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February 9, 2010 | By Ben Bolch
First came the applause. Then came the pats on the back. At that point things took a truly silly turn Monday inside the Clippers' practice facility after General Manager Mike Dunleavy informed his team that center Chris Kaman has been selected as an All-Star replacement for injured Portland guard Brandon Roy . Kaman's teammates playfully wrestled him to the floor, a few piling on top. "That wasn't fun," Kaman deadpanned later....
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SPORTS
March 1, 2010 | Mark Heisler
Not that we didn't already know what a gap there was between the West's best team and everyone else . . . Of course, in Sunday's first half when the Denver Nuggets, who had already beaten the Lakers twice by an average of 19.5 points, led them again by 13, it looked as if there was a new best team in the Western Conference, standings or no standings. Staving off panic locally, the Lakers came back to win . . . barely . . . going ahead to stay with 3 minutes 2 seconds left, even with Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups shooting a combined 11 for 31 and turning the ball over 13 times.
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SPORTS
February 5, 2010 | Bill Plaschke
Who says you can't win the lottery twice? Mike Dunleavy is a great guy, but the decision Thursday to finally move him off the Clippers' bench could prove as charmed as last spring's draft win. Back then, the Clippers used the NBA lottery prize to make Blake Griffin the No. 1 overall pick. Thanks to Dunleavy's departure, they now have a chance to make the same kind of impact addition with a coach. They have never been in a better position to add the guy who can lead them into June.
SPORTS
March 1, 2010 | By Mike Bresnahan
The Lakers pledged to play a physical game and did it. They promised to beat back the swagger and strut of the Denver Nuggets and succeeded. On an afternoon when little went right for Kobe Bryant, the Lakers boxed out their main rivals in the Western Conference, elbowing aside the Nuggets in a 95-89 victory Sunday at Staples Center. It took a second half of defensive resolve, specifically a fourth quarter in which the Lakers forced the Nuggets into five turnovers and five-for-19 shooting.
SPORTS
February 7, 2010 | By Kevin Baxter
Kim Hughes said he hoped the Clippers would play hard for him Saturday night in his first game as interim coach. And for the most part, most of them did. Now if he could only get them to play well. Because while the Clippers were looking for a new beginning under their new coach, what they got instead was a stale replay of the kind of inconsistent performances they got far too often under old coach Mike Dunleavy. And the result was familiar too -- a 98-81 defeat by San Antonio at Staples Center, the Clippers' 15th straight loss to the Spurs and their sixth in seven games overall.
SPORTS
February 23, 2010 | By Broderick Turner
Gary Vitti eased his way into a hat store in Cleveland on a recent Lakers trip in search of a lid for his bald head, when the door quickly opened and a man burst in. "Hey, you're Gary Vitti, the Lakers' trainer," the man blurted out. "You're the man! You're more important than the coach." Vitti rubbed his head and laughed at what he had just heard. "No, man," Vitti said, smiling, "no way." When this story was shared with Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, he cracked a smile and laughed.
SPORTS
February 28, 2010 | Bill Dwyre
Sunday's big game at Staples Center, Lakers versus Denver Nuggets, presents a different challenge for fans in attendance: clapping with your fingers crossed. The clapping will be for good basketball, great plays, outstanding athletic performance. Also, for a Lakers victory. The crossed fingers will be for George Karl. Assuming he feels well enough, Karl will be the squat, 58-year-old guy prowling the Nuggets' sideline. He will yell sometimes, but mostly, he will have his hands crossed over his chest, watching, plotting and trying to figure out Phil Jackson's next move before Jackson makes it. He will probably be a bit less active than in the past.
SPORTS
January 28, 2010 | By Ben Bolch
The New Jersey Nets, they have issues. There's an ownership in transition, an unsettled arena situation and a roster that could be described as short-handed even when every player is available. The Nets recently completed a 0-4 trip in which the losses came by a combined 100 points. They returned home Wednesday night only to have two starters sidelined because of various ailments. And still, they beat the Clippers. The team that remains on pace to compile the worst record in NBA history outplayed the Clippers in every facet during a 103-87 triumph at IZOD Center that Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy described as "absolutely our worst loss of the season."
SPORTS
February 4, 2010 | By Ben Bolch
Baron Davis called it heartbreaking. Eric Gordon said it was not up to par. Al Thornton? "It was a decent trip," the Clippers forward said Wednesday night at Philips Arena after his team concluded a two-week journey with a 103-97 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. "We could have done a lot better, but it was a decent trip." Asked what he meant by "decent," Thornton fell silent for several seconds. "What was our record on this trip, anyway?" he inquired. Informed it was 2-6, Thornton chuckled and said, "I guess not so decent, then.
SPORTS
November 28, 2009 | By Broderick Turner
Broderick Turner covers the Lakers for the Times. Readers' questions about the Lakers will be answered every week. Question: I would like to see the Lakers acquire a veteran point guard to share the clutch minutes with Derek Fisher. Then Shannon Brown can provide the spark off the bench. I think they should be able to get something decent (in a trade) for Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic (he might be harder to move because he's getting paid so much to sit on the bench). I mentioned those two because I'm finished with them as Lakers.
