Kobe Bryant scores season-high 21 on craftiness, not athleticism

Streeter Lecka

The Lakers leaned on Kobe Bryant to snap their three-game losing streak and he delivered.

The Los Angeles Lakers enjoyed their first victory since the return of Kobe Bryant in a 88-85 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. Kobe scored a season-high 21 points and made crucial plays in the fourth quarter to help the Lakers secure the win. He subbed back into the fourth quarter at the 5:55 mark with the Lakers down six.

His first attempt? A little classic Kobe action with the turnaround from 15' out over Gerald Henderson to cut the lead down to four:

Kobealive_medium

He also made this tough attempt at the rim, finishing with his left after getting into the paint:

Kobeleft_medium

Kobe also sank two go-ahead free-throws in the final 37 seconds of the game to give the Lakers the lead.

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It's still a long road for Kobe and the Lakers as he gets back into game shape and the team adjusts to bringing him back into the fold, and the Lakers fill-in starting point guard continues to struggle with turnovers, but for a night the team was able to lean on him to close out an opponent in a late-game scenario. He also played a season-high 32 minutes after keeping his workload under 30 minutes in his previous three games.

His final line looked much more well-rounded after his 13 assist, four point outing Friday night. He finished with 21 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. The Lakers improved to 11-12 on the season.

More from SB Nation NBA:

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Ziller: Blake Griffin is the new target of the Knicks' insane exceptionalism

Z-Bo on trade rumors: "There's no loyalty in the NBA"

"What the f--k is this?": An oral history of Kurtis Blow's "Basketball"

The Hook: Where did New York's draft picks go?

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