mike trudell


Getting To Know Ramon Sessions

Post-Game Numbers

0 Points for Clips leading scorer Eric Gordon through three quarters on 0-for-11 shooting. Gordon did manage seven points in the fourth quarter, making all three of his attempts. In related news, Ron Artest guarded Gordon for much of the game.

0 Lead changes in a game the Lakers lead from start to finish.

5 Games behind the San Antonio Spurs in the standings, as the Spurs have won six of their last 10 with L.A. losing only once since the break.

6 Combo of blocks and steals for Ron Artest, including a critical swipe of the ball from Blake Griffin in the final minute to help the Lakers lock up the win. He added two swats of three-point attempts. “He made some rather spectacular stops,” said Phil Jackson.

17 Free throw attempts for Kobe Bryant, a season high by four (he took 13 four previous times), of which he made 14 en route to a game-high 37 points. Bryant hit 11-of-21 field goals.

$26,000 Dollars raised for Japan relief by Pau Gasol, who pledged $1,000 per point he scored tonight to aid those suffering from the devastating natural disaster in Japan. Magic Johnson pledged to match Gasol’s contribution, and with the Spaniard going for 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting, a total of $52,000 would be sent.

Post-Game Numbers

8 Consecutive times Kobe Bryant scored at least 30 points in a close out game for the Lakers, an NBA record snapped on this day primarily because LAL’s second unit was so great to start the fourth quarter.

11 Times in the last 12 playoff series in which the Lakers have closed out an opponent the first time they had such an opportunity. They did it in all four 2010 playoff series, and 3-of-4 in 2009, the only loss coming in Game 6 against Houston in the Conference Semi’s.

12 Rebounds for Andrew Bynum, eight of which came on the offensive end, as the young center dominated the paint at both ends for much of his time on the floor. He added 18 points, two blocks and a steal in a terrific all-around effort.

14 Points off the bench for Lamar Odom, just seven fewer than N.O.’s entire second unit. Odom also pitched in eight boards and four assists in perhaps his best game of the series.

42 Hornets shooting percentage for the game, L.A.’s D playing excellent throughout while setting the tone in a first half N.O. managed just 16 and 18 points in respective quarters. The Lakers forced 14 turnovers, and held Chris Paul to only 10 points with 11 assists.

Steve Kerr: The Difficulty of Three-Peating

Interview on Lakers.com conducted with Steve Kerr, part of some three-peat teams himself. 

On the most difficult element of three-peating:
Kerr: The thing about trying to three-peat, and remember, the Lakers were in the Finals in 2008, so this is their fourth attempt at reaching the Finals, is that fatigue is a major factor. Both physical and emotional fatigue, and Phil understands that better than anybody.

On what he recalls from the 1998 Bulls three-peat:
Kerr: I know in Chicago in 1998 we ended up winning 62 games, but there were moments of that season where we were fractured, and we had bad losses, and people around us and in the media were panicking a little bit. That’s the way it goes in the NBA. You just keep fighting and getting off the mat, and you have to play your best in the spring. That’s what Phil knows, and what he tries to get out of his teams.

On if anything he saw from the Lakers prior to the All-Star break concerned him, or if it fell under the aforementioned “fatigue” factor:
Kerr: I watched them beat Boston, in Boston, 10 days ago. You can say, ‘Oh my gosh, (L.A. lost to) Cleveland,’ but Cleveland had been playing everybody tough for about two weeks prior to that and just beaten the Clippers. They were a little angry (from the 55-point loss in L.A.), it was the last game before the All-Star break, and sometimes guys check out mentally whether they know it or not before the break. I don’t put that much stock into it. To me, it’s always, in this league, about how you pick yourself up after situations like this, and I would expect the Lakers to bounce back and play well out of the All-Star break and into the playoffs.

On if he’d pick the Lakers to make it to a fourth straight Finals:
Kerr: Yes.

LAL – OKC : Postgame 5 #’s

Provided by Mike Trudell and Lakers.com

Career playoff minutes played by Kobe Bryant after another 40 in his 220th postseason contest, which ranks first among all players in NBA history.

Points for Bryant, who went out with his guns fully blazing, making 18 of 33 shots to hit the 40-point mark for the 13th time in his career. Bryant was very aggressive with his shot throughout the evening, failing to notch an assist for the first time in the playoffs and second time all season.

Second half points for Russell Westbrook (28 total), who had 23 in the second half of Game 4 and seemed to wear especially hard on L.A. in second halves throughout the series, his athleticism and explosiveness eventually finding a way through. Kevin Durant added 25 points and 10 boards.

