We've seen discussions about how clutch or, more accurately, not clutch Kobe Bryant is. On Thursday, though, Bryant's late-game woes were on display for the world to see as the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers battled it out with the game hanging in the balance late in the fourth quarter. Bryant was a big reason the Lakers were even in the game, and tied with just over two minutes to go, but also played a big role in the Lakers' offensive slump over the final two minutes on Thursday night.
After hitting a three to tie it up, Bryant made a series of bad decisions to open the door for the Heat. Twice Bryant turned the ball over, leading to four Miami points. With the game tied, Wade came up with a steal, leading to a LeBron James lay-in. Two possessions later, after Bryant was blocked and Ron Artest missed a lay-in, Bryant again booted the ball out of bounds while anticipating contact under the basket.
Finally, down four with 20 seconds to go, Bryant dribbled around the perimeter before jacking up a 30-footer that had no chance. James hit his free throws on the other end and the Heat snapped their five-game losing streak.
With the game there for the taking, Bryant tried to put the Lakers on and do everything himself. In the end, it ended up hurting the Lakers more than it helped.
It's just one game, but Bryant's play in the closing moments adds fuel to the "Kobe isn't clutch" fire.