Kobe Bryant has made it look easy with his breathless game-winners and efficient footwork.

Even at 34 years old, the Lakers star also has thrown down a fair share of dunks, including one Sunday over Atlanta forward Josh Smith that kept everyone abuzz.

But beyond his unmatched skill, Bryant points to a more important variable that's helped distinguish himself through 17NBA seasons.

"There's a certain commitment, a lot of sacrifice and attention to detail that goes into trying to play at a high level for a long long time," Bryant said. "To me, it's worth it."

Bryant enters the Lakers' game tonight at Oklahoma City (43-16) averaging 27.3 points per game, third behind New York's Carmelo Anthony (28.6) and the Thunder's Kevin Durant (28.6). In the past five games, Bryant has averaged 35 points on 57 percent shooting and six assists.

"Some poor souls recently have caught the end of it," Lakers guard Steve Nash said. "He's looked as good as he ever looked."

Bryant attributes that to losing 16 pounds this offseason mostly by improving his diet. He's replaced sweets and fast food with lean meat and vegetables.

"Diet is always the hardest thing," Bryant said. "We're accustomed to eating what we want to eat whenever we want to eat it. You become comfortable with that. A change in that is a change in your lifestyle. That's been the most difficult."