- Category: Sports
- Created on Wednesday, 09 January 2013 02:26
- Written by Super User
- Hits: 471
"We thought it was going to be easier this year," Kobe said.
He laughed, but he was serious. Later that night, the Los Angeles Lakers lost for the 19th time this season.
This time it was 125-112 to the Houston Rockets (21-14), who shot 55 percent and made 11-of-25 3-pointers. James Harden had 31 points, nine assists and six rebounds while Jeremy Lin added 19 points, five assists and six rebounds for the Rockets. Chandler Parsons added 20, and Carlos Delfino scored 19 off the bench.
The Rockets were hot and the Lakers (15-19) were outmanned, physically. Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill were all out with assorted health woes, so the Lakers called up Robert Sacre, who had played a game in the D-League as recently as Monday.
Well, the Rockets did not fear Sacre. With no strong defensive presence in the paint, Houston did all the things Houston wanted to do. The Rockets drove and scored, drove and got fouled, drove and pitched, drove, scored and got fouled.
There were two punctuating plays:
1. Harden received a backdoor pass from Parsons, and dunked on Sacre for a three-point play and 94-82 lead.
2. Lin smoked Metta World Peace with a jerky right-left-right crossover, drew a foul on Sacre and made the bucket to put Houston up 112-98.
"It's not the D-league," said an exhausted Sacre. "(Expletive)."
Meanwhile, some perspective has started to wash over the Lakers. Nash sat quietly at his locker and said he thought the Lakers could eventually put it together, but that it might not happen until next summer, or next season. This one, now nearly half over, is slipping away.
"This season," Nash said, "It's definitely going to be a challenge to turn it around."
Bryant was not surprised to hear Nash had said that. Bryant has experienced that same sinking sensation, and although he didn't even seem to disagree with his teammate, he finds it more difficult to accept such realities.
"He's a little more reasonable than I am," Bryant said. "That's how we kind of bounce off of each other. I'm stubborn as a mule. I'm gonna keep driving. So is he, but he seems to have a little more perspective."
This was not the conversation anyone in Los Angeles anticipated having at the start of this season, but the Lakers have already been through a coaching change and a series of crippling injuries on top of all the normal challenges associated with the kind of roster re-tooling the Lakers experienced.
The Lakers are a wet paper towel that's straining to hold their pile of problems.
"We're down," LA coach Mike D'Antoni said.
And so the Lakers embark on that great athlete's trial of not succumbing to the temptation to give up, even if just packing it in seems like the reasonable thing to do.
"It's to the point where it's unacceptable," Lakers guard Darius Morris said.
Bryant didn't say it exactly like that, but he might as well have. Actually, he said it was physically impossible for him to accept that this season is simply going to be a bad one, even though he has that feeling.
"Everybody has that," Bryant said. "But I just don't succumb to it whatsoever."
To turn it around, the Lakers will have to start playing better defense. They're the No. 5 scoring team in the NBA, but they're fifth from the bottom in points allowed. The Lakers have lost four in a row, and allowed an average of 111.8 points in those games. They made 14 3s on Tuesday, but gave up 11.
"It's mostly effort and attention to detail," D'Antoni said.
Houston does happen to be the NBA's fastest and highest-scoring team and certainly it would have helped the Lakers to have Howard or any other actual NBA player at center on Tuesday night.
"We emphasized going inside," Rockets swingman Parsons said.
That was about all it took. It was going to take a heroic night from Bryant for the Lakers to pull it off, and he didn't have that kind of night in him. It took him 22 shots to get 20 points.
In the Lakers locker room, somebody wondered if there was even anything to say about a night like that.
"Not much," Bryant said.
- A man from Vinalhaven is accused of attacking a woman and a young boy
- A Bangor man will spend a year and a half in prison for selling cocaine
- A Surry man is hospitalized after a near drowning in Sullivan
- DHHS issues a warning to remind people to wash your hands at fairs and stay safe
- Regulators level playing field with herring limits expanded to Massachusetts
- Proposed changes to Baxter Woods in Portland
- Waterville budget causing contreversy
- MDOT announces Union St. bridge work
- Fire destroys Waldoboro house
- Dover Foxcroft man is accused of selling illegal drugs in the Belfast area
- Man takes plea deal in Old Port shooting and now will testify against other defendant
- Three transported to hospital after multi-vehicle crash in Hampden
- Sex offender waiting on sentence
- Pillsbury sentenced to 50 years for murdering girlfriend in 2013
- Warren man gets eight months in jail
- Congressman tours two facilities while pushing for protecting and growing jobs in Maine
- Bucksport Bay Festival kicks off this weekend
- Munich gunman obsessed with mass shootings, sent out invitations to mall before rampage, cops say
- Russian balloonist claims new round the world record
- Car slams minivan, pedestrians; kills woman, hurts 6 in Pennsylvania, police say
- Obama administration mum as Turkey's post-coup crackdown expands
- Justice Department charges three in $1 billion Medicare fraud scheme
- Girl, 14, killed by lightning while on personal watercraft
- California governor denies parole for Manson follower
- Clinton names Virginia Sen. Kaine as running mate
- Possible photo, video of priest abducted in Yemen raises hopes, questions
- 75 years after it was first deployed, will US Army bring back the 'jeep'?
- Police: Video shows Florida man raping unconscious woman
- 'TERROR ATTACK IS SUSPECTED': At least 8 killed in shooting spree at Munich shopping center
- 'TERROR ATTACK IS SUSPECTED': At least 9 killed in shooting spree at Munich shopping center
- 'TERROR ATTACK IS SUSPECTED': At least 9 killed, 10 injured in shooting spree at Munich shopping center
- Suspected lone gunman among 10 dead, 10 injured in shooting spree at Munich shopping center
- Gunman kills at least 9, injures 16 in shooting spree at Munich shopping center
- Indiana court tosses woman's feticide conviction
- Trump buries bitter rival Cruz in farewell to Cleveland
- Comic-Con: 'Fear The Walking Dead' Introduces Newest Cast Member
- Former 'Bachelor' Ben Higgins Has Decided Not To Run For Public Office In Colorado
- Bobby Brown Welcomes Third Child With Wife Alicia Etheredge
- Justin Bieber Drops New Track 'Cold Water' With Major Lazer
- Edward Snowden On Oliver Stone's Film About Him: It's A "Pretty Accurate Portrayal."
- Edward Snowden On Oliver Stone's Film About Him: It's A "Pretty Accurate Portrayal"
- MTV's 'Teen Wolf' To End After 6 Seasons
- Estate Of Former Beatle George Harrison Doesn't Want Donald Trump Using His Music
- Estate Of Former Beatle George Harrison Doesn't Want Donald Trump Using Harrison's Music
- Jon Stewart Back Behind A Late Night Desk After RNC
- Roger Ailes Out As Head Of Fox News Channel After 20 Years
- See Adele Without Makeup In Rare Bare-Faced Instagram Photos
- Warriors fans get a glimpse of super team in USA's exhibition win
- Courtney Force leads a night of track-record performances
- McCullers fans 10 to help Astros over Angels 2-1
- Chase Briscoe races to third straight ARCA victory
- Venus Williams reaches Bank of the West semifinals
- Team USA cruises past Argentina in first Olympic exhibition
- Crawford's 3 errors vs Yanks send Giants to 6th loss in row
- OSU officials: Coger died after 40-minute outdoor workout
- Jack Wagner leads celebrity golf event in Tahoe
- Noah Goodwin, Min Woo Lee advance to US Junior Amateur final
- Key anniversaries at the PGA Championship
- Cubs activate Fowler from DL, add Montgomery to roster