The Lakers (12-2) host the visiting Goldenstate Warriors (7-6) in a brief two game home stand, going for their 11th consecutive win versus the Warriors and their fourth overall win in a row. As of late the formula for success has been to let Kobe get you out of the gate and have the rest of the team finish strong. On the recent three game road trip Bryant averaged 29 points, 8 rebounds and shot a sizzling 96% (25-26) from the line.
Kobe started out guarding a quick and crafty Monta Ellis, which initially looked to be a tough test on the knee, as Ellis has probably been the quickest guard for Bryant thus far, but wasn’t an issue at all. Monta is currently one spot ahead of Kobe in scoring at 27 ppg putting them 2nd and 3rd respectively behind Kevin Durant. The size and strength differential between the two came into play as Bryant slowed Monta down with a few body checks and continuously corralled him into the help defender. Ellis shot a measly 2-10 from the field due of the great defensive attention from Bryant. His energy spread like wild fire as the Lakers team defense held Goldenstate to 35% shooting for the game.
Offensively Kobe dictated the tempo, using his size advantage on Ellis to attack the basket, create great post position, rise and finish. Every time down the court the ball went through his hands as he had an immense mismatch in which Bryant capitalized. There were some great passes from the post, nice jumpers, and an emphatic dunk, but the key to this game was the points in transition and paint.
The Lakers were up 28 points at half, 22-2 in fast break points, 20 assists, and shooting a blistering 66%. Great movement of the ball, execution on shot attempts, and amazing communication, all cylinders were clicking.
The Lakers are now 7-1 at home, but have a tough test Tuesday against hot Chicago Bulls team who has won five of their last six. LA could use a duplicate performance from players like Gasol who went a perfect 10-10 from the field and 8-8 from the line, logging 9 rebounds and 5 assists. He couldn’t miss and seemed to be in all the right places towering over the smaller Warrior front line. Kobe finished with 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, going 6-6 from the line and committing zero turnovers.