On his farewell tour across the country, Kobe Bryant will not go quietly as his throwback performance in the Lone Star State almost threatened the Spurs unbeaten record at home.
Bryant’s vintage self resurfaced Saturday night – specifically in the 3rd quarter where he scored 16 of his 25 points, giving the Lakers a 81-79 lead going into the 4th.
Known throughout his career to give the Spurs a lethal dose of losses, Kobe threw down a flurry of threes, his fourth tied it at 96 with 3:12 left in the game.
After Danny Green countered with a 25 footer to put the Spurs ahead, sweet Lou Williams drained one from behind the arc to even it all at 99 with 2½ remaining.
It appeared that the Lakers may pull off an upset of epic proportions, but unfortunately they lost the double double stylings of Julius Randle to a sprained ankle, after he made a beautiful offensive rebound with less than a minute to play.
LaMarcus Aldridge’s game high 26, Kawhi Leonard’s 20 and 13 boards, along with San Antonio’s undying defense in the last 2 minutes, kept LA balls out of the basket, giving the Spurs their 37th straight home victory dating back to last season.
But tonight was really all about Kobe Bryant who wants to show the world that despite his decline, his selection into the starting lineup of this year’s NBA All-Star game is worthy of the nearly 2 million ballots bearing his name.
In his last three appearances Bryant has put up prolific numbers, scoring 38, 27 and 25 points – 15 from downtown. The Lakers may be light years from being contenders, but it’s still compelling to see one of the all time greats put on a show on the final stretch of his illustrious NBA career.