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Category: Lakers

Jeremy Lin is Eastern Conference player of the week

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Jeremy Lin, whose sudden emergence as an NBA superstar has become the hottest story in the league, was chosen the Eastern Conference’s player of the week after a four-game stretch that has been virtually unheard of in league history.

Lin went for 28, 23, 38 and 20 points in four starts last week, the 38 coming noticeably against the Lakers at Madison Square Garden. He averaged an unprecedented 29.7 points a game in the first three, his first three starts in the league.

The big question, of course, is how will Lin fare once the Knicks’ two high-scoring forwards –- Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony –- return to the lineup. Anthony, in particular, and Stoudemire will need to have the ball to be effective, so it’s difficult to imagine that Lin’s offensive production can continue at the stratospheric level it has been.

PHOTOS: Jeremy Lin

Stoudemire, out while dealing with the death of his brother, told the New York Daily News that Lin’s performances were the bright spots of his week.

"The only positive for us during that whole week was we were watching the basketball games and we were watching Linsanity," Stoudemire told the Daily News. “My family was getting a kick out of it. That's the only smiles they really had all week. It was great to see that. It's been a tough week."

Anthony, once he returns from a strained groin, will in all likelihood need to change his approach a bit. The Knicks had tried to mold him into a "point forward," a position for which he never seemed ideally suited and one that with Lin running the show is no longer needed.

Lin’s influence, of course, has reached way off the court. There is speculation that the attention he has brought to the Knicks might even help end the rift between the Madison Square Garden Network and Time Warner Cable. His name has exploded on Twitter and throughout the Internet; marketing experts are lining up to explain how he could rival almost any other athlete.

We'll see how the Lin story pans out over the long run, but one thing is for certain: the last week has been a phenomenon worth watching.

RELATED:

Kobe Bryant is not caught up in 'Linsanity'

Is Jeremy Lin the real deal or a flash in the pan?

Jason Whitlock apologizes for inappropriate Lin Tweet

--Mike James

Photo: Jeremy Lin celebrates after hitting a three-point shot against the Lakers. Credit: Jim McIsaac / Newsday / McClatchy-Tribune

Is New York's Jeremy Lin the real deal? [poll]

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After his 38-point performance against the Lakers on Friday night, it would be hard to convince any New Yorker that Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin isn't a budding NBA star.

Lin was practically a one-man highlight show against the Lakers, burning Kobe Bryant & Co. with fancy spin moves in the paint and pinpoint perimeter shooting.

It was quite the breakout performance for a player who a little more than a week ago was a relative unknown among most NBA fans.

Until Lin saw the first significant playing time of his career in a 25-point effort against New Jersey on Feb. 4, he was just another NBA bench warmer -- a guy used more as a general manager's roster play chip than a bona fide contributor on the floor. Even the Lakers looked into the possibility of acquiring Lin for a reserve role at the start of the season.

But can Lin keep this up? A lot of upset Lakers fans would like to think he can't, but "Lin-sanity" has certainly affected the Knicks' courtside contingent. Here's what filmmaker and longtime Knicks fan Spike Lee tweeted after the game:

"Jeremy 'Kobe Wuz Smokin' But I Wasn't Joke-'Lin. Tonight Was NO FLUKE. I Seen It Wit' My Own 4 EYES. JLin Is LEGIT.NBA DEAL WITH IT."

Usually a player has made it when he has his own celebrity trash talker but what do you think? Is Lin a here-today-gone-tomorrow talent carried by Tim Tebow-like sensationalism or is he poised to become one of the biggest surprises of the season?

ALSO:

Lakers vs. Knicks photo gallery

Jeremy Lin was there for the taking

Lakers' 92-85 loss to Knicks is highly Lin-plausible

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: New York guard Jeremy Lin, left, celebrates with teammate Jared Jeffries after making a basket during the Knicks' 92-85 victory over the Lakers on Friday. Credit: Frank Franklin II / Associated Press

Lakers defeat Clippers, 96-91

   

Clips3Lakers 96, Clippers 91 (final)

 Metta World Peace to the rescue?

Pretty much. In a most unusual Lakers season, it was perhaps the most bizarre twist so far.

The small forward who had mostly disappeared since going to the bench this season made a three-pointer that gave the Lakers a late five-point lead, fed Andrew Bynum with a pass that turned into an easy layup and then blocked a shot by the Clippers' Chris Paul, helping the Lakers hold on Wednesday night at Staples Center to pull even in the Hallway Rivalry with one regular-season game to play.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Clippers

Bynum made a few key late plays himself, including a short jumper and a block of DeAndre Jordan's shot with fewer than 30 seconds to play. Bynum finished with 19 points and six rebounds as the Lakers snapped their three-game losing streak.

The Lakers' Pau Gasol had 23 points on nine-for-13 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and Kobe Bryant added 24 points, making seven of 17 shots.

Blake Griffin scored 26 points for the Clippers but stepped out of bounds with his team trailing by only two points and 48 seconds remaining. Caron Butler and Mo Williams added 16 points each for the Clippers, who held their last lead after a Paul floater gave them an 80-79 advantage. Bryant followed with a jumper and then the Lakers added three more points from the free-throw line following a technical foul on the Clippers' Chauncey Billups.

Lakers forward Josh McRoberts picked up two technical fouls within a span of eight seconds in the final quarter and was ejected from the game.

Rookie Andrew Goudelock, supplanting Darius Morris as the Lakers' backup point guard, finished with a career-high 14 points on five-for-eight shooting. Goudelock collected more points in one night than he did in his team's first 18 games. No other bench player scored until World Peace knocked down his three-pointer that gave the Lakers an 87-82 lead.

Paul finished with four points and 12 assists in 28 minutes in his return from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him for five games.

 

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Chris Paul expected to play against Lakers

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Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said he “expects” Chris Paul to start Wednesday night against the Lakers in their designated home game at Staples Center.

Paul had missed the last five games because of a strained left hamstring.

Del Negro said he didn’t know how many minutes Paul would play.

“I kind of have it in my mind a little bit,” Del Negro said. “But I want to see how he feels after I sit down and talk to him a little bit.”

Del Negro said Paul was “a little bit more sore than he had been in the past” after Tuesday’s practice.

But Del Negro said Paul worked out at the team’s shoot-around Wednesday morning and before the game.

“But, I expect him to play,” Del Negro said. “How many minutes? I don’t know.”

ALSO:

It's serious times for Lakers and Clippers

Video: Lakers look to stop losing streak against Clippers

Forbes ranks Lakers as the NBA's most valuable team

-- Broderick Turner

Photo: Clippers guard Chris Paul. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

Lakers vs. Clippers: Game updates

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Clippers 102, Lakers 94 (final)

It was just like the preseason, except this time it counted.

The Clippers held off a third-quarter charge and 42 points from Kobe Bryant to emerge as winners Saturday night at Staples Center in the season's first meeting of the Hallway Rivalry.

It was Bryant's fourth consecutive game of scoring at least 40 points, but it wasn't enough to overcome the deep and dynamic Clippers.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Clippers

Chris Paul scored 33 points before hobbling off the floor with an injury in the fourth quarter and Blake Griffin finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers, who had four starters in double figures. Paul was at his best in the fourth quarter, burying three-pointers and fadeaway jumpers while feeding Griffin for a dunk.

Paul made a fadeaway jumper and a three-pointer as part of a 7-0 Cilppers run that gave them control after the Lakers had pulled to within 82-76 early in the fourth quarter. He left after making a 12-foot step-back jumper with 4:01 left.

"We'll see if it's a cramp, a strain or whatever it is and then evaluate," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said afterward.

Bryant made 14 of 28 shots but didn't get much help outside of Pau Gasol (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Andrew Bynum (12 points, 16 rebounds). The Lakers' bench combined for only 13 points one night after tallying four points.

Reserve guard Randy Foye scored 10 points, accounting for all of the Clippers' bench production.

