Defending NBA scoring champion Kobe Bryant, recovering from
offseason knee surgery, has yet to play in the preseason and hopes
to be ready for the Lakers' season opener. Lakers coach Phil
Jackson, who had hip replacement surgery Oct. 3, has been working
part-time and is expected to be on the bench for the season opener.
The Lakers announced Thursday that center Kwame Brown, who
bruised a rotator cuff when he collided with Andrew Bynum during
practice on Saturday, will be sidelined three to four weeks and
miss the start of the regular season. Chris Mihm, still recovering
from offseason ankle surgery, won't be ready for the season opener
on Oct. 31, against Phoenix at Staples Center.
Bynum led the Lakers with 15 points and rookie Jordan Farmar had
Shaun Livingston hit a 13-footer, Corey Maggette had a breakaway
dunk off a turnover by Sasha Vujacic, and Daniel Ewing hit a
3-pointer to give the Clippers an 83-75 lead with 7:27 to play. But
the Lakers pulled ahead 87-86 with a 12-3 run that included eight
points by Farmar, playing his first game at Staples Center as a pro
after two seasons with UCLA.
Tim Thomas of the Clippers blocked an attempted layup by Lamar
Odom with 40 seconds to go and the Clippers ahead 91-90. Ewing
missed a 3-point shot at the other end, and the Lakers got the
defensive rebound before calling a timeout. Farmar dribbled out
most of the remaining 18 seconds looking for a possible
game-winning shot, then lost possession of the ball before time
The Lakers led 53-51 at halftime despite missing 11 free throws
and all six 3-point attempts.
Thomas, who averaged 15.1 points and 6.3 rebounds during the
playoffs for Phoenix last season, was 1-for-11 from the field but
made up for it with his key defensive stop on Odom.