Maybe it's the Lakers' Will Rogers philosophy. They never met a deficit they didn't like. Tuesday in New Orleans, it was 25 points. Friday at Staples Center, it was 15 points. They got away with it the first time. This time they didn't have any business pulling it out, but they did have Kobe Bryant. Bryant's second 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds of regulation forced overtime, then he drove for a dunk with 10.6 seconds left in the extra period as the Lakers rallied from a 15-point deficit to defeat Toronto 118-116 on Friday night at Staples Center. "The shots he made, that's ridiculous, that's unbelievable," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I don't think there's anybody on the planet who can do that and he's done it constantly for 17 years." In the comeback win over New Orleans, Bryant had 42 points and 12 assists, the first time in 42 years that a Laker hit the 40-12 mark. Against Toronto, he had 41 points and 12 assists. On Jan. 22, 2006, Bryant scored 81 points to sting the Raptors, but this might have hurt worse. With the Lakers trailing 107-103 with 31.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Bryant took an inbound pass and hit a 3-pointer from the left corner. With 5.5 seconds left, he took another inbound pass, pump-faked to elude Amir Johnson and shot from the right wing before Rudy Gay get close on defense. That shot went in, and it was on to overtime.
LAKERS 118, TORONTO 116 (OT): Thanks to Kobe Bryant, L.A. earns extra credit in victory
L.A. Daily News | Mar 9