Lakers overcome drama to secure 102-100 overtime win over Heat

first_img“I was trying to loosen up. A lot of heat packs to try to loosen up the muscles and joints and get them firing,” Bryant said. “There was no hope tonight.”Even before his limitations, Bryant’s farewell tour took a backseat because of the controversy surrounding Russell. Scott joked the large media contingent meant this was “Kobe’s last game.” He actually has eight left. “This shall pass,” Scott said. “We’re still going to celebrate Kobe’s last eight games no matter what.”Lakers fans also celebrated Lamar Odom’s presence at Staples Center nearly five months after being hospitalized for falling unconscious at a Nevada brothel. In the first half, Odom hugged Lakers president Jeanie Buss. Odom, who won two NBA titles as a key Lakers reserve from 2004 to 2011, also sparked cheers when the Staples Center scoreboard featured him. After visiting Bryant extensively in the trainer’s room, Odom described the experience as “cool” and “awesome” before adding he “got goosebumps.”“It’s a miracle,” Bryant said of Odom. “To see him walking around now as if nothing even happened, it’s really a miracle. It’s beyond good to see him.”Russell did not initially receive such a warm reception.“I knew that was going to happen,” Russell said. “It’s all good.”Both Clarkson and Randle insisted things were all good after Russell apologized to the team before the game. Yet, a league source close to Young said Russell has not apologized directly to him. Young was not around when Russell addressed his teammates, the source added.“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” Scott said. “We’ll see what type of characters we have in that locker room.”Scott admitted “some concern” that issues between Russell and his teammates could carry over onto the court. In his last five games Russell has averaged only 10.8 points while shooting 34.9 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from 3-point range and posting 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.“It’s getting better and better,” Scott said of Russell’s leadership presence. “Obviously this will knock it back a step or two. He just has to keep working and everything else will work out.”Nick Young became available after missing the past two games because of what the team attributed to a stomach bug. Young had missed eight previous games out of healthy scratches, leading Scott to call him “very professional” on handling the lack of playing time. Russell and Young did not sit near each other on the bench. “I’ve played with players I didn’t like as people,” said Scott, who played 11 of his 14 NBA seasons with the Lakers. “But they were my teammates. You deal with that.” Russell initially dealt with the fallout surrounding his secretly recorded and recently published video of teammate Nick Young revealing he had been unfaithful to his fiancé, Iggy Azalea. Despite posting 16 points on only 6-of-19 shooting and one assist in 34 minutes. Russell made a few plays when the Lakers most needed him. He defended Miami guard Dwyane Wade and contested a jumper that hit off the rim to force overtime. Russell opened the extra session by canning an open 3-pointer and a layup. Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson added a team-high 26 points on a 9-of-19 clip. “If I’ve lost anybody’s trust, I’m going to work my tail off to gain it back,” Russell said. “That’s something you need for a winning team. You need everybody to trust each other. You need the first guy to trust the 15th guy.”Even before the video incident happened, the Lakers often talked about “trust issues” in describing an unorganized offense often centered on individual play. The Lakers (16-59) still only shot 36.3 percent from the field against Miami (43-31) and allowed Wade to post a team-high 26 points. Yet, the Lakers still overcame a 15-point deficit with double-digit efforts from Clarkson, Russell, Randle (13 points, 14 rebounds), Roy Hibbert (12 points) and Lou Williams (11 points). Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant logged only two points on 1-of-7 shooting in nine minutes in his last game against the Heat. Before the Lakers shut Bryant down for the second half because of “general soreness”, Bryant often sat on the bench wrapped as if he were a mummy after telling Lakers coach Byron Scott he couldn’t move. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img The morning ended with D’Angelo Russell completing an extended workout at the Lakers’ facility before having three security guards escort him to his car. The evening started with Russell hearing a chorus of boos during lineup introductions despite playing before a usually supportive hometown crowd at Staples Center. The day ended with those same fans suddenly cheering for the Lakers as they secured a 102-100 overtime victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday at Staples Center. Julius Randle made the game-winner, an 8-foot runner after performing a nifty spin move toward the basket. Crazy day indeed.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *