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LAKERS FYI

Pau Gasol takes some of the blame for low number of shots

A day later, concern remains over the lack of balance in loss to the Grizzlies.

February 03, 2010|By Mike Bresnahan

Pau Gasol was up against the wall, literally.

He backed away slowly, maybe subconsciously, from reporters and smacked into a fire extinguisher and defibrillator bolted to the wall at the Lakers' training facility Tuesday.

Gasol's frustration was evident Monday night after the Lakers' 95-93 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, and the media wanted to know more about it after the team returned from its 5-3 trip.

Gasol had seven shots against Memphis, Andrew Bynum only three, and Gasol publicly reminded everybody after the game the Lakers were "not making a conscious effort" to pound the ball inside.

A day later, Gasol shouldered more of the blame but also served a reminder that he and Bynum were often efficient down low.

"It's on us too, so we've got to take responsibility and try to be more demanding," Gasol said. "Andrew and myself, I think we're two very good post players and I think that that's been proven plenty of times. . . . Basketball is a game that when you work it inside-out, it becomes a lot easier for everybody else."

Kobe Bryant made 16 of 28 shots against Memphis, while trying to take advantage of what he thought was a mismatch against O.J. Mayo and rookie Lester Hudson. At issue was Bryant's pursuit of Jerry West's career franchise scoring record. He needed 29 points to break it and almost had it in the first half (23 points).

"At halftime, we said, 'Get Kobe the ball quickly so we can get over that record and move ahead,' " Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said.

Bryant finished with 44 points. Bryant left without talking to reporters Tuesday after the team had a video session and a minor practice for non-starters.

Bynum's three shots tied his season low. He finished with five points. "He really just didn't have as many opportunities as he should have," Jackson said.

Jackson, however, said the guards and post players were equally to blame, pointing out the turnovers Gasol and Bynum had in the post.

Derek Fisher said Bryant's plan of attack fluctuates depending on matchups. Monday's shot count, however, weighed very heavily in Bryant's direction. No other Laker had more than nine shots.

"I think you always know that Kobe's going to lead in shot attempts, but the percentage of that has to kind of balance out," Fisher said. "When you think about him having 28 shots [Monday] night out of 73 total, that percentage is not enough for our team to have the balance that we need to have. Inside-outside, we're always better, no question about it."

Uh-oh, the Bobcats!

It hasn't reached epidemic proportions like the losing streak in Portland (nine games and counting), but the Lakers have struggled in recent seasons against the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Lakers have lost six of their last seven games against the Bobcats and haven't beaten them at Staples Center since December 2005. "They slow the tempo, they play the kind of game that maybe is a little bit uncomfortable for us," Gasol said.

The Bobcats (24-23) are in the chase for a playoff spot in the watered-down Eastern Conference.

Wanderlust

Jackson, on whether he was happy to be home from the eight-game trip: "I wanted to go to Hawaii straight from Memphis."

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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