Rebounds for Pau Gasol, who pushed through the evening at both ends, but couldn’t find the range on offense, making only 5 of 14 shots to reach 14 points. He added three of L.A.’s six blocks and two assists.

Turnovers for both teams, an improvement for L.A., who typically lost the turnover battle to the riskier Thunder. There’s a reason for that, aside from OKC taking more chances, since the Lakers focus on staying home and forcing jump shots instead of taking risks in the passing lanes.

More offensive rebounds grabbed by Oklahoma City than the Lakers, a major factor especially in the first half, when the edge was 10-2 (14-3 overall).

Personal fouls for Andrew Bynum, plagued by the whistle all evening, his third coming with more than five minutes left in the second quarter, and fourth just one minute into the third, limiting him to 34 minutes. Furthermore, when he was on the floor, Bynum was understandably more tentative than usual, trying to avoid yet another foul, which hurt the Lakers particularly on defense even as he was only 4 of 10 for 10 points on offense.

Three pointers converted by the Lakers on 11 attempts, one apiece from Metta World Peace and Bryant, two fewer than MWP himself hit in Game 4. OKC hit only 3 of 13 in the game, but Durant’s back-to-back triples at the start of the fourth quarter proved deadly, pushing the lead from six to 12.

Post-Game Numbers

226 Combined field goal attempts in the game. The Lakers made 53-of-120 (44.2 percent), the Suns 51-of-106 (48.1 percent).

139 L.A.’s season high in points scored, aided by the three overtimes, of course. Both teams scored 112 in regulation, before L.A. managed 27 to Phoenix’s 25 through the three extra periods.

42 Points scored by Kobe Bryant, a season high, on 15-of-31 shooting. He added 12 boards and nine assists in a near triple-double effort, five of those points coming in the third OT. He took so many big shots it was hard to keep track of how many he made, though his final effort, a pull-up in transition with 14 seconds left in the final OT, sealed the game. It was Bryant’s third 40-point performance of the season, and 107th of his career.

39 Three-pointers made by the Suns in two games at STAPLES Center this year after they hit 22 in November, one short of the NBA record. Of their 17 makes on this night, Steve Nash and Channing Frye hit five each, with four other Suns making up the difference.

29 Season high in points for Lamar Odom, who was terrific for the Lakers in adding 16 rebounds, five assists and a block.

21 L.A.’s biggest lead of the game, attained in the third quarter, before Phoenix bombed away from three to eventually tie the game at 112 to force overtime.

15.3 Shooting percentage on three-pointers for Vince Carter, who made only two of the 13 he attempted.

9 Turnovers for the Lakers, a very low number for a three-overtime game. Phil Jackson cited the late turnovers forced by L.A. as keys to the game, as Phoenix had four in the extra periods.

8 Lamar Odom’s rank in the NBA in the field goal percentage category, helped on by another efficient night of 13-for-22 shooting that was at 11-of-14 after the fourth quarter before he tired in the overtimes, playing a total of 55:13.

Post-Game Numbers

5 Turnovers for the Lakers, coming one short of the season low accomplished at New Orleans in a Feb. 5 win. A shot clock violation with 1:50 to go (Shannon Brown) kept the Lakers from matching the Hornets game.

7 Teams of the 10 L.A. has beaten since the All-Star break that will be in the playoffs this season.

18 Rebounds grabbed by Andrew Bynum, matching his career high. Bynum has been absolutely terrific since the All-Star break, but had his first chance to show off in front of his home fans in this one. He actually outplayed Magic star Dwight Howard, scoring 10 points with four blocks in just 27 minutes, while Howard needed 40 minutes to reach 19 points with 13 rebounds, plus the nine turnovers.

30 Minutes played by Kobe Bryant on his sore left ankle, which he sprained badly in Dallas on Saturday. “The swelling went down, you know, 60 to 70 percent each day,” he said after the game. “It was crazy. Felt good enough to go. It was like the size of a softball in Dallas, the next day it was a baseball, then (today) it was a lacrosse ball or golf ball.” Bryant said it affected his balance in the first half, when he was 2-for-10 shooting, but he figured it out in the second to make five of his next seven attempts.

-Mike Trudell, Lakers.com

Post-Game Numbers

2.5 Games behind the Spurs for first in the Western Conference after L.A.’s 16th win to just one loss since the All-Star break. The Spurs have lost five games in a row. The two teams play on April 12. Meanwhile, L.A. (54-20) improved to two losses ahead of Dallas (53-22) in the loss column.

