Nearly one week ago, Kobe Bryant played one of the worst games of his career. He had six turnovers and made just six of 28 field goals in a road loss at Denver, the only Los Angeles Lakers player in the last 25 years to miss more than 20 shots in a game. Three games later, Kobe is still Kobe, which is what we knew all along.
Bryant scored 26 of his 39 points in the second half Friday night against the Golden State Warriors, almost singlehandedly turning a seven-point third quarter deficit into a lead that the Lakers never relinquished. The Lakers beat the Warriors 97-90 for their fifth straight home win.
Kobe shot the ball 28 times on Friday night, the same number as Sunday in Denver, but the results were much better for the Lakers. He made 13 of those field goal attempts, and was able to get to the free throw line a season-high 14 times, making 12. Bryant has made a whopping 40 field goals in the last three games, shooting 49.4% during that span.
Sure, he has taken 27 shots per game in the last three games, but with 35.3 points per game and a trio of 30-point games during that time, that will get it done. Especially when considering Bryant is playing with a torn ligament in his right wrist, an injury that requires him to receive pain-numbing treatment before each game. As Matt Barnes told Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA, "He's playing with a boxing glove for a hand. It's that swollen."
In the last three games, Bryant with that boxing glove for a hand has given the Lakers a puncher's chance.
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