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February 24, 2008 5:22 PM

Lakers game thread

Posted by Percy Allen

IT'S OVER --- After chants from the crowd, coach Phil Jackson inserted former Sonics ballboy Coby Karl. Newcomer Adrian Griffin also entered the game.

THIRD QUARTER --- After Bryant was ejected, the Sonics' cut their 31-point deficit to 23. They trail 93-70. Not sure if there's enough time to make a comeback. Especially with Wilcox and Wilkins missing. Gasol has 20 points on 9-for-16 shooting and Odom has 17 points and 10 assists. Durant has missed eight of 10 shots. He has 11 points. Watson has 12 points and eight assists.

CAREER-HIGH FOR GELABALE --- Mickeal Gelabale has 19 points, which is a new career scoring high for him. His previous best was 17. Gelabale has sank 9 of 13 shots. He also has seven rebounds.

BRYANT TOSSED --- With 4:00 minutes remaining in the third quarter, official Brian Forte ejected Bryant for excessive talking. Bryant complained about a non-call on a drive and continued squawking as he slowly walked up the court. Forte apparent heard too much or heard the magic word when he rang Bryant up again and sent the Lakers star to the lockerroom. Bryant finished with 21 points on 8 for 13 shooting. He also ahs 10 assists.

HALFTIME --- The Lakers Big Three continue to dominate and the Sonics can't shoot straight. Bryant has 16 points, Gasol 12 and Odom 10. Gelabale leads Seattle with 14. The Sonics are shooting 38 percent, Los Angeles 51 percent.

NEWBLE MAKES DEBUT --- Ira Newble checked in with nine minutes left in the second quarter. Before the game, he said he had some knowledge of Seattle's system because it's similar to what the Cleveland Cavalers run. Carlesimo and Cavs coach Mike Brown are former San Antonio Spurs assistants.

FIRST QUARTER --- The Sonics have been playing good defense in their past few games, however, the Lakers shot 58.3 percent in the period and lead 34-18 after 12 minutes. Bryant has 11 points, Odom 10 and Gasol eight. Seattle has missed 16 of 25 field goals (36 percent). Mickael Gelabale leads the Sonics wiht six points.

BENCH MOB --- Lakers reserves Ronny Turiaf, Jordan Farmer and Sasha Vujacic are a rowdy group who cheer enthusiastically for their team. After big baskets, they bound from their seats and jump up and down on the court. It's clear to see they're the energy guys who pump life into the squad.

SHELL-SHOCKED --- The Sonics have that deer-in-the-headlights look as the Lakers are doing almost anything that they want. LA leads 20-12. Watson just collected a technical for arguing with official Brian Forte. It appears as if Watson is trying to get his team fired up. Right now, the Sonics are just in a funk.

BEST IN THE NBA? --- Coach P.J. Carlesimo declined to proclaim the Lakers the best in the league because he wants to see a few more teams one more time. There's five teams in the West who can win the title, Carlesimo said. The coach also believes Gasol gives the Lakers a versatile player they haven't had in past years.

SOLDOUT --- Tonight's game is the Sonics' third sellout this season. There's a very large contingency of LA Lakers fans. A Sonic executive estimated that 20 percent of the 17,072 in the building are Lakers fans. The team also sold about 2,000 tickets to Seattle-area high school cheerleaders who held a clinic at KeyArena.

STARTING LINEUPS

LAKERS
F -- Luke Walton
F -- Lamar Odom
C -- Pau Gasol
G -- Kobe Bryant
G -- Derek Fisher

SONICS
F -- Jeff Green
F -- Nick Collison
C -- Johan Petro
G -- Kevin Durant
G -- Earl Watson
Inactive: Marshall, Sene and Swift.

Officials: Mike Callahan, Brian Forte and Pat Fraher.

PRE-GAME NOTES --- Newcomer Donyell Marshall is suffering from flu-like symptoms and he will not play tonight. F Chris Wilcox is also ill and will not dress and F Damien Wilkins has a strained right wrist and will sit out.

Wilkins' absence gives more playing time to newcomer Ira Newble.

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