words // Brandon Richard
Prior to the NBA All-Star Break, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a three-game losing streak, capped off by an embarrassing loss at the hands of the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. At that point, it was set in stone; Kobe Bryant was washed up and the Lakers were not ready to try for a three-peat. Fast-forward six weeks later, and the story is quite different. The Lakers are 15-1 since the All-Star Break, blasting through opponents by an average of 10 points per game. To nobody’s surprise, it’s Kobe leading the surge, and any reports of him being over-the-hill were a little premature.
In games played last week, Kobe was indeed the “Black Mamba.” He averaged 36.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.6 assists in three outings. After posting the big Kobe-like numbers that we’ve come to expect and continuing to win, making Mr. Bryant the Eastbay NBA Player of the Week was a virtual no-brainer.
While Kobe was great in all of last week’s games, it was the triple-overtime thriller against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesdays that stood out. Just missing a triple-double, Kobe racked up 42 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists on the night, helping lift the Lakers to a big win against their old rivals from the desert.
Check out some highlights from Kobe’s big game against Phoenix below:
Kobe calls out a play in the Nike Zoom Kobe VI.