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December 26, 2009 | Mark Heisler
All I want next Christmas is the day off. That way if the marquee games bomb as this Christmas' games did, I can just hit the remote. On the bright side for the NBA, which designed a special snowflake logo for Friday's games, the Lakers haven't already turned the season into a romp. The Lakers proved that, if nothing else. In this season's first game in front of a national audience, reports of their awesomeness -- several of which I'm on the hook for -- turned out to be exaggerated.
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April 5, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
For more than a half century, few in this town have loved and lived the Lakers like Joe Smith. The former record mogul has four season seats on the baseline next to the Lakers bench. He has held those seats since the team arrived in Los Angeles. He has become as much of a fixture under the basket as the ballboys and Laker girls. No single ticket holder has endured longer, and certainly no single fan has invested more. For 54 years, Joe Smith has loved the Lakers graciously, gratefully and unconditionally.
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March 20, 2009 | Broderick Turner
Another big lead. Another blown lead. Almost another blown game. The 18-point, third-quarter lead the Lakers built dipped to three points deep into the fourth quarter, leaving the fans at Staples Center on Thursday night exasperated and nervous before the Lakers pulled out a 114-106 victory over the Golden State Warriors. Building leads and losing them has become a pattern with the Lakers, one they vowed to correct.
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November 19, 2013 | By Eric Pincus
One of the early surprises this year for the Lakers (5-7) has been the play of Jordan Hill. Coach Mike D'Antoni promoted Hill to the starting lineup last Tuesday and the 26-year-old forward/center has responded with averages of 18.8 points and 12 rebounds over four games. While Hill has helped the starting unit, the Lakers' bench has had some difficulty playing without him - specifically point guard Jordan Farmar. "When I took Jordan Hill off the second group and put him on the first group, Farmar went into a tailspin," said D'Antoni after the Lakers' victory over the Detroit Pistons.
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November 16, 2012 | By Eric Pincus
New Coach Mike D'Antoni addressed a wide array of topics at his introductory Lakers news conference Thursday. One issue the team has had so far this season is getting bench production, especially at shooting guard from Jodie Meeks and Devin Ebanks. D'Antoni seemed to have confidence that he'll get the most out of the entire roster. "Jodie Meeks, for example, I told him today the only time he needs to shoot is when he touches the ball; other than that, don't shoot," D'Antoni joked.
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April 20, 2012 | By Mark Medina
Below is an analysis from Lakers development coach Phil Handy on how the reserves are progressing. You can check out his take on the starters here. Lakers forward Matt Barnes Drills: Shoots in five spots spread around the court, and had to make 10 shots in each area. The shots include one-dribble pull-ups, mid-range jumpers, shots off curls, catch-and-shoot jumpers and three-pointers. Lots of emphasis on footwork. What he excels: The energy he brings is all positive.
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May 1, 2010 | By Broderick Turner
Reporting from Oklahoma City -- All series long, so much had been made about the play of the Lakers' bench. All series long, the Lakers' bench had been under the microscope because it wasn't delivering, because it had been outplayed by the younger, more athletic, but less experienced Oklahoma City Thunder reserves. But in Game 6 of the Western Conference first-round playoff series, the Lakers' bench stepped up big-time, outscoring its counterpart, 30-16. The bench play of the Lakers helped them win the best-of-seven series, 4-2, and advance to play the Utah Jazz in the conference semifinals, starting Sunday at Staples Center.
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November 8, 2012 | By Mike Bresnahan
SALT LAKE CITY — Can a bench be benched? Probably not. But the Lakers need to do something about their reserves after having been again pounded by an opponent. Utah won the battle of the backups Wednesday, 36-12, yet another reason the Lakers lost to the Jazz, 95-86. Lakers Coach Mike Brown insisted a day earlier that he still believed in the reserves, saying, "I am confident in the guys. " No reporters asked him about the second unit after Wednesday's game. And if they did, there was no way Brown could have answered with as much conviction.
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January 19, 2010 | By Broderick Turner
The Lakers were reeling in the third quarter, playing with little energy, their effort lacking against an Orlando Magic team that was going to work Monday night at Staples Center. Something needed to change for the Lakers, and someone had to make that change. It turned out the bench proved to be the difference in their 98-92 victory over Orlando. Specifically, it was Shannon Brown having a career night that sparked the Lakers. It was Jordan Farmar being aggressive no matter the consequence.
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September 6, 2013 | Helene Elliott
Jordan Farmar had to leave, had to distance himself from Los Angeles and the Lakers, before he could realize he belongs here and that nothing would feel as good to him as wearing purple and gold. Farmar, a product of Woodland Hills Taft High and two years at UCLA, began his career with the Lakers and contributed to their title runs in 2009 and 2010 as a backup point guard. He departed as a free agent but has come home again at 26, more confident and mature. "I'm in a great place," he said a few days ago, meaning not just Southern California but the mind-set he developed the last three years.
