Southern California breaking news and trends

World Peace talks about not shaking hands after Lakers beat Denver in Game 7

Nuggets Lakers Basketball

Mark J. Terrill/AP

Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol, right, of Spain reacts after scoring as Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried reacts as well during the second half in Game 7 in their first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Saturday, May 12, 2012, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 96-87. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

THe Los Angeles Lakers defeated the the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night, 96-87 in Game 7 of a first round series.

"Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum dominate inside, combining for 39 points and 35 rebounds while Steve Blake comes off the bench to hit five of six three-pointers and score 19 points," the L.A. Times reports excitedly.

Metta World Peace, after contributing 15 points, five rebounds and four steals in his first game back after a 7-game suspension for a controversial elbow to James Harden's head, told ESPN "I don't shake substitutes' hands," speaking about Harden's stand-in for Monday's game against Oklahoma City Thunder.


Taxi torching arson suspect arrested for 2010 post-Lakers game melee

lapd staples center

Photo by Chris Yarzab via Flickr Creative Commons

An arson suspect in the two-year-old case of the taxi that was set on fire after the Lakers won the NBA Championship in 2010, was arrested and released on bail last weekend.

22-year-old Darren Cooper of San Bernardino came to the attention of investigators thanks to witness tips and footage taken of the June 17, 2010 incident, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department officials.

One of several acts of violence and vandalism that occurred near the Staples Center downtown, Cooper is accused of burning the taxi, and was charged with one felony count of arson to property, say authorities. 

"The taxi driver, out of fear for his own life, got out of the vehicle, and they proceeded to break the windows of his taxi, jump on his taxi, tear off the mirrors, tear off the taxi sign, graffiti across the hood of his car - and there were six individuals that we feel were responsible for the burning of his vehicle," said LA Fire Captain Jamie Moore who says they identified Cooper from a video taken by someone on the street.


Arms deal: Lakers' Metta World Peace suspended seven games for elbow swing

Thunder Lakers Metta World Peace Ejected Basketball

Reed Saxon/AP

Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol (16), of Spain, stands between an official and Oklahoma City Thunder player after Lakers' Metta World Peace (15) was called for a double flagrant foul and ejected from the game in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, April 22, 2012 in L.A.

Lakers forward Metta World Peace has been suspended for seven games, the NBA announced Tuesday. It is his tenth league suspension since 2003, notes the L.A. Times.

During last Sunday's game, Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden suffered a concussion when his head connected with MWP's swinging elbow.

Harden has not yet been cleared to play.

The suspension means World Peace will miss out on Thursday's regular-season finale at Sacramento. He also would not be eligible to play in six playoff games, should the Lakers soldier forth into that territory.

Any remaining part of his suspension will be applied to the beginning of next season.

He will not be paid for missed games.


Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner