LOS ANGELES CA - JANUARY 14: Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots over Kris Humphries #43 of the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center on January 14 2011 in Los Angeles California. The Lakers won 100-88. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Lakers Beat Nets For Seventh Straight Win

The Lakers have won seven straight games.

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Lakers Vs. Nets: Brook Lopez Eighth To Score 30 On Lakers This Season

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Jersey Nets tonight, 100-88, to win their seventh straight game. However, they did give up 15 offensive rebounds to the Nets, who got a strong performance in the middle from center Brook Lopez. The center carved up the normally stout middle of the Lakers for 35 points on 13-for-19 shooting. It was tied for the second-most points scored by a single player against the Lakers this season:

Most Points Scored Against Lakers 2010-2011
Date Player Team Points Result
Jan 12 Monta Ellis GS 38 Win
Tonight    Brook Lopez NJ 35 Win
Nov 14 Jason Richardson    Pho 35 Loss
Nov 11 Carmelo Anthony Den 32 Loss
Nov 16 Brandon Jennings Mil 31 Win
Dec 7 Nick Young Was 30 Win
Nov 23 Derrick Rose Chi 30 Win
Nov 2 Rudy Gay Mem 30 Win
Source: Basketball-Reference.com

Lopez was the eighth player to score 30 points against the Lakers this season, and the second this week. "Defensively, Lopez was a tough handle for our big guys tonight, and we didn't give them much help," head coach Phil Jackson said after the game. However, the Lakers are 6-2 in those games so it hasn't been all bad.

For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Defeat Nets, 100-88, For Seventh Straight Win

After a slow start, the Los Angeles Lakers slowly and methodically pulled away from the New Jersey Nets, winning their seventh straight game, 100-88 at Staples Center. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 27 points, but Lamar Odom was particularly effective, scoring 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers pulled away late. Odom's play was needed on a night when Andrew Bynum was in foul trouble and largely ineffective.

Bynum was limited to 22 minutes, as he picked up five fouls, and was limited to two points and five rebounds.Odom picked up the slack, playing 40 minutes, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 boards. Nets' center Brook Lopez had a field day against the Lakers tonight, scoring 35 points and picking up six rebounds. "Defensively, Lopez was a tough handle for our big guys tonight, and we didn't give them much help," head coach Phil Jackson said after the game.

Former Lakers Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar combined for 29 points off the bench on 14-for-27 shooting. Vujacic rebounded his own miss to hit a three-pointer that cut the Lakers' lead to two points with 7:31 remaining in the fourth quarter, but New Jersey never got closer than that. The Lakers were outrebounded by the Nets, 45-38, including giving up 15 offensive boards to New Jersey. Farmar was presented with his 2009-2010 championship ring before the game.

Pau Gasol had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who are 16-5 at home this season. Ron Artest was particularly effective on offense, scoring 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Artest his two three-pointers, and over his last seven games he has made 14 of 24 shots from beyond the arc. The Lakers next battle the Clippers at Staples Center on Sunday afternoon in what will technically be a Clippers' home game.

For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Nets: Probable Starting Lineups & Injury Report

The streaking Los Angeles Lakers are in search of their seventh straight win tonight as they host the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center. The Lakers are also in search of their seventh straight win against the Nets, who bring two recent ex-Lakers to town in Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar.The Lakers have won eight of their last nine games, while the Nets have lost eight of their last nine.

Here is a look at tonight's probable starting lineups and injury reports:

Nets (10-28)

Damion James (broken right foot) and Anthony Morrow (strained right hamstring) are out, as they have been for about a month. Troy Murphy has played only 10:38 in the last eight games, suffering from a viral infection, and he is out as well.

Lakers (29-11)

Lamar Odom continues to be listed on the injury report, as probable, with a sore left shoulder, but it seems more a formality than anything else as Odom is expected to play.

For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Nets: Andrew Bynum Finding His Groove, Steve Blake Struggling

The Los Angeles Lakers look for their seventh straight win as they host the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center. The Lakers have beaten the Nets six straight times, including a 99-92 win in New Jersey on December 12. With a win tonight, the Lakers would end the first half of their season with 30 wins in their first 41 games.

The Lakers are coming off a thrilling comeback win Wednesday in Oakland, erasing a 14-point deficit to defeat the Warriors 115-110. The Lakers were especially prolific in the fourth quarter, dropping 46 points, the first time they have ever scored that many points in the fourth quarter. The last time the Lakers scored 46 points in any quarter was November 29, 2007 against Denver. That game came four days after the last time the Nets defeated the Lakers.

