Sunday, 12 February 2012
Kobe Bryant's Game Winner vs Raptors (Feb. 12, 2012)
TORONTO -- After leading by 18 points in the first half, the Los Angeles Lakers were staring at a four-point deficit with less than two minutes to play.
Metta World Peace wasn't worried about losing. He was trying to figure out how much the Lakers would win by. Having Kobe Bryant as a teammate gives you that kind of confidence.
Bryant hit a baseline jump shot with 4.2 seconds left and the Lakers wrapped up a six-game road trip by holding on to beat the Raptors 94-92 on Sunday, their eighth victory in nine meetings with Toronto.
"When you've got a guy like Kobe Bryant, you're always going to give yourself a chance," Lakers coach Mike Brown said.
Bryant, who scored 27 points, took an inbound pass from World Peace, evaded DeMar DeRozan and shot over the outstretched arms of James Johnson to deny the Raptors.
"I just noticed a spot open on the baseline," Bryant said. "Everything was set for me to try and catch it down there because I knew I could catch and shoot. If I go to the top of the floor the defense can kind of key on me and I'm far away from the basket. Once I noticed that space open it was just a matter of me trying to shake DeRozan and get to that spot.""We're a poor road team, and that's what we need to turn around," Bryant said. "If we could figure out a way to win games on the road, our record would be much, much better."
Bryant's late-game scoring came as no surprise to World Peace, who approached Brown with just over a minute to go and volunteered to guard the Raptors' Jose Calderon, who scored a career-best 30. Brown turned the offer down.
Brown said World Peace then told him, "You know what? You're right. There's still time on the clock. We're fine. We'll win by ... uh."The Lakers, looking as though they were feeling the effects of back-to-back games after beating the Celtics in overtime in Boston on Thursday, shot a poor 37.5 percent from the floor as they fell to 15-12.
"We didn't have the energy to play well. We were very lethargic," said a despondent Bryant. "I wasn't aggressive in the first half, I was stuck in the mud."