LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant's 50-point streak ended Sunday
night, and he didn't seem the slightest bit disappointed.
Bryant had scored at least 50 points in four games in a row to
become the second player in NBA history with such a streak, joining
the late Wilt Chamberlain.
Chamberlain scored 50 or more in a record seven straight games
in December 1961. He also had a five-game streak and three
four-game streaks during the 1961-62 season, when he averaged a
record 50.4 points.
"What? No!" Bryant said emphatically when asked if he felt any
disappointment about falling short of 50. "I've always said Wilt's
a human video game. For me to be in the same breath with him, even
if it's a short little breath, is pretty cool."
When Bryant scored 17 points in the first nine minutes, it
appeared his streak was destined to continue. But the Warriors used
multiple defenses and a lot of double teams after that, making it
tough for the Lakers' star to get open.
"We held him to 43, by God," Warriors coach Don Nelson said as
he finished speaking with reporters.
"We did a good job. I think our defense was solid," Nelson
said. "We tried to make it hard for Kobe. What a great performance
-- I can't imagine what he's been doing."
Bryant began his streak following a seven-game losing streak --
the longest of coach Phil Jackson's career as a head coach.
"I think it energized us as a team and I think it energized the
city, and I think that's great," Bryant said of the streak.
"Before that, we were dead in the water. We're playing with a lot
more energy now."
Lamar Odom had 24 points and 19 rebounds to equal his career
high, and Smush Parker scored 13 points for the Lakers (38-32), who
have beaten the Warriors eight straight times and in 13 of the past
14 games between the teams.
Monta Ellis matched his career high with 31 points to lead the
Warriors (33-38), who lost for just the third time in 11 games. Al Harrington added 23 points, Stephen Jackson scored 16, and
Andris Biedrins had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Golden State.
Bryant began his 50-point streak on March 16, scoring an NBA
season-high 65 points in an overtime victory over Portland. He
kept it going against Minnesota (50), Memphis (60) and New Orleans
Bryant has scored 50 or more points 18 times in his career to
rank third on the NBA list. Chamberlain had 118 games of 50 or more
points, and Michael Jordan accomplished the feat on 31 occasions.
Bryant shot 15-of-33 from the floor and 9-of-11 from the foul
"Kobe came off his streak -- had an off-game," Jackson said.
"But he was instrumental in that one.
"They did everything to take the ball out of his hands tonight.
It was a real good defensive effort by them."
Bryant also had nine rebounds, no assists, and seven of the
Lakers' season-high 26 turnovers. The Warriors committed only eight
turnovers, but were outrebounded 63-33.
"They kept getting putbacks and they killed us in points in the
paint," Golden State's Baron Davis said. "That was the difference
in the game."
A 3-pointer by Davis with 27.1 seconds to play drew the Warriors
within one point, but a foul shot by Bryant and two more by Odom
made it 114-110 with 18 seconds to go.
Jackson's 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining made it a
one-point game again. Bryant made a free throw one second later,
but missed the second. The Warriors got the rebound and called
timeout with six-tenths of a second left. Harrington took the
inbounds pass and tried a 3-pointer that missed, but it came after
the final buzzer.
The Warriors scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter
for a 95-85 lead. It was 98-90 when Bryant made a 3-pointer and a
long jumper, giving him 36 points and triggering a 14-0 run that
gave the Lakers a six-point lead with 5:05 left. They were on top
the rest of the way.
Bryant came out firing, making his first four shots for nine
points in the opening 2:04 as the Lakers took a 12-2 lead. He went
7-of-14 for 17 points in the first quarter, which ended with Los
Angeles leading 35-25. His teammates shot 7-of-9 in the period.
The second quarter was a much different story, as Bryant shot
2-of-4 for four points to raise his total to 21 at halftime. The
Lakers led 48-29 before the Warriors rallied to move within four
points at the break.
Bryant entered the fourth quarter with 31 points. He reached 40
by making a short jumper with 4:17 left, but was held to three foul
shots after that.
Bryant was hit with a technical foul late in the first
quarter, giving him 12 this season. ... Bryant sat out 1:38 of the
second quarter, and played the entire second half. ... The game was
the 1,300th for Jackson, who became the 14th NBA coach to reach
that milestone. He had been tied with Red Holzman, his coach when
he played for the New York Knicks. ... Lakers swing man
Maurice Evans missed his third game because of a sore right knee. ...
Parker made his 152nd straight start despite the sprained left
ankle that forced him out of Friday night's game at New Orleans.
Teammate Brian Cook returned to action after missing five games
because of a sprained left ankle and went scoreless in four
minutes. ... The Warriors, shooting for their first playoff berth
since 1994, have won only eight road games -- tied for the
second-lowest total in the NBA.