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Kobe Bryant leads late-game effort in Lakers' 115-110 victory over the Golden State Warriors

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The glaring eyes, the quick dribble, the efficient footwork, the acrobatic shot and the relentless confidence to duplicate such artwork over and over again became so ordinary for Kobe Bryant to pull off, but forever extraordinary to watch.

But there was perhaps one play that defined Bryant's will to carry the Lakers to a 115-110 victory Wednesday over the Golden State Warriors, marking the team's sixth consecutive victory. After being heavily guarded by guard Monta Ellis, Bryant dribbled left, split a double team in the lane and threw up a nearly impossible shot off the backboard. Once the bucket dropped, Bryant simply wagged his bandaged right index finger, a symbolic gesture appearing to chastise anyone who thinks they can stop him.

Bryant's team-leading 39 points on 13-of-21 shooting and an 11-of-11 mark from the charity stripe simply lifted the Lakers to an exciting finish that featured plenty of areas hard to exactly gauge given the unconventional nature of Golden State's up-and-down style. Did the Lakers' defense regress after allowing the Warriors to score 110 points, shoot 50.6% and enable Monta Ellis to nearly match Bryant's production with 38 points on 15-of-26 shooting. Or did the Lakers' failure to limit opponents from driving the middle of the lane, its inability to limit Golden State's 43.3% mark from three-point range and the Warriors' 31 points in transition show there's plenty of work the Lakers need to sharpen in their new defensive scheme. On the positive note, did the Lakers' frontline dominance in Pau Gasol (24), Lamar Odom (20) and Andrew Bynum (11) and 47-27 rebounding edge show continual improvement or simply expose the Warriors' lacking size.

The Lakers will address both the good and the bad, but it doesn't seem that there's anything definitive to take away from this game other than the Lakers continued down the winning track. Therefore, Laker fans should just view this game for simply its entertainment value: Bryant put on a show, did it within the context of the offense and lifted the team to victory.

Surely, the Lakers' fourth-quarter run began with Odom scoring 12 fourth-quarter points to give the team an 87-86 lead with 6:37 remaining. But after that point, Bryant took over the workload as the team still remained engaged. He started by hitting a corner three-pointer over Ellis. After hitting a pair of free throws, Bryant completed the play described at the top of the post that gave the Lakers a 97-93 lead following the three-point play with 3:10 left.

Less than a minute later, Bryant squared up at the top of the key, drove to the right block, pivoted left and then pulled up for a jumper that swished into the net and widened the gap to 99-95. After Ellis answered with an uncontested drive to the lane with a reverse layup, Bryant played facilitator. He drove to the right block, pump faked and then threw the ball out to the corner to Ron Artest, who drained a three-pointer to give the Lakers a 102-97 lead. And to cap it off, Bryant held the ball at the top of the key, eyed up with Ellis and drained a three-pointer in his face.

With the shot giving the Lakers a 105-99 lead with 43 seconds remaining, it all but sealed the Lakers fate. Bryant walked back to the sideline after a timeout spreading out his arms, a gesture fans have seen plenty of times during his storied 15-year career. But in what otherwise amounted to a regular-season game that held little big-picture implications, Bryant reminded everyone again how it never gets old to watch.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant shoots over Golden State guard Monta Ellis during the first half of the Lakers' 115-110 victory Wednesday. Credit: Ben Margot / Associated Press

 
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MOST INTERESTING GAME OF THE SEASON SO FAR. who cares that it was against the warriors? the downright nailbiting towards the end was awesome. great game, loved it. shame that some links were being stupid but otherwise just.. great.

Every season the Lakers and the Warriors play a game like this against each other. Very entertaining and nail biting. Good game and good win.

Something to get excited about; Lakers now have the current active longest winning streak. LOL

Wow, a 46 point 4th quarter.
Is that a Lakers record for most points scored in a 4th quarter?

And how fitting it is that the "other" LA team stops the Heat from beating Lakers record.
Way to go Clips.

Kind of amusing headlines for the LA Times sports page today.

MM headline says Kobe Leads Lakers To Victory.
Bresnahan headline says Odom Leads Lakers to Victory.

Hi Mark

I don't think you gave Lamar enough credit for his 4th quarter.

Lamar single-handedly gave the Lakers the lead.

