In an effort to snap a three-game skid, the Los Angeles Lakers came out with a lot of confidence on Friday night against the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves. Kobe Bryant, Jeremy Lin, Wesley Johnson, Nick Young and Carlos Boozer all had solid offensive performances, but it wasn’t enough to top a motivated team filled with promising young talent.
One player on the Timberwolves that seemed to be more motivated than most was rookie Zach LaVine. The UCLA product is admittedly a big Kobe fan and was a bit worried about being starstruck against the Lakers in his return to Los Angeles, but ended up having his best game yet on the NBA level.
Immediately after the game, Corey Brewer was heard shouting out the following about LaVine’s performance, according to ESPN’s Arash Markazi:
While Zach LaVine talks to the media Corey Brewer yells, "He's the biggest Kobe fan and he beat his a– tonight."
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 29, 2014
Even though the Lakers were unable to come out with the win at home, Kobe had arguably one of his best games of the season. The five-time NBA champion finished with a team-high 26 points to go along with five rebounds, assists and steals. Bryant was also efficient shooting the basketball going 10-for-18 from the floor.
Unfortunately, Kobe’s last shot was off the mark. Bryant was able to get a good look from beyond the arc to win the game for the Lakers, but came up short as the buzzer sounded.
As for LaVine, the rookie guard played exceptionally well scoring a game-high 28 points off the bench against his childhood idol. LaVine was on fire from the get go scoring at an extremely efficient rate. The former Bruin went 11-of-14 from the floor while dishing out five assists in 26 minutes.
Needless to say, LaVine first shot at playing against Kobe couldn’t have gone any better. The Timberwolves left Staples Center with the win and will continue to sit ahead of the Lakers in the Western Conference standings as a result.[divide]
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