Saturday, December 15, 2007

Two steps forward, one step back

It's not as disconcerting that the Lakers lost while Kobe clanked his way to a 6-of-23 evening as the fact that the Lakers were in control of the game. The Warriors led once in the first half and had at most a two point lead in the third quarter. The Lakers were up by as many as 11. They led 102-94 with just 3:18 left.

After that, the Lakers shot 0-of-4 and 3-of-6 from the free throw line. The misses from the line were by Kobe, Lamar, and the reliable 93% free shooter Derek Fisher. Throw in two turnovers in the last three minutes to boot.

The problem, closing out games, is similar to last season. The Lakers are the second youngest team in the league and that is substantial but thus far this season, it appears they aren't learning from their mistakes.

The Warriors ended their nine game losing streak to the Lakers, and Baron Davis blew kisses to the crowd after Golden State's 108-106 victory.
As Lakers beat writer Mike Bresnahan put it, "that's never a good thing."

And then also: The Dodgers signed Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. The starting rotation now looks like this: Penny, Lowe, Billingsley, Kuroda, and Schmidt/Loaiza.

As always, an updated Lakers +/- (through 22 games) Lakers: 13-9, 6th in West

Fisher +49
Kobe +58
Turiaf -13
Odom +33
Mihm -21
Walton +70
Bynum +88
Farmar +65
Radmanovic +129
Brown -5
Vujacic +14
Crittenton -21
Karl +5
Ariza +3

Up Next: vs. Clippers, Sunday 6:30 p.m. PST

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