SPORTS
March 1, 2010 | By Broderick Turner
Ron Artest sat in his chair with his hands on his chin, a towel wrapped around his waist, an ice bucket nearby, a look of interest at the mob of reporters surrounding teammate Lamar Odom. Artest slowly began to dress, appearing content with the job he had just completed. He was acquired last summer by the Lakers to put the clamps on All-Star small forwards such as Denver's Carmelo Anthony. And Artest did, using his strength and defensive acumen to hold Anthony down to the point the Nuggets' star fouled out during the Lakers' 95-89 victory over Denver on Sunday at Staples Center.
SPORTS
February 28, 2010 | Mark Heisler
Welcome back, Mike! Oh, you haven't gone anywhere? It only seemed as if Michael Jordan were fading from the scene because, let's face it, he hadn't been omnipresent as Charlotte Bobcats president, with the team's expected sale to former Houston Rockets president George Postolos. With Jordan unlikely to stay without total control, and unlikely to get it from Postolos, that would have been it for MJ in Charlotte and, who knows, maybe in the NBA, as anything but a famous face at the All-Star game.
SPORTS
February 28, 2010 | By Mike Bresnahan
Lamar Odom is well aware of what needs to be done. The Lakers forward has seen the confidence in the Denver Nuggets, witnessed the swagger of the second-best team in the Western Conference, and was definitely on the court as the Nuggets easily took two games against the Lakers this season. For those wondering about a solution to the pesky, pugnacious Nuggets, Odom has one for Sunday's game -- get physical. "It will be a hard game," he said Saturday. "We have to embrace the game being hard.
SPORTS
February 28, 2010 | Bill Dwyre
Sunday's big game at Staples Center, Lakers versus Denver Nuggets, presents a different challenge for fans in attendance: clapping with your fingers crossed. The clapping will be for good basketball, great plays, outstanding athletic performance. Also, for a Lakers victory. The crossed fingers will be for George Karl. Assuming he feels well enough, Karl will be the squat, 58-year-old guy prowling the Nuggets' sideline. He will yell sometimes, but mostly, he will have his hands crossed over his chest, watching, plotting and trying to figure out Phil Jackson's next move before Jackson makes it. He will probably be a bit less active than in the past.
SPORTS
February 27, 2010 | By Mike Bresnahan
It has been a weird glitch for the Lakers, a hiccup in the franchise, extending all the way back to the three-championship run that began almost a decade ago. They always seem to struggle against the lesser teams, laughably so in some cases, the Charlotte Bobcats a prime example in recent seasons. The Lakers have done a notable job reversing the trend this season, but then the Philadelphia 76ers rolled into town. It took almost the full 48 minutes, but the Lakers managed to win a numbingly bland game, 99-90, Friday at Staples Center.
SPORTS
February 27, 2010 | Bill Dwyre
Friday night at Staples had a chance to be a big yawn. It is February, when the mind numbs at the thought of yet another NBA game, even if that game includes the defending champion Lakers. Right now, things such as hockey and skiing and, horrors, curling are front and center. Give them their due. Once every four years. But there is no stopping the NBA express, which needs eight months to fill owners' coffers, make men who can leap and shoot into gazillionaires, and entertain as many fans as possible.
SPORTS
January 25, 2010 | By Broderick Turner
Is it the shoes? Something has caused Ron Artest to develop plantar fasciitis in both feet, and Lakers Coach Phil Jackson believes that something might be the shoes his small forward wears. Whatever the case is, Jackson said Artest might have to sit out if he continues to have pain and remains ineffective. "I've called his shoes concrete boots for about the last month," Jackson said. "Those shoes look like they are made for the Hudson River. But he stays with them and he gets his feet worked on. But he does not move really quickly.
SPORTS
February 23, 2010 | By Shannon Ryan
Can someone remind the bubble teams that this is the time to start impressing the NCAA tournament selection committee? So many on-the-fence teams are wasting opportunities that talk of a tournament expansion makes me cringe. These wart-filled teams need to learn how to apply a little cover-up and blush at the end of the season. This means you, Rhode Island and Charlotte, which each lost three in a row recently. One team looks as if it's in the makeover chair. Connecticut's victory at Villanova puts the Huskies back in the conversation.
SPORTS
February 27, 2010 | By Mike Bresnahan
Andrew Bynum reached another first in his career, though he probably wouldn't want to do it again. Bynum, 22, was hit with his first NBA-imposed fine for criticizing referees after the Lakers' 101-96 loss Wednesday in Dallas. Bynum was fined $25,000 for saying, "It's hard to win when it's five against eight," a thinly cloaked reference to the judgment of referees Ron Garretson , Michael Smith and Eli Roe . The Lakers had as many fouls as the Mavericks (20), but Dallas shot 26 free throws to 16 for the Lakers.
SPORTS
February 27, 2010 | By Mike Bresnahan
Readers' questions for our Lakers beat reporter Mike Bresnahan. Questions will be answered every Friday at latimes.com/sports Question: Lamar Odom may not have the numbers of some of the other candidates for Sixth Man of the Year, but he has a wider variety of skills than those guys and is always in the game during crunch time. So why am I not hearing his name in Sixth Man of the Year talk? -- Steve Sanders, Venice Answer: Wait a sec. Steve Sanders. From "90210" fame?
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