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Lakers' Week 4 in review

November 25, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Lakers point guard Steve Blake blocks a shot by Kings guard Greivis Vasquez.
Lakers point guard Steve Blake blocks a shot by Kings guard Greivis Vasquez. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

The Lakers made their way back to .500 with a strong Week 4 that included wins over the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.

At the start of the week, the Lakers were in 12th place in the Western Conference at 5-7. They finished Sunday in 11th place, just half a game behind the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies.

The Lakers were off Monday through Thursday, allowing time for Kobe Bryant to practice with the team after April surgery on his Achilles tendon. Medically cleared to play, Bryant was able to work on his jump shot.

Pau Gasol said he was impressed by Bryant's relatively quick return, but Coach Mike D'Antoni warned that Bryant didn't look as strong on Wednesday as he did on Tuesday.

Bryant sat out Thursday with "general soreness" and no clear timetable for a return.

The Lakers defeated the Warriors (102-95) on Friday. Golden State played without star guard Stephen Curry -- and lost Andre Iguodala to a hamstring strain in the third quarter. The Lakers were short Steve Nash (back), Chris Kaman (back) and Bryant.

Gasol pledged to pay $1,000 for every point he scored Friday to help benefit typhoon recovery in the Philippines -- $24,000 after his 24-point night.

Despite nerve issues, Nash said he's not contemplating retirement.

On Sunday, the Lakers improved to 7-7 with a 100-86 victory over the Kings.

The Lakers are to play three games in four nights starting on Tuesday, but D'Antoni said it would be "very hard" for Bryant to play on the trip.

Meanwhile, the pairing of Jordan Hill in the front court with Gasol has been a strong one for the Lakers. D'Antoni said Hill is "playing at an all-star level."

The Lakers bench struggled with Hill in the starting lineup, but D'Antoni was able to find a rotation that gave Hill time with both units.

Before Shawne Williams' technical on Sunday, the Lakers were one of three NBA teams without an individual technical foul.

The Lakers rotated rookies Ryan Kelly and Elias Harris in and out of the NBA Development League, with both playing in the D-Fenders' season opener. They put up big numbers in a loss.

The Philadelphia 76ers waived former Lakers Kwame Brown and Darius Morris.

Former Laker Michael Cooper was hired to coach the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA.

Former NBA players union chief Billy Hunter claimed that Kobe Bryant meddled in NBA labor negotiations.

Lakers Hall of Famer Vern Mikkelsen died at the age of 85.

Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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