The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 19, 2013

NBA to resume with Lakers down, Heat on top

HOUSTON — Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers turned their attention Monday from bad basketball and trade talk to more somber matters.

The death of Jerry Buss, their longtime owner, was a blow for a franchise that was so often in championship chase under his leadership. With Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, and finally Bryant and Pau Gasol, the Lakers won 10 titles under since Buss became owner in 1979.

The Bryant-Gasol-Dwight Howard-Steve Nash combination wasn’t working nearly as well.

The Lakers are 25-29, currently in 10th place in the Western Conference, miles behind the Clippers in their division and their own building, and out of the playoff race. Gasol is hurt and Howard has been unhappy, leading to speculation he could be dealt before Thursday’s trade deadline even though the Lakers have said otherwise.

Yet Bryant spoke confidently of a turnaround Sunday after the All-Star game, just hours before Buss’ death at 80.

“I think we’ve been playing pretty well coming into the break,” Bryant said. “We laid a couple of eggs there against the Celtics and the Clippers, but all in all we’ve been playing pretty well, much better than we have been. We just have to continue to improve and we’ll do much better in the second half.”

It starts Tuesday, with the Lakers looking to get back on track, the Miami Heat in command in the East and LeBron James in command of everyone.

Bryant blocked James’ shots twice in the final minutes of the West’s 143-138 victory over the East on Sunday in the All-Star game. It was a rare failure for James, who has been sensational all season and whose Heat have hit their stride. Miami ran off seven straight victories going into the break and starting to build a comfortable lead in the conference.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Joe Castiglione lends hardwood expertise to new football playoff committee

    Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione serves on the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee and will be the committee chair for the 2015-16 season....

    August 1, 2014

  • Norman football a hotbed for quarterbacks

    While Norman High searches for a new quarterback to take the reins, Norman North is entering the preseason with one of the most talented quarterbacks in the state in Oklahoma State commit John Kolar....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Coaches rank Sooners No. 3

    The preseason USA Today coaches’ poll was released on Thursday. Oklahoma came in at No. 3....

    August 1, 2014

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Oakland lands Lester, Gomes in exchange for Cespedes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

Facebook