Kobe Bryant has been busy rewriting the record books over the past week. First, he passed John Havlicek on November 11’s Lakers matchup against the Grizzlies to top the all-time NBA list for missed shots. While that record sparked a debate on the Mamba’s trigger-happy shooting mentality, his achievement on Tuesday night in Atlanta came with a different tone.
After getting off to hot start in the first half, where LA shot 61 percent from the field and led by 15 points, the Lakers gave up some runs to the Hawks, and Atlanta was able to chip away at their deficit, cutting it to a one-possession game in the fourth.
With the score standing at 105-102 in favor of LA and with a little over a minute remaining in regulation, Kobe Bryant backed in against Thabo Sefolosha at the elbow and then swished through his signature, turnaround fadeaway while getting the whistle for the and-1 opportunity.
Bryant’s and-1 jumper not only gave the Lakers a bigger cushion in crunch time, but it also lifted him pas a milestone only three other NBA players have even earned. That clutch jumper served as his 32,000th career point, which allowed him join Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the illustrious 32K club. Not a bad club to belong too, right?
Bean hit the free throw, giving him a current career-total of 32,001 points. He is now 292 points away from passing his idol, Michael Jordan, for sole possession of the third spot on the all-time scoring list.
Despite the Hawks’ best efforts to overcome their first-half deficit, the Lakers were able to make the necessary stops late in the game to hold off the Hawks, 114-109. Bryant’s record-making turnaround jumper and Jordan Hill’s lay-in off a missed shot from the Mamba sealed the deal for the Lakers’ second victory of the season.
The offense was very balanced on Tuesday for the Lakers, with four out of five starters scoring in double figures, led by Kobe’s 28 points on 10-of-18 shooting. Three of the Lakers starters finished with double-doubles, including Carlos Boozer’s 20 points and 10 rebounds, Jordan Hill’s 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Jeremy Lin’s 15 points and 10 assists on 6-of-7 shooting. Additionally, Nick Young had an impressive season debut with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting off the bench, as his postgame quotes also made a triumphant return.
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