Angry Lakers come calling on Warriors

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Angry Lakers come calling on Warriors

April 6, 2011

LA LAKERS (55-22) vs.
WARRIORS (34-44)

Coverage begins at 7 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

OAKLAND (AP) -- After having one lengthy streak end, the Los Angeles Lakers don't seem too concerned about their ability to extend another.

Losers of consecutive games for the first time since the All-Star break, the Lakers try to beat the Golden State Warriors for the 13th straight time Wednesday night.

Los Angeles (55-22) appeared poised to gain the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference while riding a nine-game win streak heading into Sunday's home game with Denver, trailing San Antonio by 1 12 games at the time.
RELATED: NBA conference standings

However, the Lakers fell 95-90 to the Nuggets and 86-85 at home to Utah on Tuesday, and now trail the Spurs by 3 12 games. Los Angeles holds a two-game lead for the No. 2 seed over Dallas with five games left for each team.

Tuesday's loss was surprising since the Lakers had won 17 straight at home against Utah, which has already been eliminated from playoff contention.

"This was our worst game of the year," forward Lamar Odom said. "We didn't deserve to win, (but) we've had no problem bouncing back all year. We'll be fine. Our energy was just bad all the way around. ... You can't dissect this game. Nothing is there."

REWIND: Jazz stun Lakers 86-85

Kobe Bryant struggled to make 6 of 18 shots for 20 points and is shooting 35.6 percent over his last two games. The Lakers' 37.8 percent shooting was their worst performance at home this season.

Los Angeles had not lost two straight since a three-game slide Feb. 13-16. The Lakers must win every remaining game to reach 60 victories for the 12th time in their history and third under coach Phil Jackson. Jackson has notched seven total 60-win seasons, winning a championship each time.

Bryant owns a 27.7 scoring average while playing in 11 of the Lakers' 23 consecutive victories over the Warriors (34-44).

NEWS: NBA headlines

The win streak has coincided with Pau Gasol's arrival in Los Angeles. Gasol missed the first two meetings after being acquired from Memphis due to injury, but has averaged 23.5 points and 11.7 rebounds in 11 matchups - he's never lost to the Warriors since joining the Lakers.

The Spanish big man played through a bone bruise in his right knee Tuesday and scored 12 of his 19 points in the first quarter.

Andrew Bynum, who had left Sunday's loss with a knee injury, returned to face the Jazz and finished with 12 points and a career-high 23 rebounds.

The Lakers frontcourt will try to contain David Lee after the Warriors power forward had 29 points and a season-high 20 rebounds in Tuesday's 108-87 victory at Portland.

RELATED: Warriors blast Blazers behind huge night from Lee

Golden State also got a big performance from its backcourt as Monta Ellis scored 30 points and Stephen Curry had 28.

"We're looking for something bigger now. We're trying to do something bigger," coach Keith Smart said. "We're trying to establish a way of how we play, an identity of how we want our team to move forward, and that's what those young men are doing."

Four players score in double figures, Stanford takes down Oregon State

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AP

Four players score in double figures, Stanford takes down Oregon State

BOX SCORE

STANFORD -- Even though Stanford has been buried in the lower half of the Pac-12 standings all season, Reid Travis isn't so sure his team is an underdog against No. 6 Oregon.

That might be a stretch considering the Ducks are making a run at the conference title but that didn't seem to matter to Travis.

"The way we're playing now is great for this time of year," Travis said following Stanford's 79-66 win over Oregon State on Wednesday. "I feel like we're really taking off. Even though our record doesn't reflect it I really do feel that we're one of the top teams so take that as you want to."

Travis had 17 points and eight rebounds to lead four players in double figures. Marcus Allen also scored 17, Dorian Pickens added 15 and Robert Cartwright had 10 as the Cardinal beat the Beavers for the 21st time in the last 23 games between the two teams at Maples Pavilion.

Stanford (14-13, 6-9 Pac-12) led by as many as 25 but had to hold on after Oregon State (5-24, 1-15) pulled within 74-63 with 3:28 left on JaQuori McLaughlin's 3-pointer.

Allen and Pickens scored back-to-back buckets for Stanford, and after Stephen Thompson's putback for Oregon State, Pickens made a 3-pointer.

"We're pointing in the right direction on both ends of the floor," Allen said. "Guys are getting good looks . and on defense we're more active. Hopefully that continues."

