Lakers vs. Pacers: a game with a face for radio

Jonathan Cha

Jonathan Cha writes about the Lakers thanks to the way Chick Hearn spoke on it. A fan since Magic first dumped it down low to Kareem for a swing left, shoot right skyhook in San Diego, he also contributes his thoughts on USC football to LA Sports Hub. Tweet him about it @chawonshik.

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 Happy Birthday, Chick Hearn.

What better way to celebrate the birthday of the greatest broadcaster in sports history than with the gift of a Laker game?

Just for Chick, two players chased a triple-double, one of the many “Chickisms” Francis Hearn graced the game with as he uniquely and brilliantly described every nuance of every moment on the 94-foot by 50-foot chunk of hardwood for an untouchable 3,338 consecutive.

Nobody would have questioned if Chick skipped this one.

It had plenty of heart brrr-eaks.

The NBA scheduled a game on Tuesday night at the Staples Center between the Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Lakers. Unfortunately, the result only occasionally resembled basketball. For a 6-minute period during the 2nd quarter, the Lakers outscored the Pacers 4-2. The Pacers finally stopped the torture and won 79-77 on a layup by George Hill with 0.1 seconds left on the clock. They shot 37% from the field, 21% from 3, and 63% from the line.

Yes, they won with those numbers.

The Lakers faired far worse as a sick Kobe scored more than his teammates. The flu-ridden Mamba dropped 40 points in 44 minutes on a day where his playing remained in doubt until game time. Kob added 10 rebounds and 10 turnovers to notch the faux triple-double. Almost everyone else was awful, shooting 32% from the field and 21% from 3.

Dwight pitched in 17 points and 8 boards, but shot 3 for 12 from the line, missing two while down by one down the stretch. Dwight tied the ball game at 74 on an impressive find by Pau Gasol, one of his 3 assists to go along with 10 points and 9 boards, from the free throw line for a slam dunk, another “ism.” Momentum seemed back on the Lakers side, looking for their first lead since 3-2. But, the Lakers next three possessions served as a microcosm for the catastrophic evening.

Kobe stepped out of bounds on a handoff from Pau. Dwight missed two free throws. Showing team unity by also suffering from the charity stripe (“Ism”), Metta missed another pair immediately after to complete the 20-miss, 54% free throw line debacle.

Shooting woes and 19 turnovers did the Lakers in, sending them back below five hundred at 7-8. The silver lining remains the team’s grit and heart in fighting back and putting themselves in a position to finally compete after seesawing within a tie or going down by double-digits for most of the night. They outrebounded the Pacers 56-50, which isn’t so impressive considering the numerous opportunities granted by a combined 102 missed shots. Aside from Kobe, Dwight, and Pau, the rest of the team scored 10 points. (“Ism” alert) They couldn’t throw a pea in the ocean.

The fact they almost won provides very little comfort for the spilled Jell-O, frozen eggs, and melted butter all over this fridge on the fritz.

Chick, feel free to return this gift, and maybe the Lakers will find something more celebratory on Friday night vs. Denver.

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