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Lakers would rather let it be drawn out

Staff writer Mike Bresnahan ties up some loose ends on days of Lakers playoff games.

Killer instinct?

Why can’t the Lakers ever get that commanding 3-0 lead on a playoff opponent? They used to do it all the time.

Ankur Desai, a reader from New York City, sent an e-mail summing up all the times the Lakers have had home-court advantage, taken a 2-0 series lead, and won Game 3 on the road.

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“Current Lakers (2008 and ’09): One out of five times (20%). Shaq/Kobe/Phil Lakers: Six out of nine times (67%). Showtime Lakers: 16 out of 22 times (73%) . . . some were best-of-five close-outs in round one, but still, they got it done.”

Excellent research, Ankur. I think there’s a job opening for you at STATS Inc.

And, hey, do you do taxes? Or maybe you could help me figure out all the financing for my soon-to-be-purchased home?

Q&A; of the day

Question: “Magic to win four straight? I just could not see the Lakers winning the Finals. Other than Kobe, the rest did not seem so keen to win at all.”

--Teo Chee Shi

Answer: I think we just saw the first person jumping off the Lakers’ bandwagon.

Of greater importance, what is a bandwagon and why do we always refer to it in sports?

According to Wikipedia, which I never trust unless it’s almost dinner and I’m really hungry and the Orlando humidity has sapped my mind of any useful research capabilities and I have a free pass for a private nighttime party at Disney World, a bandwagon “carried the band in a parade, circus or other entertainment.”

But the phrase “jump on the bandwagon” first appeared in U.S. politics in the mid-1800s when Dan Rice, a popular circus clown, “used his bandwagon and its music to gain attention for campaign appearances. As campaigns became more successful, more politicians strove for a seat on the bandwagon, hoping to be associated with the success.”

So, thank you, Dan Rice, for being the foundation of one of the most overused cliches in sports. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Celebrities? Where?

At least the Lakers won something in Game 3, according to an Orlando Sentinel story that noticed only three celebrities were shown on the scoreboard by the “celebrity cam” during a timeout -- Spike Lee, Tiger Woods and rapper Ludacris.

“Pretty soon people will have to nickname O-Town ‘No-Town’ when it comes to celebrity appeal,” the story said.

That was kind of harsh, but, well, “No-Town” could also have another meaning: no NBA championships ever won.

Final thought

Whether they’re tired or not, the Lakers should win tonight. Las Vegas is moving closer to thinking that way too. The Lakers were four-point underdogs in Game 3, but oddsmakers have them down to only 2 1/2 -point underdogs in Game 4.

--

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com


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