(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.) By JON KRAWCZYNSKI AP Basketball Writer For 17 years, Kobe Bryant has been a supremely confident, ultra-aggressive offensive force who believed that the more he scores, the better the odds the Los Angeles Lakers win.
Even by his standards, Bryant was on a blistering run to start this season. He averaged just over 22 field goal attempts, right up there with the highest averages of his career. He took 31 shots in a loss to Houston, 41 in a win over Golden State and 32 in a loss at Toronto.
Off to a 17-25 start, and with the playoffs slipping away, Kobe has revamped his game. He's channeling more Magic than Michael now, becoming the Lakers' chief playmaker to jumpstart the struggling team. After posting double-digit assists just once in his first 42 games, Bryant is averaging 11.2 assists over the last five, a stretch that has produced four victories to offer some hope that all is not lost.
''It feels good,'' Bryant said Friday...