LAst Night's Action: Lakers Rout Hornets to First Place
LA Lakers defeat New Orleans Hornets 110-99. The Lakers hang on just long enough defensively to give the Staples Center crowd their tacos. Andrew Bynum led all scorers with 21 points and nine rebounds while Kobe Bryant scored 18. The Hornets who were without Chris Paul and Peja Stojakovic were led by former UCLA point guard Darren Collison who scored 20. The Lakers blew the game open in the second quarter taking a 20 point lead going into the locker room at the half. While the Lakers dropped off the intensity a little bit in the fourth quarter, it’s yet another win for the Lakers who take the lead in the conference thanks to the Phoenix Suns losing to the New York Knicks.
LA Kings defeat Anaheim Ducks 4-3. The Kings came out strongly with goals by Scott Parse and Justin Williams in the first half of the first period. The Ducks would eventually fight back and tie the game at 3-3 after 5:29 in the third period. In the final minutes of the game with the score still tied, the game became a frenzy with Jack Johnson (or Brad Richardson???) scoring the winning goal with 2:20 left in the game. The Kings controlled the puck for most of the game but the Ducks were able to make the most of their opportunities to keep the game close. The Kings are now fifth in the Western Conference with 34 points while the Ducks are dusting the cellar with 24 points.
Remember how I said after the McCourt’s divorce would signal the death knell for the Dodgers? Well the first ring has been rung. Dodgers PR guru Josh Rawitch told LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez that the Dodgers would not offer arbitration to any free agents. That means say goodbye to Orlando Hudson, Randy Wolf, Ronnie Belliard, Jon Garland, Guillermo Mota, Will Ohman and Vicente Padilla. With several more of the “kids” due for significant pay raises (Matt Kemp, James Loney, Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton), this looks like it’s a ploy by general manager Ned Colletti to keep payroll as low as possible.
What’s really confusing about this is not offering arbitration to Wolf and Hudson. Being Class A free agents if the Dodgers lost them to another team, the Dodgers would get that team’s first round draft pick. And with the Dodgers using their farm hands like currency with trades involving Casey Blake, Manny Ramirez, Jon Garland, Ronnie Belliard and Jim Thome, the Dodgers really need to replenish that farm system.
- UCLA 6’8” center Drew Gordon has left the basketball team and will be transferring after fall quarter. Averaging 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, Gordon has been one of the few highlights for the Bruins very dismal season. While no reason was given, coach Ben Howland said this decision resulted in conversations the two have had over the past weeks. Bruin basketball fans, this will be a very very long season. With a 2-4 record, the Bruins are in last place in the Pac-10 and lost all three games they played in over the weekend at the 76 Classic in Anaheim against Portland, Butler and Long Beach State. This is their worst start since the 2002-2003 season where they ended up 10-19.
- The Evil Four Letter will be infiltrating LA in yet another manner. After moving their late night SportsCenter broadcast to their newly built studios at LA Live, ESPN will be officially launching ESPNLosAngeles.com on December 21. Designed to be a one-stop hub for all Los Angeles sports, this will be the fourth city launched by ESPN after Chicago, Boston and Dallas. New York is scheduled to be launched before baseball’s opening day in April. Are you as excited as I am?
Houston Rockets at LA Clippers. 7:30 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 980 KFWB.