Kobe Bryant received his typical rest to begin the fourth quarter with the L.A. Lakers trailing 83-77 in Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kobe was clearly L.A.'s best player all night long, really the only scorer keeping the Lakers in the game and putting pressure on OKC. He sat for the first 1 minutes, 49 seconds of the fourth.
And the Thunder took that opportunity to score eight straight and open up a 91-77 before Mike Brown put Kobe back in.
Kobe's re-entry wasn't a great salve -- the Lakers still trail by double digits moments later, with the game winding down -- but the damage had been done. For better or worse, the fortunes of the Lakers in this game relied solely on Kobe Bryant. And he sat on the bench while those fortunes were decided. Neither fate nor Kobe with a mic in his face will smile kindly on the two-minute lay-off.