Similar to the wild colors enjoyed by those acid dropping hippies in 1967, last night's 122-107 win over the Nuggets featured Kobe Bryant visuals that felt like they couldn't possibly be real. The second game in this series kicked off with 24 in immediate attack mode, the aggressiveness coming in part to offset his teammates' collective inability to knock down shots. Bryant was also looking to offset the continual trash talking on the part of his opponents, who seem incapable of learning they'd be better off shutting their yaps. Kobe notched 20 first quarter points on 8-10 shooting, the foundation of a half that would wrap up at 25 and come within a eyelash of hitting a franchise record.
From there, Kobe did more than just light up the scoreboard, taking on the role of facilitator in brilliant fashion. His second half included eight assists, with common beneficiaries being Pau Gasol and a very effective Luke Walton. Taking a cue from their leader, the Lakers moved the ball at a dizzying pace, accumulating enough assists (33) that they could have loaned a few to Denver (who certainly could have used them). From there, it was a fourth quarter feeding frenzy. 19 points off double crossover drives and three pointers that appeared to measure about 40 feet. Kobe then put away his six shooters, ironically marking a time when Denver was the team appearing short on bullets for the box score. The MVP voting is already over and done, but last night's game did serve to defend those marking their "X" beside Kobe' moniker. Whether you're talking domination, versatility or putting a stamp on his own team, it was an evening clearly owned by The Mamba.
The Rocky Mountain heights serving as a Game 3 venue often lead to troubles catching ones breath, which could require some adjustments by the Lakers (which seems to be their forte as it is). Of course, unless there's an accompanying mental adjustment by Denver, the Lakers could play while clinically diagnosed with Hypoxia and it really wouldn't make a difference. In any event, the change in climate hopefully won't worsen Ronny Turiaf's bad throat.
One L.A. scribe thinks the Lakers' good fortunes are equally fruitful for the Dodgers.
Anthony Carter's been bumped from Denver's starting lineup, but if his background is any indicator, he'll continue to persevere.