 and double teamed Pau Gasol daring the Lakers to settle for perimeter shots. The Lakers bit on it unable to dictate much of anything for a second consecutive game. While Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 28 points and Pau Gasol despite being mugged getting a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, Lamar Odom was absent offensively scoring only seven points. Off the bench Jordan Farmar did his best to get the Lakers into the game with 16 points, but the rest of the bench might as well been listed as DNPCD - did not play coach’s decision. Shannon Brown got three points in 15 minutes while Adam Morrison added three in seven minutes and Josh Powell contributed with one point in three minutes. The Hawks meanwhile had seven players score in double digits including Zaza Pachulia off the bench with 10 points and 10 rebounds despite averaging four points and four rebounds this season.

Toronto Raptors defeat LA Clippers 114-92. The Clippers were in this one for quite some time even taking a five-point lead going into the half. In fact the Clippers had a 75-74 lead after Rasual Butler hit a jumper with 2:24 left in the third quarter, but Chris Bosh realizing his team is fighting for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference took over. He scored all seven points for the rest of the quarter to give the Raptors the lead for good. Chris Kaman found his game for the Clips with 22 points and 13 points, and Drew Gooden continued to be the double-double machine with 17 points and ten rebounds off the bench. But Bosh amid grumblings that he’s deliberately tanking scored a monster 34 points and 11 rebounds while former USC guard DeMar DeRozan had ten points off the bench.

Anaheim Ducks defeat Colorado Avalanche 5-2. Leftwinger Jason Blake tied a Ducks record with five points - the backbreaking final goal on a breakaway for the Ducks and assists in each of the other four scores. In the process Teemu Selanne scored his 601st career goal 2:34 in the third period on another breakaway to put the Ducks up 4-1. He is now tied with Jari Kurri for most NHL goals scored by a Finn. The center on that line Saku Koivu scored a goal with four seconds left in the first period while assisting on three other goals. That Blake-Koivu-Selanne line all were a +5 for the game. While the 27 shots Curtis McElhinney saved doesn’t seem like a whole lot, most were quality shots by a desperate Avs team clinging to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. All in all a great win by a team that has the remotest of chances to make the playoffs.

Notable Notes

  • With all of this negativity hurled at Ron Artest, Britt Robson wrote on on why the Artest acquisition is a good move by the Lakers. With Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant missing games and the Lakers bench looking like a mob of playground kids at times, the Lakers while comfortably in the top slot in the Western Conference do not look like the same team they did last year. Laying all of the blame on Artest is just ridiculous.
  • I know I’m a million years late on this one - I must have had a complete brain fart. But anytime Kevin Garnett ends up looking like a fool, a big grin is plastered on my face. In this video the San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili not only blocks Garnett but sends him falling on his back on the hardwood on Sunday. Boy oh boy was that a work of beauty.
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Tonight’s Action

Vancouver Canucks at LA Kings. 7:30 pm FSWest, AM 1150 KTLK.

LA Galaxy at Chivas USA. 8:00 pm ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, AM 1330 KWKW (Galaxy Radio en español), W Radio AM 690 (Chivas USA Radio en español). First game of the SuperClasico!