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L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant found himself in a very unfamiliar position the other night, benched late in a home loss to the lowly Memphis Grizzlies. However, as the greats often do, Kobe would rebound with a clutch performance on Tuesday night for the Lakers against California rival Golden State in Oakland.
Metta World Peace #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Jeremy Tyler #3 of the Golden State Warriors scrammble for a loose ball at Oracle Arena on March 27, 2012 in Oakland, California.
Pick this one up, late in the fourth, Lakers up by four, when the Warriors Brandon Rush throws it down to make it a two point game. Rush, a big night with 23 off the bench for the Warriors. And the Blazers would play their state rivals tight all the way. David Lee knocks down the J to make it a one-point game. Lee, also with 23.
Pau Gasol was his usual steady self going for 19 and chipping in 17 rebounds...the turnaround hook, making it 93-90 Lakers. But Golden State refused to yield. Richard Jefferson dials it up from long distance tying it up at 95 with just over two minutes to play.
And the Warriors would take the lead with just over a buck to play. Lee, hitting the hook to give Golden State the 97-95 lead. And with things close late that meant it was Kobe time for the Lakers. Bryant, with the leaning jumper tying it up at 97.
And then, Kobe with the little fadeaway J to give L.A. the 99-97 lead. 30 on the evening for Kobe. And the Lakers would escape with the win after Brandon Rush's attempt, doesn't fall. 104-101 the final.