New Jersey native Andrew Bynum has excelled since his return to the starting lineup. Bynum is averaging 13.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks in 27.9 minutes in nine games as a starter, during which the Lakers are 8-1. Bynum is shooting 58.9% from the field during that span, and his last game -- in which Bynum made four of 11 field goal attempts -- was the only one in which Bynum didn't make at least half of his shots.

One Laker who hasn't been shooting well of late is Steve Blake. The reserve point guard has made just 31.6% of his field goals in his last 19 games, shooting just 25% (11 of 44) from beyond the arc. C.A. Clark of Silver Screen and Roll thinks Blake should shoot his way out of his slump, and made a compelling case:

I have no idea whether he is nervous because of his poor shooting, or whether he is trying to be the perfect teammate and provide for others, or whether he has simply always been a non-aggressive offensive player, but Blake has turned down more open shots than he's made, and that isn't what his role in the triangle calls for.  It's an admirable quality that he attempts to turn down long range shots for the extra pass and (theoretically) better team shots, but you can see when he gets the ball on the perimeter, the "true" point guard in him kicks in as his man closes out, and you usually see a pump fake and dribble drive.  That's great some of the time, but more often than not, he's got enough space to get the shot up un-contested, and he's far superior in catch and shoot situations as compared to anything off the dribble.

Tonight's 7:30 p.m. PST game will be televised, as usual, by Fox Sports West.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Nets: The Return of Sasha Vujacic & Jordan Farmar

The Los Angeles Lakers look for their seventh straight win as they host the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center. The Lakers have beaten the Nets six straight times, with their last loss to New Jersey coming November 25, 2007. Tonight marks the triumphant return of guard Sasha Vujacic to Los Angeles.

Vujacic, who was generally ineffective as a Laker but shall forever escape scorn for hitting the title-clinching free throws in last year's Game 7 against the Celtics, was traded to New Jersey on December 15 in a three-team deal including Houston that netted the Lakers Joe Smith and several million dollars in salary cap and luxury tax relief. In 12 games with New Jersey, Vujacic is averaging 11.3 points per game while shooting 40.4% from three-point range.

Another ex-Laker guard returning to Los Angeles is former UCLA Bruin Jordan Farmar, who signed as a free agent in New Jersey last summer. Farmar has struggled this season, averaging 9.8 points per contest while shooting just 38.8% from the field. He scored eight points on 3-for-9 shooting on December 12 against the Lakers, a game won by the Lakers 99-92.

The Nets have lost 16 of their last 17 road games, and are just 3-18 away from home this season. They were 4-37 on the road last season, and are 11-71 in their last 82 road games dating back to the 2008-2009 season.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Approaching 30 Wins At Halfway Point

The Los Angeles Lakers followed up their historic blowout win over Cleveland Tuesday night with a hard-fought comeback road win on Wednesday night in Golden State, and return home winners of six straight and eight out of nine games. They host the 10-win New Jersey Nets on Friday night, in what will be the 41st game of the season for the Lakers. As the halfway point approaches, the Lakers have an excellent chance to get a milestone win.

Sixty wins has always been the hallmark for great teams in the NBA. At 29-11, the Lakers with a win on Friday will get halfway there at the exact halfway point of the season. The NBA switched to an 82-game season in the 1967-1968 season. In the 43 seasons since, the Lakers have won at least 30 games 13 times. Here is how those teams have fared:

Best First Halves In Lakers History
Year 1st Half Season Playoffs
1971-72 38-3 69-13  NBA Champs
2008-09 33-8 65-17  NBA Champs
1999-00 33-8 67-15  NBA Champs
1987-88 33-8 62-20  NBA Champs
2009-10 32-9 57-25  NBA Champs
1986-87 32-9 65-17  NBA Champs
1985-86 32-9 62-20  lost Conf Finals  
1982-83 32-9 58-24  lost NBA Finals
1997-98 31-10 61-21  lost Conf Finals
1989-90 31-10 63-19  lost 2nd round
1972-73 31-10 60-22  lost NBA Finals
1990-91 30-11 58-24  lost NBA Finals
1981-82 30-11 57-25  NBA Champs
Source: Basketball-Reference.com

That's a pretty good track record; in 10 of the 13 seasons, the Lakers have advanced to the NBA Finals, winning seven titles. While starting 30-11 is by no means a guarantee of future success, it's a good start.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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