Clippers 76, Lakers 72 (end of third quarter)

It was suddenly hard to tell it was a Clippers' home game during one breathless stretch late in the third quarter that had Lakers fans roaring inside Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant made two three-pointers, a flurry of free throws and a dunk as part of a 19-7 Lakers surge that helped them wipe out most of a 14-point deficit.

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Vinny Del Negro discusses how the Clippers plan to stop Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant has been on quite a tear as of late.

He's scored 40 points or more in each of the Lakers last three games, including a 48-point performance against Phoenix on Tuesday, 40 points against Utah on Wednesday and 42 points against Cleveland on Friday.

Before the Clippers and the Lakers took the court Saturday, Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro acknowledged that slowing Bryant down will be a huge challenge.

"We talked about it this morning," Del Negro said. "Just try to take his easy baskets away, we have to be very efficient offensively to keep him out of the open court, limit his easy scores. Easy to talk about, but he's always in attack mode so just try to do the best we can."

Bryant leads the league in scoring with 31.2 points a game.

"He's going to hit some fadeaways, hit some tough shots," Del Negro said. "Different guys will get a shot at him but it will be a team defense, it won't just be one guy."

The Clippers won each of their two preseason games against the Lakers. This is the teams' first regular-season matchup.

--Melissa Rohlin

Clippers gear up to play Lakers on Saturday

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The next skirmish in the NBA's version of the "Battle of L.A." is Saturday night when the Clippers play host to the Lakers at the teams' shared home court, Staples Center.

The Clippers are coming off a 95-89 overtime win over the powerful Miami Heat on Wednesday. But Clippers point guard Chris Paul said his team couldn't rely on momentum from that victory when they face Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

"We cant get too high with different wins this year and we cant get too low with different losses," Paul said after the Clippers practiced Friday at their Playa Vista training center.

"We just got to continue to take advantage of these days of practice and get better," Paul said. Against the Heat, "we fought hard, there were some good things we did in that game, but there were a lot of things that we didn’t do well."

The Clippers likewise don't expect a boost from the fact that they defeated the Lakers twice in pre-season games last month, he said.

"Pre-season is all good and well but it’s really not the intensity of a regular-season game," Paul said. The Lakers contest, he added, "is a division game for us, a big game for us."

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Lakers Coach Mike Brown to face former team for first time

Lakers' Coach Mike Brown compares Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Kobe Bryant jumps over Brian Cook and Blake Griffin. Credit: Paul Buck / EPA

L.A.'s greatest sports moments No. 2: Magic's junior sky hook

  

We asked you to send in your picks for the greatest sports moments in L.A. history, and 1,181 ballots later we are unveiling the top 20 vote-getters. Each weekday we will unveil a new moment until we finally reach No. 1.

No. 2: Magic's junior sky hook (32 first-place votes, 3,788 points)

Magic Johnson firmly established himself as the Lakers’ offensive leader in the 1986-87 season, so it was appropriate that he made the biggest shot of that championship year.

Coach Pat Riley decided that season that Magic would be the Lakers’ No. 1 option on offense instead of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer but also 39 years old at the time.

Magic’s scoring average increased five points from the previous season to a career-high 23.9 a game. He also led the NBA in assists, helped the Lakers compile a league-best 65-17 record and won his first most valuable player award.

The Lakers rolled to the NBA Finals, winning 11 of 12 playoff games to set up another matchup with the Boston Celtics. After the Lakers’ fast-break offense led to two routs at the Forum, there was considerable talk of a sweep.

But the defending champion Celtics rallied for a Game 3 win in Boston and built a 16-point lead in the third quarter of Game 4. While most of his teammates struggled, Magic kept the Lakers in the game, scoring 27 points through three quarters and helping them enter the final 12 minutes down by only seven.

The fourth quarter was a classic. The Lakers tied the score midway through the period, fell behind by eight with 3 1/2 minutes left, then scored nine in a row to take a one-point lead with 29 seconds left. Larry Bird’s three-point basket with 12 seconds left put the Celtics ahead by two.

