April 7th: Lakers Can't Get It Done. "I'm proud of us, though," Bryant said. "We came back. We played hard." Suns Host Kobe And The Lakers. Phoenix 107, LA Lakers 96

 
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Phil
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:10 am    Post subject: April 7th: Lakers Can't Get It Done. "I'm proud of us, though," Bryant said. "We came back. We played hard." Suns Host Kobe And The Lakers. Phoenix 107, LA Lakers 96

Lakers Can't Get It Done
They rally from a big deficit to force overtime, but Anthony's shot wins it for Nuggets, 110-108. Bryant breaks team 40-point mark.
By Mike Bresnahan, Times Staff Writer
April 7, 2006

DENVER — The Lakers dissipated in the thin mile-high air, lost in the first quarter, came back briefly in the fourth quarter, but went asunder when it mattered most Thursday night.

A playoff berth has yet to be clinched, as has the ability to show pressure games can be won on the road, the Lakers falling to the Denver Nuggets in overtime, 110-108, at Pepsi Center.

The Lakers hadn't given up 100 points in any of their last 10 games, their best under-100 run since February 2002, but that ended almost as quickly as you could say 39-point first quarter.

The Nuggets, runaway leaders of the substandard Northwest Division, relied on Carmelo Anthony, which was acceptable enough, and the little-known Francisco Elson, which was a little bit harder to explain away for the Lakers. Anthony had 33 points and Elson, a third-year forward, had a career-high 21 points on eight-for-nine shooting.

With six games left in their regular season, the Lakers are one game ahead of eighth-place Sacramento and three ahead of ninth-place New Orleans in the Western Conference.

It won't get any easier tonight in Phoenix, with the Suns averaging a league-best 108.3 points.

Kobe Bryant, coming off consecutive 43-point games, had 42 points on 13-for-32 shooting and only one assist in 46 minutes. Along the way, he broke Elgin Baylor's team record for 40-point games in a season with his 24th such game.

His four-point play sent the game into overtime at 99-99.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:12 am    Post subject:

Lakers hit a roadblock on playoff run
Loss to Nuggets in overtime shows how inconsistent they still are
By Ross Siler, Staff Writer


DENVER - The streak is not about Phil Jackson's teams being a perfect 14 for 14 in reaching the playoffs in all his years as an NBA head coach. More than that, Jackson never has had a team fail to reach the second round as well.

These Lakers might make it the wildest playoff ride of Jackson's career - if Thursday night's 110-108 overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets was any indication - as they try to find a way to win at least one game on the road.

The chance was there for them at Pepsi Center, but the Lakers couldn't take advantage. They fell behind by 18 in the first quarter only to force overtime in a game they never led in regulation.

Carmelo Anthony drilled a 19-footer for the last of his 33 points with 3.8 seconds left in overtime, and the final shot went to Luke Walton, of all people, with Kobe Bryant denied the ball by Ruben Patterson at the end.

"We want to get on the winning side of these," Jackson said, "because these are the kind of games you play in playoffs and you've got to win these if you're going to succeed."
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject:

Jackson, Lakers fall short
He deploys a new crunchtime unit, but Anthony hits the winner for Denver in OT.

By KEVIN DING
The Orange County Register

DENVER – Introducing Phil Jackson, hands-on taskmaster and coach of a postseason underdog.

Fixated on meeting his goal of winning two of these three games against Denver, Phoenix and the Clippers to secure the Lakers' playoff berth and gear up to beat higher- ranked opponents, Jackson set what had to be a season high - maybe even a career high - in coaching intensity Thursday night. The result, on the strength of a veteran-laden lineup Jackson unveiled late and Kobe Bryant's usual magic act, was one of the most thrilling games of the season - but ultimately a Denver Nuggets victory, 110-108, in overtime.

Denver's Carmelo Anthony broke free from Devean George's good late-game defense to sink a 19-foot jumper with 3.8 seconds left in overtime. It held up as the winning basket when Bryant couldn't break free from Ruben Patterson on the game's final possession, leaving Luke Walton to take - and miss - the last shot. Walton's attempt and his body on release both drifted left.

