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Poor free-throw shooting costs Lakers in loss to Magic

They make only seven of 15 despite ranking ninth in the NBA for the season.

February 14, 2011|By Broderick Turner
  • Lakers forward Lamar Odom reacts to a call during the second half Sunday in Orlando.
Lakers forward Lamar Odom reacts to a call during the second half Sunday… (Kim Klement / US Presswire )

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson asked the question and then provided the answer before anyone else could.

"Did we shoot 50% from the free-throw line?" Jackson asked after the Lakers' 89-75 loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday. "I don't think we even hit 50% from the free-throw line."

He was right.

The Lakers made only 46.7% (seven for 15) of their free throws, their worst percentage this season.

In Jackson's eyes, it was because the Amway Center, the first-year home of the Magic, is a big building.

"I think some of it is the arena," Jackson said. "We didn't get to practice in here [Saturday]. They claimed the court. They had it all day and I think that the depth of this arena is really kind of a difficulty for guys just getting used to the first time of the building. That's one of the things that I'll make an excuse for my players a little bit on this."

Still, the Lakers know they need to make free throws, especially when they get so few attempts.

Lamar Odom had the most, but he was only five for 10 from the free-throw line.

"That's no excuse, especially for me," Odom said. "We didn't shoot well as a team, but I got us at 50% by myself. That's not how I've been shooting the ball. There's no excuse."

Kobe Bryant didn't shoot a free throw in 33 minutes and 12 seconds of playing time.

The last time he didn't shoot a free throw in a game was March 24, 2010, against the San Antonio Spurs when he played 42 minutes.

"I was just too far away from the basket this game, just too far away," Bryant said Sunday. "I tried to facilitate a little too much. There weren't too many free throws on our part, so the game didn't slow down as much.…I should have been a little bit more aggressive, went into the post a little bit more."

For the season, the Lakers are shooting 78% from the free-throw line, ninth-best in the NBA.

They hope Sunday was a one-game problem.

"You can fix that," Odom said. "We all know that. The easiest way to fix that is with reps. It's not like we have a shooter on this team where it's like you don't even want him going to the line. We all have confidence."

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