Starting the 3rd quarter, the Clippers led the Lakers by 12 points. But, with 31.8 left in the quarter, Kobe Bryant bombs and hits a 3-pointer with a man all in his face to bring the Staples crowd to it feet. That shot can be called nothing less than Kobe-listic; which much like a missile seeking out its target to destroy, it comes from any place on the court to do what it has to do. The Lakers cut the 12 point Clipper lead to 4 to end the quarter. Kobe, at the end of the quarter, had 32 points.
The Clippers, no longer to be taken lightly, opened the 4th quarter by outscoring the Lakers 8-6 in the first 3 minutes of play as Chris Paul made his league superstar status felt by the Lakers. He bombed and made like a 40 foot 3-pointer to hold a Lakers' run in check. That shot put the Clippers ahead 82-74. The Lakers tried to energize themselves as Gasol alley-ooped off a pass from the rookie Morris to cut the Clippers lead to 6, 82-76. But, Paul answered that with another jumper to get the Clippers back up by 8, 84-76. At that point of the game Paul had 28 points. But, over the next 6 1/2 minutes the Lakers would only be able to score 6 points, and the Clipper were able to pull away as time slipped away from the Lakers.
Kobe hit a fall away jumper with 3:19 left in the game to bring his point total to 38 for the night, but the Lakers trailed by 11 at that point.
Griffin hit a jumper over Bynum with 2:54 as the Clippers answered anything the Lakers tried to do, as they extended their lead to 13 points.
Kobe answered Griffin's jumper with a 17-foot running jumper to push his point total to 40 points for the night. But the game is out of reach for the Lakers as they trail the Clippers by 11.
With 1:54 left in the game, the Clippers sealed the win with a Randy Foye jumper to push their lead back to 11, 99-88.
The teams trade meaningless baskets to bring the game to an end with the Clippers winning 102-94.
Kobe finished with 42 points. That's 40 points or more for the 4th straight game for a man playing in his 16th season. Win or lose, that is amazing!
POST GAME COMMENTS
Kobe couldn't will the Lakers over the Clippers starting line-up. There is something definetly wrong with this loss, because the Clippers' bench only had 10 points. And those points came from one player: Randy Foye.
The Lakers' bench scored 13 points spread among 4 players.
The obvious thing that stands out for the Lakers, in this loss, is that Kobe is doing all the work for the team. His teammates are just standing around. And when they do have the ball, they are eagerly looking for Bryant to pass him the ball. There's something wrong with that picture. Its as if they don't have the nerve to do something on their own.
Some of the shots Kobe made tonight were truly amazing because he had a man in his face, but his shot was falling, anyway, as he finished 14 for 28 from the field. Guards and small forwards, if they shoot anything near 50%, that is excellent.
Like a lot of other teams in the league, right now, the Lakers are injured. They could have used Blake's outside shooting tonight. And Murphy only played 48 seconds in the game tonight. But, still, the Lakers need to come together as a team, because it's already been proven that Kobe can't win it all by himself. With all the coverage that teams are throwing at Bryant, his teammates need to step up and deliver when they get the opportunity. If not...Kobe is going to continue with his shooting to keep the Lakers in the game. And who can blame him? If his teammates don't come through when they get the ball, what is Bryant supposed to do?
I mean, again, tonight, both Bynum and Gasol delivered double/doubles, but the team still came up short. The 1 and the 3 spots for the Lakers need to step up! Well, Barns, the 3 spot, has been doing well over the past couple of games, but, without Blake...the Lakers' 1 spot needs an answer.
I hear the Warriors just cut Ishmael Smith. He's not a bad player to fill in for Blake while he's down. The Lakers need to do something at the 1 spot.
Round one goes to "Lob City."