"I'm proud of us, though," Bryant said. "We came back. We played hard."
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:16 am    Post subject:

Lakers fall to Nuggets in OT

Nuggets 110, Lakers 108: LA rallies to force the extra period, but Anthony's shot wins it.

12:25 AM PDT on Friday, April 7, 2006

By BRODERICK TURNER
The Press-Enterprise

DENVER - The Lakers had their chances to win Thursday. They came back from an 18-point deficit and sent the game to overtime on a rare four-point play by Kobe Bryant.

But they couldn't get the ball into Bryant's hands when the game hung in the balance.

Instead, Luke Walton took the last shot of the game, a three-pointer that bounced off the rim as time expired in the Lakers' 110-108 overtime loss to Denver at the Pepsi Center.

"That was an overtime we should have won," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

The Lakers missed three attempts, two by Bryant and one by Walton, to break a 108-108 tie in overtime. But the Nuggets, who were shaky after the first half, didn't miss when another opportunity presented itself.

Carmelo Anthony broke Devean George down with a cross-over dribble and made a jumper for a 110-108 Denver lead with 3.8 seconds left.

"Devean George kind of bit and thought I was going right," said Anthony, who had 33 points. "And I just hit the shot."

The Lakers called two timeouts to set up the last play for Bryant, who dropped 42 points on the Nuggets.

Bryant set a franchise record, scoring 40 or more points in a game for the 24th time this season, breaking Elgin Baylor's mark set during the 1962-63 season.

When Walton couldn't get the ball to Bryant, who was closely guarded by Ruben Patterson, Walton inbounded the ball to Kwame Brown.

Brown passed the ball back to Walton, who had a clean look from the corner but missed the three-point attempt.

"I was trying to get the ball to Kobe, but he had Ruben all over him," said Walton, who had 12 points. "So I passed the ball to Kwame and got it back. It felt good to me when it left my hands."
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:18 am    Post subject:

Melo's big shot tips L.A.
Anthony's jumper falls with 3.8 seconds remaining
By Adam Thompson
Denver Post Staff Writer


Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony enjoys the moment after sealing a win over the Lakers in overtime. Anthony has hit five game-winning jumpers this season. He finished with a team-high 33 points. (Post / Andy Cross)

They didn't make life easy for themselves, but the Nuggets narrowly avoided letting a Los Angeles team off the hook for the second straight game in a slippery 110-108 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday at the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets burst out to an explosive start before letting their opponent back into the contest for the second straight game. But unlike their Tuesday loss at the L.A. Clippers, the Nuggets held on, avenging an overtime loss to the Lakers in their home opener.

Carmelo Anthony performed late-game magic that is becoming routine, shaking off a rough shooting night to nail a 19-footer from the wing with 3.8 seconds left for the game's final basket.

"It's a huge shot. Thank God he made it," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "It just seems like he has a (bleep) and a confidence to make shots. I don't know if I've ever had a guy make as many shots when it counts."
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:20 am    Post subject:

Anthony is able to do it again
Winning basket saves game against Lakers
Joe Mahoney © News

Denver's Carmelo Anthony keeps the attention of Lakers teammates Luke Walton, left, Devean George and Kwame Brown, right, while he shoots the game-winning basket Thursday night at the Pepsi Center. With his 33 points, Anthony led the Nuggets to a 110-108 overtime victory.


By Chris Tomasson, Rocky Mountain News
April 7, 2006
Holding big leads against Los Angeles teams does not seem to agree with the Denver Nuggets.

But at least they didn't lose this time.

The Nuggets blew leads of 18 points in the first half and 14 in the third quarter. But they regained their composure and defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 110-108 Thursday night in overtime at the Pepsi Center.

Forward Carmelo Anthony did it again for the Nuggets. His 19-foot jumper from the left side with 3.8 seconds left in overtime broke a 108-108 tie. It was his fifth game-winning shot of the season.

"I love it," Anthony said. "I live for stuff like that. Whether I make it or miss it, I want the ball in my hand."
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:23 am    Post subject:

Lakers notes: Historic Kobe?
By Ross Siler, Staff Writer

For all the history Kobe Bryant has made this season, starting with his 81-point game against Toronto, the superstar guard would be writing a new chapter if he wins his first MVP award.

