The McTen: An Ugly Win Against the Wolves

November, 10, 2010
11/10/10
12:09
PM PT
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
Here are your 10 additional things to take away from the Lakers' 99-94 win over the Timberwolves Tuesday:

1. We got our second mini back-and-forth between Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson after the game. The first was about Bryant's health when Jackson doubted Bryant was truly 100 percent and Kobe said, "I don't give a [expletive] what he thinks, I'm 100 percent." This time it was over Kobe's shot selection.

"He forced things tonight," Jackson said. "He was very aggressive out there to score. I don't know if it was in regards to getting 12 points the other night on Sunday that he wanted re-establish himself and take advantage of the young players that were out there on him, but yeah, he was very aggressive."

Bryant scored a game-high 33 points (which is also a season high for him) and shot 12-for-28 from the field, 2-for-5 from 3 and 7-for-8 from the foul line. He said Jackson was barking up the wrong tree.

"He needs to lobby for some calls, that's what he needs to do," Bryant said after the Wolves took 19 foul shots to the Lakers' 16. "That was ridiculous. I think that's illegal in some states."

2. Magic Johnson picked up another assist to former teammate and current Wolves head coach Kurt Rambis as he spoke to the 1-6 soon-to-be 1-7 Minnesota squad before the game about what it takes to win.

He also infused the locker room with some energy in a way only he can.

"What's up my Spartan dog?" he said to fellow Michigan State alum Maurice Ager.

"How's it going, shooter?" he said to Wayne Ellington, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2009 Final Four when North Carolina beat Michigan State in the championship game.

"Hey there, big man," he said as he pointed across the room to a bewildered-looking Nikola Pekovic.

The player he spent most of his time with was second-year point guard Jonny Flynn who has been sidelined with a hip injury to start the year.

"I told Jonny you have to be an extension of Kurt Rambis on the floor like I was an extension of Pat Riley," Johnson said.

Magic wore one of his five championship rings to really send home the message and told Flynn he is planning a trip to Minneapolis soon to talk to Flynn, point guard to point guard.

"With him being the greatest point guard of all time, Magic Johnson, to have him just come and just talk to you, you sit back and you just listen," Flynn said of the encounter. "You don't say nothing, you just listen."



3. PJax also wasn't pleased with the turnovers. The Lakers had 18 of them, leading to 21 Minnesota points. The main culprits were Bryant and Lamar Odom with four and the normally smart-with-the-ball Steve Blake with five.

"I don't think we handled our offense very well," Jackson said. "We made some passes what were astounding and remarkable for their idea, let alone for their execution."

As bad as it was for L.A., the Wolves outdid the Lakers by coughing the ball up 27 times themselves.

4. Derek Fisher treated the win like a loss and sounded off about the game to ESPNLA.com's Ramona Shelburne. Here's an excerpt:

"The way we played tonight was irresponsible and it was reckless and it was disrespectful," Fisher said. "I can't get any clearer than that. There was an air of complacency, of arrogance, of 'We don't have to play as hard as the other team to win.' That I didn't like tonight."

Pau Gasol admitted the same thing, but said it with far less bite in his tone.

"They got a lot of offensive rebounds," Gasol said. "They played a little harder than we did tonight and they stayed in the game. Fortunately they lost the game."

5. Random locker room sighting: Ron Artest was texting with Omarion after the game on his iPhone that has a screen so comically shattered that it looks like one of those America's Funniest Home Videos shots where the dad's holding the camera and his son hits a baseball right into the lens. Was it "the" Omarion? Who knows.

6. Lineup shuffle: Derrick Caracter was de-activated, giving fellow rookie Devin Ebanks a chance to don the uniform again even though Ebanks received a DNP. Luke Walton played a season-high 15 minutes, racking up three points, an assist and a turnover on 1-for-5 shooting.

7. Worked on a couple non game-related stories last night. Click here to read about the latest Laker in line to get a statue in his honor outside Staples Center and here for Magic Johnson updating his plans on getting back into the sports ownership realm.

8. Even though Fish isn't happy about it, 8-0 is still 8-0, especially when it comes on a night when the Miami Heat fell to 5-3. It's the second-best start in team history, falling behind only the 1997-98 Lakers that went 11-0 out of the gate.

9. Quote of the night: "They do? They told you? Who you spoke to, Carmelo? Who you spoke to, Lala? You spoke to Kenyon?" -- Ron Artest calling a radio reporter out for saying Denver "wants them bad" in the Lakers upcoming Thursday game against the Nuggets.

10. Stats of the night: Kevin Love pulled down a career-high 24 rebounds and the Wolves beat the Lakers on the boards by 12, 54-42 ... Gasol finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, it was the first game all season he scored less than 20 ... The Lakers bench was outscored 24-18.

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Dave McMenamin

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0