The Lakers were down when Lamar went to work to tie the score. Phil then brought in Kobe with the score tied and 1 FT left for Lamar. Lamar then proceeded to give the Lakers the lead at 87-86.

Then Black Mamba took over and sustained the lead.

GREAT game! What a fireworks show that was in the fourth quarter. Simply amazing by both teams. Ellis and Curry were unstoppable. But Lamar got it going and Kobe, the REAL Kobe, returned to show everyone that he's still got it. Man what an incredible shoot out. It seemed like both teams scored about 15 points each in the last 30 seconds. Loved it.

Now the bad news. Our new defense apparently only works on teams that don't have super-quick guards. Ellis and Curry just did pretty much whatever they wanted to against us. The only good thing was that they didn't waltz straight up the middle. So I guess we at least have ended the "porn defense" problem. Our perimeter defense is still too loose. Our guards (ALL of them) still have a bad habit of funneling their man instead of fronting him and pushing him higher. It took an awesome offensive show at the end to pull this one out.

The really good news...Bynum continues to be a defensive force in the middle. When Ellis and Curry did penetrate, Bynum was there to alter both their path and their shot. He's definitely the key to getting #17.

Hey there Are You Serious,

Are you serious?

MM
I agree, Lakers can't take anything from this game. Lakers can't learn anything from their division.

Derek Fisher the clown of the NBA with 5 NBA championship Rings.

NAIVE? Has AMMO been there in the closing minutes? Mbenga, has he been there in those closing minutes? Yes they earned their rings while sitting on the bench. Where was D-Fish?
On the floor celebrating. That's my point

ARE YOU SERIOUS, guess YOU'VE FORGOTTEN along the way to 5, count 'em, that's 5 nba titles.....dfish has hit a few CLUTCH SHOTS to prople L.A. to the those titles. 5 rings speak for themself! 'NUF SAID!

Are You Serious-
Your Point?

ouchhhhhh

How the heck Are You ... Serious?

MM

"The Lakers will address both the good and the bad, but it doesn't seem that there's anything definitive to take away from this game other than the Lakers continued down the winning track."

Ah, but we disagree! The Lakers can take away this: in the fourth quarter they showed that they still have that "IT" in their DNA! The practice season has many little building blocks in it, and just like they beat the Clippers at the buzzer after trailing them, they came from behind in this one, too. It does not matter who the opponent was because this is the NBA and the Lakers always have a target on their back and they did this on a back-to-back travel game after a blowout, a natural time to let down by human nature. Entertainment? Absolutely. A little morsel called "mojo" to take away from it? Yep.

That Kobe is one bad man.

You take the good with the bad when it comes to Kobe. He isn't a consistently good shooter, but he can score big at time, and when he's on, he looks unstoppable. Also, he committed far too many dumb turnovers, which caused the Lakers to fall behind the Warriors. So, again, you take the good with the bad.

shut your mouth, but we're just talking about Kobe, then we can dig it.

refering to the hobbitmage post not the troy one.

I found something quite interesting last night while watching both the Lakers and Clippers 4th quarters (relentlessly pounding on the JUMP channel button) and ensuing victories:

1. Kobe and company (Lamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar, a la VTB) showed patience and poise in that frantic 4th qtr @ Oracle Arena. Kobe used his athletic ability to make that ridiculous shot in traffic... and offered up an anti-Mutombo finger wag to boot. Lamar was crashing the boards and doin' work. The offense ran well, and the guys deviated from it when needed.

2. LeBronze (Ringo) and company were clawing away at the Clippers lead, but ultimately failed to retake that lead and eventually lost the game. Ringo seems to be embracing the villain role right now, and many people have reported on his fantastic road game performances. Yes, he tweaked his ankle, but he kind of fizzled and Wade was nowhere to be found. How 'bout that Bosh airball and multiple bricks in the 4th? So much for that road win record, huh?

In the end, I once again appreciated the greatness we have become spoiled with.

By the way, I heard Dan Gilbert tweeted, "Ringo, tell me how my a-- tastes!". Karma is definately a hard pill to swallow.

DBDH!

WAR Vlad Rad on showing us the dazzling player he should've been with our team.

UnWAR Vlad Rad on showing us the dazzling player he should've been with our team.

The Space Cadet lives! The human paradox.

DBDH!

That Kobe is one bad man.
Posted by: hobbitmage |
================

Are you referring to his 6 turnovers?