Not since Moses Malone played for a 46-36 Houston Rockets team in 1981-82 has the league MVP come from a team that won fewer than 50 games in a season.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Bryant should be considered for the award, "even though our team isn't at the top of the league." Bryant has talked with greater frequency about leading the Lakers to the playoffs in the face of preseason predictions that he couldn't.

"I think that people see things for their value," Jackson said. "I don't have to argue the case, what kind of season he's had."

Shaq's future: Lakers owner Jerry Buss should be interested in an ESPN.com article by John Hollinger projecting how productive Shaquille O'Neal will be by the end of the five-year, $100 million extension he signed with Miami before this season.

Hollinger evaluated past centers similar to O'Neal - including David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing - and came to the conclusion that the Heat's franchise center would experience about a 15 percent decline by the 2009-10 season.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:25 am    Post subject:

Bryant for MVP? Lakers Think So

Broderick Turner

10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, April 6, 2006

DENVER - It has been suggested that the race for most valuable player this season will be one of the closest in NBA history.

Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant is one of the names that have been mentioned, and if it were up to Coach Phil Jackson and teammate Lamar Odom, Bryant would win the award.

"I think people see things for their value," Jackson said. "I don't have to argue the case for what kind of season he's had. I think it's pretty evident that he's a watched player -- the most-watched player, most-talked about player perhaps in the league closely behind LeBron James and (Dwyane) Wade. ... So he's made a case for himself to hold his own value this year and people will judge him on that."

Media members vote for the award.

Other potential candidates include Dirk Nowitzki, Wade, James, Elton Brand, Chauncey Billups and Steve Nash.

"They all played top-notch basketball," Odom said.

One thing that might work against Bryant is that his team has the worst record among the candidates.

Odom thinks that because the Lakers are back in the playoff hunt and because Bryant leads the league in scoring, Bryant should be the winner.

"I'm just talking about most valuable player," Odom said. "If you take Kobe off the Lakers ... The most valuable player means most important to their team, or what they bring to their team. That was the reason why Steve Nash won it (last year). ... But this is just one person's opinion."
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:26 am    Post subject:

Jackson Passes on Honor
By Mike Bresnahan, Times Staff Writer
April 7, 2006

DENVER — Phil Jackson knows who should be coach of the year: not him.

"I shouldn't be there," he said Thursday. "There's so many other guys that have done a great job here this year."


He mentioned Mike D'Antoni of Phoenix and Avery Johnson of Dallas as coaches of teams that are "surprising people."

He also said Detroit's Flip Saunders and New Orleans' Byron Scott should be considered.

Jackson has won nine championships in 14 NBA seasons but has won coach of the year only once, in 1996.

"I think it's an honor that I would be ashamed to win" this season, he said, before lightening his tone. "I would be hesitant to accept it because I believe it's a kiss of death."

It is?

"Every guy that wins it is fired in another year or two," he said.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:46 am    Post subject:

Suns Host Kobe And The Lakers
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Suns attempt to halt a two-game losing streak tonight, as they welcome the Los Angeles Lakers to the US Airways Center.

Tonight's game is a possible preview of a first-round matchup in the playoffs. The Suns are in first place in the Pacific Division and are the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, while the Lakers are the seventh seed.

Phoenix has defeated the Lakers twice this season, winning once at home and once on the road. The teams will meet one more time in the regular season on April 16th at the Staples Center.

The Lakers have lost three straight after winning their last three at Phoenix.

On Wednesday, Elton Brand turned in a dominating performance with a game-high 34 points and 15 rebounds, as the Clippers defeated the Suns, 119-105, at the US Airways Center.

Boris Diaw netted 24, grabbed six rebounds and dished out seven assists for the Suns, who have dropped four of their last six games overall. Leandro Barbosa scored 19 off the bench, while Shawn Marion added 16 points and 15 boards in defeat.

Reigning MVP Steve Nash was held to just nine points with five turnovers in the loss to the Clippers.

The Suns are 28-10 as the host this season.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:04 pm    Post subject:

Lakers lose to the Suns-Box Score
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