LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant
came up with another great
performance, and it finally paid off for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant scored 15 of his season-high 48 points in the final six
minutes as the Lakers rallied for a 117-99 victory over the
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Entering the game, Los Angeles was winless in three games when
Bryant reached the 40-point plateau.
"When they don't come to double I am just going to take my time
and go to work," Bryant said. "I think it is us just
collectively doing a job when I score 40-something points. It
is not me just going off on a solo riff, everybody is
"Guys are looking for me setting good picks and getting to their
spots. When I score 40 it is not a 'me 40' but a 'we 40,' if
that makes sense."
's jumper with 6:44 remaining gave the Raptors a 93-89
lead, but the Lakers hit three straight 3-pointers to spark a
game-ending 28-6 rally.
hit his second 3-pointer of the game at the 6:24
mark and Bryant followed with one of his four baskets from the
arc to put Los Angeles ahead for good. Lamar Odom
3-pointer for the Lakers, who shot 52 percent (13-of-25) from
Odom had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Caron Butler
added 18 and
nine and Jones grabbed a season-high 11 boards as Los Angeles
outrebounded Toronto, 51-44.
"Even though tonight was not a big scoring night for me, I am
such a rhythm player, so when I get taken out of the game early
due to foul trouble, I sort of just let the game come to me,"
Odom said. "I rely on my rebounding and try to create some
mismatches and create some open shots for the guys."
Despite a bad fall in the first quarter, Bryant was the only
player to reach double figures in the first half, scoring 25
points to help the Lakers to a 59-55 lead at the break.
"There were certain things I could not do with it," Bryant said.
"But the movement that I couldn't do with it were something
that I couldn't do on the court. I could still raise my arm and
could still move it from side to side. Some of the movements I
could not do, like tie my shoe, were not really important."
Toronto battled back in the third quarter.
Trailing, 79-70, with just under five minutes left in the
period, the Raptors closed out the quarter with a 12-2 run to
take an 82-81 lead. Rafer Alston
, who also had 11 assists,
scored six of his 13 points during the outburst and was one of
seven Toronto players to score in double figures.
"We took too many three-point shots," Alston said. "We played
hard. The thing that's hurting us most is we can't get the
shots that we need to go down. And we are letting them get
offensive rebounds. Those are the things that we have to
continue to work on and look at film and make a conscious effort
to do those things.
"This thing is feasible. We're not that far out of it although
our record is disgusting. The East is there for teams to creep
up and into the playoffs. We just have to keep working hard."
Rose scored 12 points and Chris Bosh
chipped in 11 and 10
rebounds for Toronto, which has lost six straight against Los
Raptors coach Sam Mitchell thought that Bryant was the catalyst
for the Lakers.
"Kobe Bryant had a great game," Mitchell said. "When we were
able to make him give the ball up, he passed to teammates that
made 3-point shots. Caron Butler hit three 3-pointers that just
broke our back."
"He just kept dribbling and dribbling and it's tough when a guy
as skilled as he is keeps putting the pressure on the defense.
He's smart. He goes at our big guys because the big guys can't
move as fast."
scored 10 points and needs just 23 more for
20,000 in his career. Despite a 2-4 record in the last six
games, the veteran forward thinks the team is still playing well
now that Vince Carter is gone.
"We still move the ball well," Marshall said. "I think the
style of offense Vince was in was geared towards him and the
guys were standing around a lot. I think with the offense now,
it's kind of a freelance offense. You're supposed to pass the