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Bryant struggled for much of the night, shooting just 9-of-24 from the field and committing five turnovers. He did finish with 21 points and also added eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. And most importantly, he helped break an 80-80 tie late with a ferocious dunk that proved to be the game-winner. On the play, Kobe likened himself to a high-profile Biblical character:
"I was pretty shocked that the lane was so wide open," Bryant said. "I think that everybody's been drinking the 'Kobe pass' Kool-Aid so everybody kind of stayed on the perimeter with the shooters. And it just parted like the Red Sea. I felt a little like Moses."
The win was certainly a big one for the Lakers, who have struggled on the road for most of the year. Los Angeles has righted the ship recently, sporting a 3-1 record so far on its Grammy trip and winning six of its last seven games overall.
However, the bigger story may be the Lakers' injuries. In addition to Bryant's elbow tendinitis, Pau Gasol left Tuesday night's victory after straining his plantar fascia. Gasol said he felt a "pop" in his foot and will have an MRI on Wednesday. And then of course there's Dwight Howard, who is dealing with a torn labrum.
Los Angeles is playing some solid ball right now, but it will likely need all of these guys healthy if it is to be serious contenders in the Western Conference. The Lakers will face another tough road game on Thursday when they play the Celtics.