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October 30, 2013 | By Melissa Rohlin
In some ways the Lakers are a hobbled version of last season's team. Dwight Howard is gone. Kobe Bryant is sidelined as he rehabilitates his Achilles' tendon injury. Steve Nash is nearly 40. Then there's the bench. Last year the Lakers' bench ranked 28th out of the 30 NBA teams in scoring with 26 points a game. In Tuesday's 116-103 win over the Clippers, the Lakers reserves had 76 points. It was the reserves' third-highest scoring game in franchise history. They had 85 points in 1985 against Golden State and 84 points again against the Warriors in 1988.
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October 29, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
Never saw this coming. Never felt this happening. Never thought the Clippers would begin their march to the NBA Finals by tripping over the Lakers ... bench? Never thought new Clippers Coach Doc Rivers would watch the first step toward his second championship ring tarnished by … Mike D'Antoni?. Never thought a Staples Center that contained some loud Clippers fans - including one dude who infiltrated the Lakers courtside seats - would once again roar for the Lakers as if it were June.
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October 29, 2013 | By Eric Pincus
Lakers 116 - Clippers 103 (end of regulation) The Lakers upset the Clippers on Tuesday night at Staples Center, opening the season with a stunning bench performance. Heading into the fourth quarter with a four-point deficit, the combination of Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson and Jordan Hill completely overwhelmed the Clippers. Henry led all scorers with a career-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Farmar had 16 with six assists. Coach Mike D'Antoni stuck with the lineup through the entire period, letting the group close out against the Clippers' stars.
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September 6, 2013 | Helene Elliott
Jordan Farmar had to leave, had to distance himself from Los Angeles and the Lakers, before he could realize he belongs here and that nothing would feel as good to him as wearing purple and gold. Farmar, a product of Woodland Hills Taft High and two years at UCLA, began his career with the Lakers and contributed to their title runs in 2009 and 2010 as a backup point guard. He departed as a free agent but has come home again at 26, more confident and mature. "I'm in a great place," he said a few days ago, meaning not just Southern California but the mind-set he developed the last three years.
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January 22, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
It starts with the lights. The Clippers never dim the Staples Center lights, allowing their shrieking crowd to become one with their soaring team. The Lakers darken the arena as if they are performing in a nightclub, the Clippers act like they are playing Coachella. It continues with the court, which squeaks and thumps and rumbles when the Clippers are covering it with the sort of effort that sends Blake Griffin sweat spitting into the stands. When the Lakers play, with the exception of a few hard Kobe Bryant breaths, this same court is quiet.
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January 21, 2013 | By Mike Bresnahan
CHICAGO - Pau Gasol's up-and-down season continued Monday. He's no longer a starter. Coach Mike D'Antoni said it was a "gut feeling" to put Earl Clark alongside Dwight Howard in the Lakers' starting lineup for Monday's game against the Chicago Bulls. Not to mention that Howard and Gasol haven't played well together on the court, D'Antoni said. A throw-in from Orlando in the Howard trade last August, Clark has been a revelation this month since entering the Lakers' rotation and then the starting lineup for four games.
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July 17, 2012 | Bill Plaschke
They are a team of stars, in a town of stars, but some of my best Lakers memories involve the scrubs. If Disney made a movie about the Lakers' last dozen years, it would be called "Beauty and the Bench," as the five happy endings would have been impossible without either. Everyone remembers the alley-oop from Kobe Bryant to Shaquille O'Neal in the era-changing Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference finals against Portland, but I remember two other guys. Brian Shaw and Robert Horry came off the bench that afternoon to combine for the game's biggest shots and rebounds, including a late-third-quarter three-pointer by Shaw that began the historic comeback and remains one of the most important bombs in Lakers history.
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December 26, 2010 | By Broderick Turner
It has been a season in which the Lakers' bench has been uplifting, a unit that provides effort and energy. That was not the case Saturday against the Miami Heat. But there were circumstances that led to the Lakers reserves not being a factor during a 96-80 loss to the Heat on Christmas Day at Staples Center. At least that's what Coach Phil Jackson said. Jackson pointed out that Ron Artest got into foul trouble early in the first quarter, which threw off the rotations.
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November 25, 2012 | By Mike Bresnahan
Chris Duhon walked toward the Lakers' bench during a timeout, saw a group of reporters sitting nearby and yelled at them. "Second unit!" he said, accompanying it with a wink during a solid in-game run by the Lakers' reserves. Yes, he has read about it too. The Lakers' backups have been anything but supportive, so inept that the starters have racked up huge minutes four weeks into the season. It's generally unwise to count two games as a trend, but the bench wasn't half bad over the holiday weekend.
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November 21, 2012 | By Eric Pincus
Metta World Peace is the Lakers' most unpredictable player. Statistically, he's struggled with his shot since coming to the team in 2009.  His best mark was in 2009-2010 at 41.4% from the field but for the last two seasons, he's been slightly below 40%. Of course, the Lakers might not have won their 2010 title without World Peace hitting huge baskets in Game 7 (shots even Coach Phil Jackson didn't see coming). World Peace wasn't brought in for his offense. Now that he's recovered from a lingering back issue, he's still one of the toughest perimeter defenders in the league.
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