Posted March 31, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant scored 19 points and tied a season high with 14 assists despite a nagging left foot injury, and the Los Angeles Lakers kept pace for the Western Conference's final playoff spot by outlasting the Sacramento Kings, 103-98, on Saturday night.
Bryant added nine rebounds and facilitated the Lakers' offense for 47 minutes, 37 seconds after Steve Nash exited early in the first quarter with a recurring right hamstring injury. Bryant also passed Lakers great Wilt Chamberlain (31,419 points) for fourth on the NBA's career scoring list, after starting four points shy of the mark.
Dwight Howard added 24 points and 15 rebounds, and Steve Blake scored 15 points for the Lakers (38-36), who stayed even with Utah (38-36) for the eighth and final playoff spot. Los Angeles hosts 10th-place Dallas (36-37) in a critical tilt Tuesday night.
Tyreke Evans had 21 points and nine rebounds, and DeMarcus Cousins added 19 points and 11 rebounds in Sacramento's latest loss. The Lakers won the season series 3-1.
With Bryant engineering the offense, Los Angeles showed some of its best ball movement of the season.
Bryant slipped a pass to Pau Gasol for a fast-break dunk - and his 13th assist - to put Los Angeles ahead 98-93 with 4:52 remaining. Gasol also tossed an alley-oop to Howard just before.
Sacramento refused to go away quietly at home. Cousins followed with a free throw and a long jumper, and Evans added a layup to slice the Lakers' lead to two.
After Bryant missed a jumper, Jodie Meeks stripped Evans on a layup attempt at the other end. Bryant hit 1 of 2 free throws to put the Lakers ahead 101-98 with 24 seconds remaining, giving Sacramento one last chance.
Howard blocked Cousins' 3-point attempt. After pleading with the official for a foul, Cousins got the ball back and he forced a 3-point miss. Bryant made two free throws to end a topsy-turvy night for the Lakers on a positive note.
Los Angeles lost Nash with a strained right hamstring just 1:48 into the game. Coach Mike D'Antoni patted Nash on the back before the point guard walked gingerly to the locker room and never returned.
Sacramento surged ahead 37-25 after the first quarter with a frenetic pace that often left the Lakers' frontline in the backcourt. The Kings, who entered the game averaging an NBA-best 108.9 points since the All-Star break, made 15 of their first 21 from the floor.
Sacramento held Bryant scoreless until he hit a pair of free throws with 8:50 remaining in the second quarter. The shots sparked Bryant and the Lakers late in the half, along with a larger-than-normal sprinkling of Los Angeles fans sporting purple and gold throughout the announced sellout crowd of 17,317.
Bryant made a pull-up jumper from the free throw line with 7:54 remaining in the second quarter to eclipse Chamberlain.
Still, Bryant's seventh assist of the half might have been his most important play. He found Blake for a 3-pointer to give the Lakers their first lead of the game, 51-50, before Sacramento went back ahead 57-53 at the break on Isaiah Thomas' 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds left.
Bryant had a bone spur in his left foot that has bothered him for several games. The injury apparently is unrelated to his sprained left ankle, which occurred earlier in Atlanta.
With his foot stiffening up when he sits, Bryant came out for just 23 seconds.
Bryant finished a thunderous dunk down the lane and added two free throws and a pair of assists, rallying the Lakers back with a 14-1 run to close the third quarter. Los Angeles led 82-75 entering the fourth.
The Kings had scored at least 100 points in 20 of the previous 23 games, including 11 straight at home.
NOTES: Bryant has tossed 14 assists two other times this season. His career high is 15 assists against Washington on Feb. 12, 2002. ... Cousins was called for a technical foul in the second quarter for slamming his hand on the scorer's table after officials whistled Thompson for a foul. ... Kings F James Johnson rejoined the team and was shooting around before the game. He sat out his eighth straight game because of personal reasons.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
There comes a time when every legend writes the last chapter in his book.
For one Kobe Bryant, the end appears to be drawing near.
Please click here to read this story and watch a retrospective video.
The post Report: Kobe Bryant is prepared to retire after 2013-14 season appeared first on Players View.
Kobe Bryant has given his notice to the basketball world, as he says he'll retire after the 2013-2014 NBA season, according to an interview Bryant did with NBA.com.Bryant says that he'll talk about his decision with his family and really see whether or not if it's worth getting back on the court."I'll talk to my family and stuff and really see if I want to continue...
It was yet another nail in the proverbial coffin for the Lakers last night, as they lost yet again to the Milwaukee Bucks and Kobe Bryant left the arena with another injury, an apparent bone spur in his foot that flared up. He was spotted on one crutch Tiny Tim style. If the Lakers make the playoffs, Kobe will have to declare, “God bless us, everyone!”
For fantasy owners, this...
Kobe Bryant could have surgery in the offseason to remove the bone spur.
Black Mamba no more? Seems like KB might be incorporating the old nickname with the new one. This Kobe Bryant piece by Yih Tak Wong from Singapore City, Singapore pays homage to the “Black [...]
Kobe Bryant eclipsed Wilt Chamberlain on Saturday night, becoming the NBA's fourth-highest career scorer.
Bryant's jump shot with 7:45 left in the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings put him at 31,421 total points for his career. Chamberlain finished his career with 31,419.
Bryant tied Chamberlain 22 seconds earlier with a driving lay-up.
Next on the list for Bryant...
SACRAMENTO -- The Lakers will probably have one or both of their aging backcourt starters ready to play Saturday against Sacramento.
The Lakers said Friday that Kobe Bryant was probable for the game after receiving treatment on his foot and ankle. He sat out two games recently because of a severely sprained left ankle and was bothered Thursday by a bone spur in his left foot.
Kobe Bryant has passed fellow Los Angeles Lakers great Wilt Chamberlain for fourth place on the NBA's career scoring list.
Bryant made a pull-up jumper from the free throw line with 7:54 remaining in the second quarter to eclipse Chamberlain's mark of 31,419 points. He tied Chamberlain 22 seconds earlier with a layup.
Bryant entered the game four points behind Chamberlain...
It may be a turbulent season for the Los Angeles Lakers but Kobe Bryant brought some smiles to the team and fans versus the Kings.
Heading into the Sacramento game, Bryant was chasing NBA great Wilt Chamberlain on the All-Time scoring list for fourth place and in the second quarter of action, Kobe did it.
With one shot from the field, Kobe passed Wilt to score 31,423 point...
Kobe Bryant has a habit of scoring a few points hear and there in case you haven't noticed. After doing it for 17 seasons the man has scored quite a few points, and on Saturday against the lowly Sacramento Kings he scored enough to move past Wilt Chamberlain for fourth on the all-time career scoring list in the NBA.
It really doesn't come as a surprise. He would have had...
As the Lakers watch their lead on the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference shrink, the team is also faced with more injury issues. I know, shocking, right? Both Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash are hobbled right now by pain.According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, Bryant is dealing with bone spurs in his foot and Nash is battling hip spasms. The bone spurs have...
According to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, in an effort to keep the main focus of the 2013-14 season from being about the uncertainty of his future, Kobe Bryant will most likely make a decision this summer on whether or not next season will be his last. The 34-year-old, who just passed Wilt Chamberlain for 4th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, is leaning towards retiring...
(Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports)
The 2012/13 NBA season looked like it was going to be all about power packed backcourt duos. The offseason saw numerous high profile guard combos hook up - the Lakers with Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant; Houston's Jeremy Lin and James Harden; Brooklyn teamed up Joe Johnson with Deron Williams. But which NBA backcourt starting pair...