The (7-4) Los Angeles Lakers are in the 45th state to join the union, Utah, to battle the (6-3) Jazz. On Tuesday night, Kobe Bryant erupted against the Phoenix Suns scoring 48-points on 18-of-31 shooting. Clearly, the black mamba doesn’t like the Suns.
Kobe’s 48-point outburst was the most ever by a player in his 16th season. In the words of Kobe Bryant, the future hall of fame player who refuses to be counted out or disrespected “not bad for the 7th best player in the league”. In fact, three of Kobe’s six highest scoring games were against the Suns.
The Lakers needed Bryant’s huge scoring effort with 37 points from the front line and only 14 from the bench. The biggest questions going into tonight’s match up are; can Kobe keep up this torrid pace? What will Kobe Bryant do for an encore?
Bryant is averaging 29.5 points per game this season, but in his last five-games, he has increased his average to 36 points on 51.4% shooting while attempting 9.4 free throws.
There will be people who will say that Kobe has returned to having the mentality of a gunner. The truth of the matter is that Kobe is getting much more comfortable in Mike Brown’s offense. Brown’s offense is a lot less restrictive than the triangle offense and it turns Kobe loose to be able to dominate the ball and become much more difficult to stop.
The Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 regular season games at Energy Solutions Arena. The Jazz are an improved team that is currently on a 5-game winning streak. The Lakers have a one-game lead in the season series, in the first game L.A. got their first win of the year by completely dismantling the Jazz.