Posted March 07, 2013 on
AP on Fox
A remarkable comeback in their latest contest showed how serious the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be about making a push for the playoffs.
Trying again to move above .500 for the first time since November, the Lakers hope to continue their home success over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night while trying for a season-high fifth straight victory at Staples Center.
Trailing by as many as 25 points, Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his 42 during a 20-0 run over the final 6:22 to help Los Angeles (31-31) win 108-102 at New Orleans on Wednesday. It was the Lakers' 14th win in 20 games and a strong indication that they're poised to leave the previous turmoil of the season in the past and move back into playoff position.
Los Angeles, which was last above .500 at 6-5 on Nov. 20, is 1 1/2 games behind Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"This game brought us closer together as a team,'' said Dwight Howard, who had 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks, including a key rejection of Robin Lopez's attempted game-tying shot in the final 30 seconds.
"This is what it takes when you're playing for the playoffs and then when you're in the playoffs, fighting through games like this and it just shows our character."
Averaging 35.1 points on 56.4 percent shooting in the last seven games, Bryant again was the driving force one night after he scored 30 while playing through an elbow injury in a 122-105 loss at Oklahoma City. He scored 18 in the fourth quarter and had 12 assists Wednesday.
"It's tough games like this that really strengthen the bond between us players and that's really what the playoffs is about,'' Bryant said. "You have adversity. It's about who's going to stick together and who's not going to break.''
Even with star Pau Gasol out with a foot injury, the Lakers are in a better place than they were while losing 10 of 12 in January. That rut included a 108-103 loss at Toronto (24-38) on Jan. 20 that snapped a four-game series winning streak. Bryant scored 26 and Steve Nash added 16 with nine assists but Howard was limited to five points with two boards before being ejected late in the first half for drawing his second technical foul.
Los Angeles has won nine straight over the Raptors at home, where it's averaged 105.4 points and shot 50.1 percent to win eight of nine overall. Toronto is 2-13 all-time at Los Angeles, but its last two defeats there came by a combined seven points.
Toronto snapped a five-game slide by shooting 48.1 percent during a 98-71 win at Phoenix on Wednesday. DeMar DeRozan scored 15 to lead six Toronto players in double figures and help the Raptors win for the second time in eight games.
"We were desperate and tired of losing, being on that five-game losing streak,'' DeRozan said. "We had to continue to keep stepping on their necks. We tend to give up leads, and (Wednesday) we stayed focused, especially on defense.''
Toronto held the Suns to 37.8 percent from the field while allowing its fewest points of the season. The Raptors gave up 247 on 53.4 percent shooting in losing its previous two games at Milwaukee and Golden State.
DeRozan, a southern California native, averages a team-leading 17.7 points but has been held to eight in each of the last two against the Lakers - both at home.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Not sure what made the Hornets forget to guard Kobe Bryant, but with less than 30 seconds left in a two point ball game, Kobe squeezes through the New Orleans Hornet defenders for an easy dunk. Bryant scored 42-points in the L.A. Lakers 108-102 victory.
The Los Angeles Lakers are a flawed team. They must be to have the roster that they do and not be on top of the league rather than fighting for a playoff spot. However, if there is one thing that can be said about this flawed team it is this--you can never count these guys out.
Wednesday night the fans in New Orleans were happy thinking that there franchise was going to topple...
The Lakers may have finally found something, it appears that Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant may have put their differences aside and decided to become teammates. This phenomenon took place shortly after the All-Star game. The game in which people made a big deal out of Howard mocking Bryant on the sidelines. The Lakers have started playing as a team and now they are winning in the...
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant hit the tying 3-pointer with 5 seconds left in regulation, then dunked for the go-ahead basket with 10 seconds left in overtime, helping the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors 118-116 on Friday night for their second straight come-from-behind win.
Two nights after rallying from 25 points down to win on the road at New Orleans, the Lakers...
Following the Lakers' 122-105 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kobe Bryant took to Twitter and gave credit where credit was due.
Bryant sent a tweet to Thunder's Russell Westbrook, complimenting him on his performance.
"@russwest44 was cookin tonight. He's got mamba blood runnin thru his veins . You gave it to me tonight lil bro. C u down the road!" Bryant...
All season long the MVP has appeared to be LeBron James's to lose with Kevin Durant destined to come in second yet again. However, if the Los Angeles Lakers make the post season the award needs to go to Kobe Bryant.
But FatMan, the MVP is a team award so why should the Lakers playoff future matter?
Have you watched these guys play lately? If they make the post season it...
Since Kobe Bryant and his Lakers are playing right now against the OKC Thunder, I might as well post this look I missed from him during the NBA All Star Weekend.I like to keep my material fresh and up-to-date, but umm, YOLO(On this post). At the 2013 NBA Celebrity All-Star game, Kobe wore a chic printed $595 Givenchy Cotton Modal Airplane Scarf. The vintage military design of this...
The New Orleans Hornets blew a 25-point lead and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 108-102 Wednesday. After committing supremely idiotic plays like this one, you can’t help but say they deserved to lose.
The Lakers faked out the Hornets on an inbounds play with 25.5 seconds left in the game by lining up on the side of the court they were defending, not the one they were attacking...
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe ‘Vino’ Bryant made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. Kobe covered a series of topics with Jimmy, as he spoke on his daughters, the struggles of his Lakers Team, Trying to make the playoffs, and his retirement maybe sooner than we think. No, Kobe! don’t goooooo, *Tears*. For the show, Kobe opted to wear all black, and a pair of ...
Kobe Bryant breaks out the cheetah print Louboutins for his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday (March 7) night. Among topics, Kobe talks about the most recent comeback win over the Hornets and the up and down season for the Lakers, which Kobe and Kimmel joke was done on purpose to fill the need for drama in LA and fulfill an incredible championship run. Luckily, this interview...
Two crazy plays involving L.A. teams in the Association tonight. First possibly the best alley-lop in NBA history by Jamal Crawford and Blake Griffin. And here's the Hornets forgetting what hoop they were shooting at after over 23 minutes of the 2nd half. Can the Hornets help out the Lakers any more? First they trade them Kobe Bryant and now they both a huge lead in such embarassing...