This was a good win. It was a dangerous game - second night of a back-to-back, on the road, against an explosive scoring team averaging over 100 points a night.


Golden State was able to make it their kind of pace/flow. But the Lakers did what they had to do to win. Offfensively Pau kept them in it in the first half. Kobe kept them alive in the third. LO pushed them into the lead. And they rode Kobe home. Defensively it wasn't a great night, but Lakers used their size to control the boards and get a win.


It was sloppy at times, which plays into the Warriors style. It looked like a road back-to-back game. But the Lakers won, on a night when they weren't at their best as a team. These kinds of wins are crucial over the course of the season, and having guys like Kobe amd Lamar who can take over in the fourth quarter is huge.

Hey LeBron, Instant Karma is gonna get you! It is a bitch, huh?

Nice entertaining game. Big time show by Kobe with good support by LO, Pau and Drew.

That's six in a row and the Lakers have the longest winning streak in the Association. Far from perfection, but definitely back on track...thus song for this morning is...

Allman Bros. - Ain't Wasting No More Time
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woyx4hNiOe4


PS....disregard mispelling on video. But after I mispelled Seger yesterday I can't really talk. Must've been thinking bout Pete.

So, let me get this straight for whoever this "serious" person is...Kobe's turnovers which resulted in the warrior's ability to regain leads and stretch them is Fish's fault? Fish funnels the guards to the bigs but the bigs have disappeared is Fish's fault? OK, leaving the 3 pt shooters all alone was often Fish's fault, but come on. Kobe can miss his first 8 shots in a game and then take 22 more to get his numbers, but if Fish only goes 1 for 6 he's a washed up clown.
And I thought people hated Luke!
Then again, I thought D.Fish and Easy E got banned last year...

JR

i think i broke the jump button on my remote last night. one thing to note though... we saw the teeth last night... THE TEETH!

Great game! Thoroughly entertaining and the GSW post-game announcers said the same thing.

Given the Lakers scrimmage a night earlier where the sole focus for 48 minutes was defense, I thought this was a good counter punch. They had to keep up with 2 very quick and talented guards, offset a pretty good transition game and stay focused for the full 48.

Sure there were a couple drop-offs on defense. But I was impressed with AB's continued progress. I was focused on his footwork last night which I thought was very good. If the knock on AB is his lack of athleticism - it seems that's what he's working on most right now. A little bummed with AB's FG% - He's too close to the hoop to be less than 50%.

Most will talk about Kobe and his "saving the game". But I offer we NEEDED LO's offense and rebounding as well. Seems like LO has taken on the Rodman role this year and is a personal rebounding machine. As we all know, that's what won the championship last year. So, practicing the same this year with absolute consistency will help us in June.

GSW is one tall tree away from being a playoff team. They have great fans and always rise to the occasion when the Lakers come to town.

Cheers - PLG

FCM- you got a problem with your banned trolls coming back.

Actually 1-6 is an improvement. He had many games this year like 0-6 and 0-7.

A "washed up clown" at 1-6 is much better than a __________ (fill in blanks) @ 0-6 or 0-7.

Posted by: Are You Serious?! | January 13, 2011 at 07:30 AM

***

I think Fish has trouble shooting because his left hand is weighed down by all those rings. And yes, I'm serious... as a heart attack.

DBDH!

phred!


[dbdh]

there's no *ring* to auburn mamba though

… Fish only goes 1 for 6 he's a washed up clown.
Posted by: Jolly Rancher | January 13, 2011 at 07:17 AM

Actually 1-6 is an improvement. He had many games this year like 0-6 and 0-7.

A "washed up clown" at 1-6 is much better than a __________ (fill in blanks) @ 0-6 or 0-7.

Posted by: Are You Serious?! | January 13, 2011 at 07:30 AM

A "washed up clown" at 1-6 is much better than a non-stop talking clown like you? How that sounds

What a great game, even better being there. I've seen a hundred or more NBA games live, this will go down as one of the best one on one battle I've witnessed live. Great atmosphere, great game period.

LakerTom I was looking for you! I know who you are but you don't know who I am, lol!

I haven't posted anything really this season, but here are my two cents and nothing more about this season.

The chicken little’s will scream the sky is falling with some adversity throughout the season, the true fans- the ones that have been around, they know and have seen adversity in championship seasons before. I still truly believe we will #17 this season without a doubt.

