After a sub-par overall performance from Kobe Bryant on Saturday against the New Orleans Hornets, Bryant exploded for 40 big points (on 16-28 shooting) to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 120-112 victory over the Golden State Warriors last night.
The win was not an easy one by any means, but the Lakers used their activity on both offense and defense to emerge victorious.
The first quarter saw an aggressive and efficient Kobe Bryant take over, as he scored 13 quick points (on 6-11 shooting) to lead the Lakers to a 27-26 advantage. However, Andrew Bynum went down with an ankle injury that would keep him out for the remainder of the game.
The Lakers led 57-54 at halftime on solid play from Bryant (17 points), Ramon Sessions (11 points), and Pau Gasol (eight points, five rebounds, three assists). Steve Blake also chipped in seven points and four assists by halftime.
In the third quarter, the Lakers managed to extend the lead to 13, 89-76. They were led by the same three players, plus Troy Murphy. Bryant had 12 points in the quarter, Gasol had eight, and Sessions added seven. Troy Murphy hit a three pointer in the quarter, but pulled down 10 big rebounds in the period.
The fourth quarter, however, was a battle. True to form, the Lakers let another big lead slip as the Warriors cut the lead to one point with just over six minutes to play. Ramon Sessions subsequently hit a three-pointer to hold the Warriors off, spacing the lead to 100-96.
The Lakers would then go on a run, but the Warriors kept battling and kept the game close. The Warriors came within three points once again as David Lee converted on a three-point-play with 1:59 left in the game to trail just 112-109.
However, Kobe Bryant would have none of it as he fired right back with a three-point basket. But, the Warriors went tit-for-tat as Richard Jefferson dropped in a three of his own, and kept the Warriors within three, 115-112. Metta World Peace would have the last laugh though, as he dropped in a three-pointer to put the Lakers up 117-112 with 1:09 left in the game. Ramon Sessions then hit a jump-shot of his own to seal the 120-112 victory.
Bryant finished the game with 40 points (on 16-28 shooting, 3-3 from three-point land), five assists, and three rebounds. Gasol had 26 points (on 11-17 shooting), 11 rebounds (four offensive), six assists, and three blocks while Ramon Sessions tallied 23 points (on 7-10 shooting, 2-3 from three), nine assists, and three rebounds. Metta World Peace added nine points, five rebounds, and three assists. Andrew Bynum was scoreless in 10 minutes of play, grabbing three rebounds.
As for the bench, Troy Murphy had 11 rebounds and eight points (2-3 from three) while Josh McRoberts grabbed eight rebounds and scored two points. Steve Blake scored seven points and dished out five assists, and Matt Barnes filled up the stat sheet with five points, four rebounds, three blocks, and two steals.
The Warriors had balanced scoring across the board, led by David Lee, who had 27 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Klay Thompson scored 18 points and Nate Robinson had 17 points and seven assists. Richard Jefferson added 16 points while Dorell Wright scored 14. Charles Jenkins scored 10 points and dished out six assists, but no other Warrior scored more than four points.
Now, let’s break down the victory.
Next Page: The Breakdown