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Lakers vs. Clippers: Live updates from final exhibition game

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Clippers 108, Lakers 103 (final)

The Hallway Rivalry has taken a sharp turn toward the Clippers.

Blake Griffin put on a dazzling display of moves on the way to 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds, leading the Clippers to a 108-103 victory over the Lakers in both teams' final exhibition game Wednesday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers swept the two-game preseason series, but there was drama in the second meeting that had been lacking in the Lakers' 19-point loss two days earlier.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Clippers

The Lakers had two chances to tie in the final minute after Andrew Bynum made one of two free throws to slice the Clippers' lead to 104-101.

On their first possession, the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan blocked a shot by Metta World Peace. On the next, the Lakers' Matt Barnes was called for an offensive foul.

Clippers guard Randy Foye made two free throws with 15 seconds left to extend the Clippers' lead to five points.

The Lakers got back into the game on the strength of six three-pointers in the fourth quarter, including two by World Peace. Bynum finished with 26 points on 11-for-15 shooting and Steve Blake had 18 points after making five of seven three-pointers.

Griffin made several crowd-pleasing plays in the fourth quarter. He pump-faked the Lakers' Troy Murphy into the air before elevating for a one-handed dunk; he had a three-point play after making a layup and drawing a foul; he made a one-handed runner in the lane; and finally a fadeaway jumper over Murphy.

Caron Butler and Mo Williams added 16 points apiece for the Clippers, who won in large part by scoring 30 points off 22 Lakers turnovers. The Clippers committed only six turnovers.

Steve Blake had 20 points for the Lakers, making five of seven three-pointers. The Lakers lost despite shooting 54.8% to the Clippers' 48.2% and outrebounding the Clippers, 44-27.

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Staples Center crowd rooting for Clippers AND Lakers

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When Blake Griffin dunks, the crowd erupts in cheers.

When Andrew Bynum jams, fans high-five each other and scream.

The crowd at Staples Center as the Clippers host the Lakers in their second exhibition game seems predominantly to be rooting for, well, Los Angeles.

Who knows if it's a split crowd or if the fans are cheering as if they were the Williams family while watching Serena and Venus play.

The Lakers have a 56-53 halftime lead -- and clearly  L.A. finally has TWO teams worth watching.

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Hot seat? Vinny Del Negro is cool with that

Lakers' Mike Brown looks for answers amid the questions

Kobe Bryant has torn ligament in right wrist, is day-to-day

-- Melissa Rohlin

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, center, drives to the basket between the Clippers' Brian Cook, left, and Blake Griffin during Monday's exhibition game. Credit: Paul Buck / EPA

Lakers-Clippers: Updates from first exhibition game

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Clippers 114, Lakers 95 (final)

The Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups era got off to a memorable start.

Not so much for the Mike Brown tenure.

In a whipping that could be quickly forgotten considering the teams meet again two days from now, the Clippers struck the first blow in the renewed battle for Los Angeles with a 114-95 exhibition victory over the Lakers on Monday night at Staples Center.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Clippers

After a competitive first half, the Clippers toyed with the Lakers during a third quarter in which they outscored their crosstown rival, 36-17. The Clippers outscored the Lakers on three-pointers alone in the quarter, making six for 18 points.

The Clippers eventually led by as many as 27 points in a defeat so thorough that Lakers fans started leaving early in the fourth quarter, leaving large pockets of empty seats.

Billups finished with 23 points on five-for-eight shooting and Paul had 17 points on six-for-nine shooting to go with nine assists and seven rebounds. The Clippers made 13 of 28 three-point shots.

Kobe Bryant had 22 points, Pau Gasol 16 and Andrew Bynum 15 for the Lakers, who received little from their reserves besides rookie Darius Morris' 11 points. Metta World Peace was a flop in his first game off the bench, missing all eight shots and finishing with three points.

The Lakers committed 21 turnovers to the Clippers' 11, but part of that may have been because they were missing veteran point guard Derek Fisher, who sat out while continuing to round into game shape after the lengthy lockout.

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