Smack / Apr 13, 2013 / 1:27 am

Kobe Bryant Plays Like A Gladiator, Lakers Win In The Last Seconds; Indiana Nearly Pulls Off An Unthinkable Comeback

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant (photo. Nike Basketball)

We make jokes all the time about Kobe Bryant‘s evolution from “human being” into “basketball cyborg” but last night, all of these 48-minute nights finally took their toll. We’d list the leg injuries he packed on over the course of the game against Golden State, but screw it. Let’s just say the dude’s entire lower body was a mess (and he ended up leaving with what is probably the worst injury of his career). He was completely zoned in though, scoring 34 before he eventually had to leave, duck walking off the floor with just over three minutes to go. What happened after that? Pau Gasol (26 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) and Dwight Howard (28 points) stepped up, and the Lakers survived two potential game-winners from the Warriors to win 118-116. The first was a wide open jumper from Carl Landry with 1.5 seconds left. The second was when Stephen Curry gave every Lakers fan a heart attack by nearly dropping a 66-footer. … Curry (47 points, nine assists) was unreal, scoring 22 points in the first quarter. He had 30 halfway through the first half. You know you’re a good shooter when you have a four-on-one fast break, and they still give it to you to shoot a triple. … Afterward, Bryant was in tears talking to the media, and says he knows his latest injury is a torn Achilles, hearing it pop on a routine move. That would be awful, especially at this point in his career. Let’s hope/pray the news gets better. … In Utah, the Jazz survived by seven against Minnesota mainly because Al Jefferson had perhaps the best game of his career, finishing with 40 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. That keeps them just a game behind the Lakers for the final West Playoff spot. … Memphis delivered a big blow to Houston’s hopes of overtaking Golden State for the No. 6 seed, beating them in a slugfest, 82-78. With the Rockets down three with a minute and a half left, Jeremy Lin (17 points) canned a triple from almost outside the arena to tie it. After a couple of screwball possessions from both teams, James Harden (30 points, seven rebounds) went right to the rack to try to draw a foul with Houston down one and only 30 seconds left. He got snuffed instead, something that happened consistently in the second half. On the other end, Mike Conley hit one of two to put Memphis up 80-78. Houston’s best opportunities came on the following two possessions, but on the first, Tony Allen put the shackles on the Beard, and on the second, Harden missed the easiest jump shot he’s had all year. … Earlier, with 10 minutes left in a two-point game, Harden got whistled for a charging call on Jerryd Bayless, and the entire arena erupted in anger. Everyone was pissed, and the announcers went on about it worse than we’ve seen from any announcing crew all year. Even Clyde Drexler was pissed, so you know it must’ve been bad. … At 54-25, the Grizz now have identical records with No. 3-seeded Denver, after the Nuggets dropped one in overtime against Dallas last night, 108-105. Vince Carter, who’s had a season’s worth of throwback games, pulled out one of his best: 22 points, 12 boards, seven assists. … You have to feel for John Wall. He had another solid game last night, grilling Philly for 24 points and seven dimes, and had Washington up for almost the entire first half. But then the Sixers hit the hosts with a 12-0 run in the third, and Washington started doing typical “Wizardy” things like have three big guys battle each other for the ball before it ending up in Spencer Hawes‘ hands for a layup. Jrue Holiday had 22 points in Philly’s eventually 11-point win, yet something tells us this game had very little influence on Doug Collins‘ future. … J.R. Smith better win the Sixth Man of the Year (he’s averaging about 25 points a game since Amar’e went down). He had another 31 points last night (missing just three shots) in New York’s 10-point win over Cleveland, and combined with Carmelo Anthony (31 points, 14 rebounds) to put the Cavs to bed. Last night was also the second time we’ve heard Austin Carr (Cleveland broadcaster) refer to Steve Novak as Machine Gun Kelly (aka the Cleveland-based rapper). One of the best nicknames we’ve heard in years. … New York also waived Kurt Thomas yesterday. The oldest player in the league had to go because of injuries. He wouldn’t have been able to play in the postseason. … Is there anyone in college basketball who doesn’t feel like they’re ready for the league? Texas guard Myck Kabongo is the latest to announce he’ll skip his final two years in college to earn a paycheck. We’ve always loved Myck, but his timing couldn’t be any worse. He played just 11 games last year after being suspended by the NCAA, and the Longhorns finished 16-18. The point guard did average 14.6 points and 5.5 assists, but not even David Kahn would spend a first rounder on him. … San Diego State junior Jamaal Franklin is also declaring for the NBA Draft. … Keep reading to hear why San Antonio cut Stephen Jackson…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elvis-Donofrio/100000149987625 Elvis Donofrio

    Great article. I’m a die heard Dubs fan(Warriors) for those that don’t know, but ever since that 30 for 30 ESPN take on Kobe a few years back, I have become a fan of him. His work ethic parallels Jordan, and we are lucky to have a player who represents that era. Lebron would be next in line, having the torch passed from Kobe to Lebron, but I gotta tellya, Kobe has showed the same drive and desire that Jordan did in his later years. NOBODY played harder than Jordan after he was in his mid 30s to 40. Funny that everyone says Kobe aint what he used to, I say BULLSHIT! Kobe has evolved, as Jordan did, to an ultrasuperstar status, and he’s only 34!! NOBODY plays harder than Kobe, and I hope Kobes injury isnt what everyone thinks it is, so he can come back and win his 6th with DHoward. The Dubs have many years ahead of them, I’m not worried