Yesterday, the Lakers played the New Orleans Hornets and as hard as they tried to lose, they actually won. They won despite the kind of game from Kobe Bryant that comes along once in a blue moon. In fact, a blue moon happens more often than that kind of game for Kobe. As you've no doubt heard (and may have seen), Kobe went scoreless for three full quarters, missing 15 straight shots before hitting one in the fourth quarter. He only made three on the day and his last one was a doozy, a 3-pointer to give the Lakers a one-point lead with less than 30 seconds to play. If he had missed the shot, I think 105-year-old Allene Wynn may have had more than a few words for young Mr. Bryant.
After the game, Kobe came as close to admitting he's exhausted as you'll ever hear, though it's painfully obvious to everyone else, except perhaps Lakers coach Mike Brown.
Lakers coach Mike Brown said he did not believe Bryant's struggles against New Orleans were tied to him playing a game-high 38 minutes and 19 seconds. With 14 games left in the regular season and the Lakers holding a tenuous lead in the Pacific Division over the Los Angeles Clippers, Brown is trying to balance resting Bryant while still winning games.
"I'd love to be able to not play him 38 (minutes). Obviously a couple minutes less would be ideal, but sometimes that's how it goes," Brown said. "Hopefully I can get his minutes down from what it is throughout the rest of the year because that would be ideal."
The coach said last week he has no plans to give Bryant a game off to rest as the Lakers head down the stretch.
In the meantime, the Lakers again face the Golden State Warriors tonight at Staples, where they'll try to pump up their slightly deflated home-winning record. I'll be at today's game, along with Silver Screen and Roll members l3oh and firstto100. Wish us (and the Lakers) luck!
Around the league, Jeremy Lin is likely out for the season with a meniscus tear that will require surgery; Jason Kidd wants to run the front office of an NBA team when he's done playing; Michael Jordan may consider selling the Bobcats if he ""make a profit in the next three to four years" - too little, too late, Mr. Jordan?; and there's a play about Magic Johnson and Larry Bird coming to Broadway.
↓ More after the jump ↓
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- L.A. Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors on Sunday
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- Kobe Bryant admits fatigue in Lakers' 88-85 win over Hornets
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