Kobe Bryant has broken the collective hearts of many an opposing team in his career, but he seems to have a special penchant for sticking it to the Raptors.
While his performance in the Lakers’ thrilling come-from-behind overtime win over Toronto last night wasn’t quite in the same pantheon as his famed 81-point outburst in 2006, it was still one of the more impressive individual displays you’ll see this NBA season.
Bryant almost single-handedly rallied the Lakers late in the fourth quarter with ridiculous three pointer after ridiculous three pointer… after ridiculous three pointer. He then put an exclamation point on his big night by slashing through the heart of the Raptors defense for what turned out to be the game-winning dunk in the final seconds of overtime. He finished with 41 points (19 in the fourth quarter and overtime) and 12 assists. #CountOnKobe indeed.
All season long, NBA pundits and armchair analysts alike have been waiting for the breakout game from the Lakers, that one transcendent win that would put them on their way to sustained success. It hasn’t happened. Maybe what they really needed were two such games, back-to-back.
After rallying from 25 points down against the Hornets on Wednesday, and Bryant’s heroics last night, the Lakers can’t not make the playoffs now. Right?