Saying all that, I have this to say about some of our players this year so far at the half way point.

Kobe- What do we play for?
Pau- Man up, and play some consistent ball. Maybe you should marry Kim!
LO- WOW Out freaking standing!
Ron- Uhhh, let’s get it together again.
Fish- Stop driving to the basket and only shoot when you absolutely have to.
AB- Awesome, encouraging and our future!
Barnes- Perfect backup for Ron Ron.
Blake- Not impressed all year, not at all!
Brown- Made a believer in me this year.

Kobe in "just try and stop me mode" is always a wonder, but my favorite thing was finding -- at least for a moment -- another 4th quarter scorer in LO. Fish in the post season (Game 3 Finals anyone?) will do it occasionally, Ron is few and far between (but his whole Game 7 showing, yeah baby), Pau tends to wilt in the 4th in a scorer's role, though I love him as a player (his FT's in a tight game can be suspect at any time) and he hasn't yet developed that "gimme the rock and get on my back attitude," and Drew's a 5 not there yet.

So, enter LO. If he can keep that up, we're on Easy Street. So often when Kobe is too "keyed off" on by opposing teams (5 on 1), or when the Mamba's on the bench, the the rest of the Lakers stand around and don't score. Not so last night. LO said outta my way Saturn, and that was that.

Oh, LRob, you made a BIG mistake bringin' up the Brothers. I am a huge fan of Duane (and the other during that time). So this goes out to all the teams who have to face a motivated Kobe, a motivate Lakers and a motivated blog:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHhKnc0XZrs
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K8SYmWjV6w

Phew!

Great game. Maybe the first great game of the season. Was that three over Monta Kobe's first drained dagger of the season? I think it was his first legitimate dagger he's thrown all year. And, it was soo...callous.

That one shot made Monta's 38 points and 48 minutes seem irrelevant.

LO is a beast.

AB is a beast.

Monta was inhuman. Only two of his shots all night were uncontested. Unfortunately, one was that VERY embarrassing reverse layup in the fourth quarter.

I thought the D was pretty good last night. If not for that flurry of threes at the end, the Lakers would have held them below their scoring average.

BTW, except maybe on one hoist, there was no hope of any Laker stopping Monta on those heaves. Or Vlad Rad, for that matter (he's in a contract season, so you know everything he puts up is goin' in).

On the first of those flurry of threes that Monta made, he ran up the back of his own man and pushed off him to get separation for his jumper. What were we supposed to do there? Call him for fouling his own player?

Nope. What you do is make your free throws so that the tactic is moot. We did that. Closed the door of the fridge, and bid the Bay Area, "Good Night".

--FEARless

Sometimes it works out.

Sometimes it's 7-25.

We take the good with the bad.

Lakers are absolutely undeniably the best team. yes, they may lose here and there or let anger and passion for the game get the upper hand, but who can compare to them? And for all those Laker HATERS commenting all i can say is kiss our rings!

… Fish only goes 1 for 6 he's a washed up clown.
Posted by: Jolly Rancher | January 13, 2011 at 07:17 AM

Actually 1-6 is an improvement. He had many games this year like 0-6 and 0-7.

A "washed up clown" at 1-6 is much better than a __________ (fill in blanks) @ 0-6 or 0-7.

Posted by: Are You Serious?! | January 13, 2011 at 07:30 AM

A "washed up clown" at 1-6 is much better than a non-stop talking clown like you? How that sounds

Posted by: LAL_Fan


MM you only seem to tell the trolls to be civil. I don't think you intervene when your boys are not civil !!

Why didnt he perform so effective against the Spurs and Miami Heat in the Christmas Day demolition?My Lakers was built on a team orriented spirit,not individual accolades.Magic and Kareem were team Players,Michael Jordan,Tony Kukoc,Steve Ker and Mutombo were all winners and team ball players.Even the mean Green plays a team game.In 2003 Phil wasnt happy with such individualistic performance,and this is still the attitude of the lakers.Its strong team performance of sharing the ball(passing it around) and good defending thats wins Nba championships,it can even propel teams to an Nba finals even if that team didnt win,but kudos still to them.Come on lakers play the triangle offence with more beauty,its been 20 years now i have been hearing the media talking about that beautiful triangle.KUDOS to Tex,Phil,Hamblem and Cleamons.


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