3 Three-pointers nailed by Lamar Odom in a one-minute area around the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters, turning a nine-point lead into an 18-point blow out. Odom was terrific all night, going for 16 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. His main opposition to Sixth Man of the Year honors, Jason Terry, had only five points and three assists on 2-of-9 shooting before being ejected in the fourth quarter…

5 … And Terry was just one of five players to get tossed. See the Running Diary for a description of some fourth quarter shenanigans, but it all started when Terry unnecessarily shoved Steve Blake down from behind.

11 Free throws made by Kobe Bryant en route to a game-high 28 points, plus five boards and four assists in 37 minutes.

27.5 Shooting percentage for the Mavs in the second half, L.A. stepping up its defense in a big way.

Post-Game Numbers

0:00.3 What the game clock showed as Antonio McDyess tipped in Tim Duncan’s missed 15-footer, winning the contest for the Spurs after L.A. had battled back to take the lead on two Pau Gasol free throws with 22.7 seconds left. Manu Ginobili then missed a three, but McDyess grabbed that miss and fed Parker for a missed leaner. Ron Artest hit the ball out of bounds trying to clear the defensive board, setting up the final stanza. Four shots in 22.7 seconds for the Spurs, bound to have one go down.

“Too many opportunities at the end of the game,” summarized Phil Jackson. “They had four attempts and it cost us. It was a good game, defensively we played well.”

7 Point lead built by the Lakers late in the second quarter before a series of poor plays at both ends allowed the Spurs to tie the game at the half. That seemed to take some wind out of L.A.’s sails that it didn’t recover until the final minutes.

7.5 Games between the two teams in the Western Conference standings, after it appeared to be 5.5 had the Lakers lasted another 0.00.3 seconds.

10 Assists for Kobe Bryant, in facilitator mode for much of the game as the Spurs’ D shifted his way. He was one rebound away from a triple double, grabbing nine boards to go with the assists and his 16 points, though he struggled from the field while making just 5-of-18 field goals.

14.3 Percent from three-point range for the Lakers, who made only two of 14 shots from distance, though Odom did get the biggest one to fall with one minute left to cut San Antonio’s lead to one.

29 Minutes played by Andrew Bynum after he missed a game due to a bone bruise in his left knee. He appeared to be moving just fine, going for 10 points with 10 rebounds, not to mention a career-high six assists and three blocks. “He said he was fine,” said Phil Jackson of Bynum’s health.

32 Points in the paint for the Spurs, who L.A. forced into a lot of perimeter jumpers. San Antonio did hit six threes, and made 13-of-17 free throws.


Post-Game Numbers

2 More points for Lamar Odom (15) than the entire Grizzlies bench (13). Odom outplayed Grizz star Zach Randolph (eight points, 12 boards) with his 15 and 11 boards on the evening in 30 minutes.

5 More games to play on L.A.’s seven-game trip, the team’s road record improving to 17-8 on the season, trailing only the Spurs and Mavericks in win percentage.

10 Fourth quarter points for the Grizzlies until two late Sam Young threes in the final minute, the Lakers up by double digits.

14 Missed free throws for the Lakers, including four from Ron Artest and Pau Gasol, and three from Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom. Kobe Bryant bucked the trend at 7-for-7.

61.5 Lakers shooting percentage from three at 8-for-13 early in the fourth quarter, until three late misses dropped the percentage down a bit.

Post-Game Numbers

34 Season-high points for Pau Gasol, who had scored 32 after three quarters on on-fire 13-of-17 field goals before adding two late free throws. Kobe Bryant wasn’t far behind with 32 points himself.

13 Points conceded by the Lakers in the fourth quarter, good enough to secure a victory and a season sweep at New Orleans.

8 Steals for the Lakers, compared with zero for the Hornets. Related: L.A. committed only four turnovers for the game.

6 Three-pointers hit by the Hornets in the third quarter, turning what looked like an easy victory for the Lakers into a slug fest by outscoring L.A. 32-25 in the period.

4 Free throws attempted by the Hornets, compared with L.A.’s 27, showing how much the Hornets relied on jump shots.

Post-Game Numbers

34 Combined points for little known Bobcats subs Nazr Mohammad and Gerald Henderson.

28 Charlotte’s biggest lead, acquired in the fourth quarter before L.A.’s subs trimmed off eight points.

27 Bench points for the Lakers, most of which came when the game was already over in the fourth quarter. Shannon Brown started the game 0-for-5, and Lamar Odom managed only nine points and four rebounds in 26 minutes. Kobe Bryant needed 20 shots to get his team-high 20 points, while Pau Gasol added 17 on 6-of-9 shooting, plus 10 rebounds and five assists, both team highs.

10 First half turnovers for the Lakers, the main ingredient in Charlotte’s 49-43 lead at the break.

9 Straight shots buried by the Bobcats to start the fourth quarter.