It was a vintage Kobe Bryant night. He finished at the basket. He drilled mid-range jump shots. He hit a few threes. He toasted the Golden State Warriors for 44 points and it could've been more if the Lakers didn't let him rest for the entire fourth quarter.
Oh, by the way: The reason the Lakers let Kobe rest for the entire fourth quarter is because they were losing by 36 points through three quarters. The final score was 136-115, but it was only as close as 21 points because the Lakers outscored Golden State 36-21 in the final quarter. The team had trailed by as much as 38. Look at Kobe glaring:
Look at Steph Curry smiling:
What's it like to play the Lakers? pic.twitter.com/sdvsEPvzo7— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) November 17, 2014
Kobe was reasonably efficient with 44 points on 34 shots. It was actually one of the best performances in decades in the short amount of time Kobe played:
But he finished with a plus/minus of minus-34. The rest of the team was atrocious on offense -- his fellow starters went 10-for-35 for 27 points. As much as we make fun of Kobe for refusing to pass, his three assists were actually second on the team behind Ronnie Price's five.
And the Lakers, who boast the league's worst defensive efficiency, had no chance against the high-octane Golden State offense. Curry scored 30, Marreese Speights chipped in 24 off the bench and the Warriors drilled 13-of-27 threes. Kobe had 44 through three quarters, but the Warriors had 115 and led by 36 points. The poor defense does in part fall on Kobe:
Steph Curry was bored and decided to mess with a 36-year old [GIF]: http://t.co/fgaAITrDnz— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) November 17, 2014
This Lakers team is fascinating, in a macabre way. Kobe's last game was one of the worst of his career, and the Lakers lost. Tonight, though, Kobe put up a ton of shots and scored a ton of points ... and it wasn't even close. He would've had to score on pretty much every shot he'd taken for the Lakers to win. They are now 1-9. We imagine the Lakers will keep losing and Kobe will care less and less about doing anything but scoring points, and that should be pretty magnificent to watch.