Drew Eubanks had 21 points and 14 rebounds for Oregon State. Gligorije Rakocevic added a season-high 16 points for the Beavers, who couldn't follow up after beating Utah last week for their first conference win of the season.

Stanford built a quick double-digit lead despite a strong start by Rakocevic. The 6-foot-11-foot center, averaging 3.8 points going into the game, matched his season high in the first half while scoring 12 points on 6 of 8 shooting.

The Cardinal countered with a more balanced attack after adjusting to the Beavers' zone defense. Travis, Allen, Cartwright and Pickens combined for 32 points in the first half to help Stanford take a 43-33 lead.

The Cardinal also controlled the boards while outscoring the Beavers 46-22 in the paint.

"For us to be at our best we're going to score from the free throw line, like we did in the Cal game, or score around the basket," Stanford coach Jerod Haase said. "Smash-mouth is a football term but if it was a basketball term I think that would be a good word for us."

Travis got Stanford going again after halftime and helped push the Cardinal lead to 69-44.

Eubanks nearly brought Oregon State back. He scored 17 points in the second half, including 13 of the Beavers' first 20.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon State: The Beavers hopes of winning back-to-back games for the first time since beating Prairie View A&M and Texas-San Antonio to open the season didn't last long. They didn't play poorly - Oregon State shot close to 47 percent most of the night - but couldn't match Stanford's run coming out of halftime and never recovered.

Stanford: The win pushed the Cardinal into a tie for seventh place in the Pac-12, still nowhere near enough to get a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The outcome was never in doubt, but Haase was concerned about Stanford's mental approach.

DOUBLE TECHS

Eubanks and Travis were both hit with technical fouls after a heated exchange in the second half. Although no punches were thrown, Eubanks suffered a bloody nose during the incident and had to be treated near the Beavers' bench.

"We're trying to go at each other as hard as possible so of course there's different plays where a lot of contact happens," Travis said. "I like that. That's how competitors act and we just moved on from it. Unfortunately they called a technical on both of us. I'd like to see us play on in that sense."

UP NEXT

Oregon State: Plays at California on Friday night.

Stanford: Hosts No. 6 Oregon on Saturday in the final regular season home at Maples Pavilion this year. The Ducks beat the Cardinal 69-52 on Jan. 21.

Cal blows huge halftime lead, dropped by Oregon on Brooks' game-winner

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AP

Cal blows huge halftime lead, dropped by Oregon on Brooks' game-winner

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Dylan Brooks hit a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds to play to cap a comeback from 16 points down and No. 6 Oregon beat California 68-65 on Wednesday night to keep its hopes alive for a Pac-12 title.

The Ducks (25-4, 14-2) trailed by 16 points early in the second half and were down 10 with just over 4 minutes left before rallying for the win that moved them a half-game behind Arizona for first place in the conference. Oregon holds the tiebreaker.

Brooks led the Ducks with 22 points and Chris Boucher added 18.

Jabari Bird scored 20 points to lead the way for the Golden Bears (18-9, 9-6), whose hopes for an NCAA Tournament berth were dealt a big blow with this loss.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Boucher, Dylan Ennis and Payton Pritchard cut Cal's 10-point lead to one with just under 3 minutes left. Boucher then gave the Ducks their first lead of the game with a layup that made it 62-61 with 1:48 to go.

Grant Mullins and Brooks traded jumpers before Bird missed a contested 3-pointer with 28 seconds to go. Tyler Dorsey hit one free throw before Ivan Rabb tied the game with a putback of his own miss with 9.7 seconds to play.

That set the stage for Brooks, who hit the 3 that set off a wild celebration for the Ducks.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon: The Ducks finished the season undefeated at home where they have a nation's best 42-game winning streak. They need to prove they can win away from home if they want to have success in the postseason. This comeback win was a start but the task will only get tougher in the Pac-12 and NCAA Tournaments.

California: The Bears had been seeking a signature win to boost their hopes for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. But they blew the lead and a chance at that win as they fell to 1-6 against ranked teams with the only win coming last month at then-No. 25 USC. Cal could get another shot at a top team next month in the Pac-12 Tournament.

UP NEXT

Oregon: Visits Stanford on Saturday.

California: Hosts Oregon State on Friday.