Lakers snap three-game skid by grounding Hawks; Blake in OKC

By: 02.23.11

Trying to stop a three-game losing streak, start the post-All-Star portion of the season on a good note, and simply protect their home court against one of the NBA’s better teams, the Lakers had a big test in front of them against the Hawks. We just didn’t know it was as big as Chris Webber made it sound. “They need to put the fear of this sport into others,” C-Webb said. So the Lakers needed to make the Hawks fear basketball? That’s heavy … But they may have done just that. Derek Fisher got the ball rolling, sticking three straight jumpers after tip-off to help L.A. get out to an 8-0 lead before Atlanta scored. The champs went up double-digits a little later when Kobe (20 pts) blew past the defense along the baseline for a pretty reverse layup — somehow he’s rediscovered his hops and hangtime from 2002 — and Ron Artest actually made a jump shot (also a long-lost relic). Pretty soon Pau Gasol (14 pts, 10 rebs) was calmly running fast breaks like a point guard, and by halftime it was a 20-piecing. The second half was just a contest to see if the Lakers could get their fans got free tacos … Atlanta’s offense was uglier than the cast of “Bad Girls Club.” Joe Johnson was inventing new ways to brick shots, Marvin Williams committed a 24-second violation, and Josh Smith threw a lob to nobody that smacked off the backboard, all within the first few minutes. Later in the first half, Smith fired another pass to nobody that found only the backboard. Kevin McHale called them two of the worst passes he’d ever seen … Hopefully this win can make L.A. forget about the Cavs loss, which was obviously a traumatic experience because their announcers mentioned it about 10 times in the first five minutes. Good thing the players can’t hear them. Would you stand inside Mike Tyson‘s house bringing up Buster Douglas‘ name? … Cool moment before tip-off when Josh Powell was presented with his 2010 Lakers’ championship ring at center court. Powell was one of Kobe’s best friends on the team, and you could tell by how tight Kobe hugged him after giving him the ring. Powell is also real tight with Dwight Howard. So in other words, he’ll always have a job in the League … Three minutes into Celtics/Warriors, it was painfully clear that Kevin Garnett couldn’t handle David Lee. Crashing the glass and blowing past KG multiple times, Lee was on his way to a monster night before KG started shoving, grabbing and sh*t-talking in order to level the playing field. It worked, as Garnett finished with 24 points, 12 boards and 6 assists to Lee’s 17 points and 5 boards … Boston started to pull away in the third quarter, when Paul Pierce (23 pts) hit a triple and started waving to the crowd. Rajon Rondo (19 pts, 15 asts) hit a buzzer-beating trey at the end of the third to make it a 10-point lead, and a 12-0 run in the fourth put G-State to bed … After Acie Law and Vladimir Radmanovic missed questionable shots on consecutive possessions in the fourth, one announcer said, “Warriors shots: Who’s shooting them and where they’re shooting them from is becoming a problem.” … Lou Amundson sitting on the bench in street clothes looks like a cross between Tim Riggins and Tom Brady on HGH. He’s either getting CRAZY amounts of girls in the Bay Area, or he’s scaring all of them …Read More>>

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