Kobe Bryant goes off for 44 in 3 quarters vs the Warriors
You just knew Kobe was going to put on a show – even if it was going to be a one-man show. Bryant was “questionable” going into Sunday night’s game against the Warriors because of “flu-like symptoms.” He was coming off one of his worst games ever where he shot 1-14. He and Shaq embraced before the game. Jack Nicholson was in the crowd. Elgin Baylor was going to be honored at half-time.
After a quarter of action, the 36 year old Kobe had 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists but the Lakers were down by 11.
“I’d rather get guys involved early. That’s always the intent,” Bryant said. “But when you go down 10-12 points in the hole, man, I’ve got to try to keep us in the ballgame at some point. The responsibility is on me. I mean, when things go good, it’s us. When things go bad, it’s me.”
By half-time the Warriors were leading 74-55 and Bryant became the first player since 1996 to attempt 24 field goals in a first half.
“They came out and knocked down shots and put us in a hole pretty quick,” Bryant said. “We’re not getting back in transition and giving up a lot of points. We’ve got to give ourselves an opportunity to play half-court defense. … They’re running the ball and shooting in transition in five seconds before you really get an opportunity.”
Bryant played 1 more quarter, where the Warriors outscored the Lakers 41-24, and then retired for the night with a stat line of 44 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in just 31 minutes.
“I think that just says that he’s still Kobe and he can get 44. As long as it doesn’t hurt us too much and the game’s going our way, then we’re going to play him straight up,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Kobe’s Kobe, and he’s always going to score — no matter how old he is. I’m sure it’s tough on him, but he’s such a competitor.”
Bryant is as competitive as they come up but unfortunately the 1-9 Lakers don’t seem to be a competitive opponent for most teams.
“It’s get to a point where you can’t make excuses. You can’t look at everybody else and point the finger. You have to look at yourself first.” said Kobe afterwards.