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LAst Night's Action: Lakers Strike First

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LA Lakers defeat Phoenix Suns 128-107. With Kobe Bryant’s knee threatening to squirt fluids on everybody in the first row, he showed how little he cared about that and scored 40 points as he lifted the Lakers to victory. Who needs defense when Pau Gasol adds 21 points, Ron Artest gets 14 points, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal, and Lamar Odom makes an appearance with 19 points and 19 rebounds? Hell even with Kobe out in the fourth quarter, the bench kept the lead with Jordan Farmar scoring 10 and Shannon Brown with nine. The Suns’ offense had a big night also with six players scoring in double digits, but they had no answer for Kobe as the Lakers pulled away in the third quarter.

LA Dodgers defeat Houston Astros 6-2. Read my recap.

Texas Rangers defeat LA Angels 4-3. Angels’ starter Scott Kazmir has shown he is consistent: he can be relied on to give up runs. A sacrifice fly by Michael Young and consecutive RBI doubles to Ian Kinsler, Vladimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz gave the Rangers the 4-0 lead in the third inning. The Angels’ bats tried to help out Kazmir in the fifth inning when Juan Rivera broke up Rangers’ starter Derek Holland’s no-hitter with a one-out single. Mike Napoli hit a homer to bring Rivera home and cut the deficit to 4-2. Torii Hunter led off the sixth inning with a solo homer to make it 4-3, but that’s the closest they would get.

NOTABLE NOTES

  • ON SECOND THOUGHT MAYBE IT WASN’T THAT BAD. When the Dodgers got off to that awful start on the road, they looked pathetic. But looking back at it now, it doesn’t look that awful. Okay, losing two of three in Pittsburgh is probably inexcusable, but losing two of three to a Florida team in the wild card hunt right now doesn’t look too bad. And on their second excursion they lost two of three to the Cincinnati Reds. Time for heads to roll, right? Not so fast there, the Reds currently lead the NL Central. And the Washington Nationals? Also in the wild card chase. However being swept by the New York Mets, that’s still awful. Did you see John Maine the other day open a game against the Florida Marlins making 12 consecutive pitches outside the strike zone? Yeesh!But the Dodgers have rebounded quite nicely thanks to beating up on their divisional foes sweeping both the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres on the road this past week. They are now 12-3 in the division and trail the division leading Padres by only two games.

    “I don’t know about beating up on them,” manager Joe Torre modestly told me. “Right now we’re fine.”

    The Dodgers will get a chance to make up the two games on Wednesday and Thursday when the pesky Padres come back into town for a short two-game series.

    But this is a far cry from a team that had one of the worst records in all of baseball several weeks ago. Now if they can only stay healthy.

  • INSANE LEBRON WOO-FEST. I’ve proclaimed on Twitter that if I were an owner of an NBA team I wouldn’t mind acquiring LeBron James the player if it meant I didn’t have to take LeBron the Coach and LeBron the General Manager. Look what’s happened to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Dallas Cowboys of the NBA. But Clipper fans, all two of them, have decided to hold a parade for LeBron James at Staples Center on May 27 at 3:00 pm. We know one of those fans is Clipper Darryl, but who is the other one? And will there be more people in that parade than those that decided to protest the Lakers-Suns game because of Arizona’s immigration law? (By the way, I still don’t understand the point of those protestors picketing a Laker game. Why don’t you protest at the California-Arizona border? Just a suggestion.)

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TONIGHT’S ACTION

Houston Astros (13-25) at LA Dodgers (21-17). Bud Norris (2-4, 6.03 ERA) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (4-1, 2.66 ERA). 7:10 pm KCAL9, AM 790 KABC.

LA Angels (18-22) at Texas Rangers (21-18). Jered Weaver (4-2, 2.47 ERA) vs. CJ Wilson (3-1, 1.48 ERA). 5:05 pm FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.