Kobe Bryant isn’t scoring like he did early in his career, but against Minnesota he turned back the clock and channeled the dominance of his younger days.
Bryant scored a season-high 38 points during L.A.’s victory, ending a 10-game skid. A loss would have set the Lakers record for the team’s longest losing streak in franchise history. Bryant (10-of-21) was efficient from long range during 33 minutes of action, adding 7-of-11 from 3-point range. He was also 11-of-12 from the free throw line.
During his postgame interview (via ESPN), Bryant demonstrated vintage confidence:
Article continues below ...
“You've seen it for 20 damn years. What are you impressed by?
It's like, tonight I made shots I was supposed to make. I made open looks and I made them. Then when that happens, you tend to get in a rhythm. You start making a little more difficult shots.”
Bryant is averaging 16.4 points per game, his second-lowest scoring average since the 1997-1998 season. He’s also shooting a career-worst .353 field goal percentage. But fans, players and Bryant alike still expect greatness from the Los Angeles legend.