The Los Angeles Lakers had a great opportunity to pick up their second-straight victory, but a pair of botched free-throws from Wesley Johnson in the final moments of the fourth quarter allowed the Phoenix Suns a chance to close out the game in a 114-108 overtime loss.
Kobe Bryant was on fire once he checked into the game in the fourth quarter. He was hitting tough, well-defended shots, using his usual footwork and muscle memory to deliver haymakers to the Suns. Byron Scott pulled him out of the game in the final minutes of overtime to keep his minute-load down. Bryant finished with a game-high 27 points on 20 field goals, doing much of his damage in the fourth quarter and overtime. Unfortunately for the Lakers it didn't amount to a victory.
Jeremy Lin's return to the Lakers lineup was a welcomed sight as he facilitated the offense and orchestrated the pick-and-roll throughout the game. His chemistry with Ed Davis continues to grow, and the duo connected on a handful of nice plays, including this beautiful screen leading to an alley-oop dunk:
Lin finished with 15 points and five assists off the bench.
Wesley Johnson struggled through the game, turning the ball over eight times and looking out of sync on offense. Making matters worse, his two missed free-throws in the final seconds of the fourth quarter allowed Phoenix the chance to force overtime. Making just one would have likely ended the game with a Lakers victory.
The Suns' perimeter players scored in bunches. Isaiah Thomas finished with 26 points and forced overtime by hitting a jumper as the fourth quarter buzzer sounded. Gerald Green scored 21 off the bench, Goran Dragic sliced up the Lakers' defense for 15 points, and Eric Bledsoe ended the night with 11 points, six assists and seven rebounds.
The Lakers are back in action Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers. At the very least, Lin had a solid game in his return, and we got to see some vintage Kobe Bryant at the end of the game: