The Los Angeles Lakers snapped their two-game losing streak with one of their most impressive wins of the season Wednesday night in Dallas, a 109-93 pasting of the Mavericks. The Lakers return home this weekend for a pair of Western Conference battles at Staples Center, beginning Friday night. Here is the Lakers' schedule for the weekend.
Portland Trail Blazers at Lakers (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports West): The Blazers opened the season 5-1 and 7-2, but are now just 22-25. The two teams have split a pair of meetings, with each team winning at home. Their final meeting of the season comes in Los Angeles Friday night.
Memphis Grizzlies at Lakers (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports West, ESPN): Memphis hung tough without Zach Randolph and currently hold the fifth seed in the Western Conference. With Randolph back, the Grizzlies are a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference. The Lakers have beaten the Grizzlies twice this season.
Kobe Bryant is one of those athletes you just watch and your jaw drops, because he'll make shots approximately two or three others in the history of basketball have ever made.That's just someone you want on your team to win basketball games, because he can lift you to victory when the rest of the team isn't finding the range.
Bryant's numbers might be down, but Bryant can come in and make all those same shots when the opposition doesn't have enough defense to muster. With Shawn Marion out and Jason Kidd having to step in and guard Bryant for most of the game (with occasional help from Vince Carter and Lamar Odom), Bryant went off and put up one of his finer performances of the year.
Below are the video highlights for Kobe against the Lakers.
Take a look at some of these shots. The turnaround fadeaway off his pivot foot, the pullup from 20 feet going toward the basket, the catch of the basketball below his knees to drain the wide open three, the ability to pull-up with only a bit of space to operate and nail jumpers from long range. Those are impossible for about 99% of pro basketball players to make on a regular basis, and Bryant can somehow make it look routine. The man has ridiculous skill.
Oh yeah, and we haven't even really gotten to the absurdly impossible no-look alley-oop layup he had to fling in there.
One of the great artists in basketball history is nearing the end of his career, but he's far from tapering off and fading into the sunset. There's still too much greatness still left in Kobe's body to flicker out.
The Los Angeles Lakers rocked up the Dallas Mavericks with a scorching offensive performance, shooting close to 60% from the field for most of the game (58.4% from the field, and 50% from three point land). Pau Gasol needed only 16 field goals to score 27 points while also grabbing nine boards. Kobe Bryant 18 shots to score 30 points on five rebounds and four assists, and Ramon Sessions added 17 points on eight shots with nine assists and five rebounds. The Lakers really got going when Sessions made it on the court,as the Lakers went +28 with Sessions on the floor. Los Angeles outscored Dallas 30-15 in the second quarter.
The Lakers also outrebounded the Mavericks 46-29, outpassed Dallas (25 to 15 assists), and held Dallas to 42.7% shooting and forced them to take 26 threes, while only making eight of them.
Poor shooting and poor shot selection led to the Los Angeles Lakers blowing a 12-point lead with just over six minutes left on Tuesday night, falling 107-104 to the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center. The Lakers score 40 points in the first quarter and led by 15 points after 12 minutes of play, but scored just 64 points over the final three quarters.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 29 points, but made just 10 of his 27 field goals. He did score seven points on four possessions in the final two minutes, hitting three of four highly contested shots. Over his last nine games, Bryant is shooting 36.7% from the field, with a true shooting percentage of 49.7%.
Courtney Lee and Luis Scola each scored 23 points to lead the Rockets. Goran Dragic had 16 points and 13 assists for Houston, and hit the tie-breaking three-pointer with 28 seconds left.
Pau Gasol had 21 points and four rebounds for the Lakers, who shot 50.6% from the field. Andrew Bynum added 16 points and seven boards, while Ramon Sessions scored 14 points off the bench for Los Angeles.
Bynum was ejected in the third quarter after picking up two technical fouls, which certainly didn't help the Lakers.
The Lakers had a chance to tie with one final possession, down three points with four seconds left, but Sessions and Matt Barnes were unable to get the ball up the court to take a shot. The Lakers move on to face the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.