Apparently the Mamba doesn’t like being accused of deliberately losing games. He’s funny like that.
With local reporters trying their best to turn Kobe’s week off into a Soap Opera, national reporters were busy trying to figure out where LeBron might land next season. Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with the Kobester, who doesn’t take kindly to fallen kings stealing headlines when his season is still going.
For his part, Kobe does a decent job of playing the recluse. The truth is he hears everything we say and sees everything we do. He calmly takes notes in his head and waits patiently for a time to rub it right in our faces.
Unfortunately for the Phoenix Suns, this time they were on the receiving end.
Game 1: Lakers 128, Suns 107
And it wasn’t that close.
After stewing for more than a week, Kobe unleashed a gem of a performance: 40 points, 56% from the field, 92% from the line, 5 rebounds, 5 assists. But the most important stat of all, one fourth quarter of rest.
If you think Kobe is finished with Phoenix, you haven’t been paying attention. Since Sir Charles dismissed Kobe and the Lakers as old and done, Kobe has averaged an efficient 30 points a game while his team has run off seven consecutive wins. The troublesome part for the Suns is the defending champs seemingly have enough momentum to end their season, and end it quickly.
One game doesn’t define a series, of course, but Kobe’s demolition of the Phoenix backcourt was only part of the reason Suns fans should be disheartened.
After finally getting past the San Antonio Spurs with a combination of potent scoring and staunch defense, the Suns came out flat in the biggest game of their season. They gave up a postseason high 128 points in what proved to be a surprisingly balanced scoring game for LA.
When final horn sounded, Grant Hill and Jared Dudley (combined 2-10 shooting) looked like George McFly as Kobe had just bullied them at both ends of the court. Only this time, Michael J and his DeLorean aren’t coming to save the day.
Although the Suns might be in need of some help.
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