Bryant, Walton lead Lakers over WarriorsJan 23, 2007 - 8:14 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- While Kobe Bryant had his shooting stroke all night, Luke Walton got his back when it mattered most.
One year to the day of his 81-point outburst, Bryant scored 42 points and Walton added six straight crucial points down the stretch as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a two-game skid with a 108-103 victory over the new-look Golden State Warriors.
Notching his seventh game of 40 points or more this season, Bryant continued his dominance over the Warriors. Averaging 38 points in his last five games against Golden State, Bryant shot 11-of-22 from the field - including 4-of-7 from the arc - and 16-of-19 from the line.
"I had to take control of the game a little bit," Bryant said. "I couldn't sit back and wait any longer. I had to kind of attack a little bit more."
On January 22, 2006, Bryant torched Toronto with the second-highest scoring game in NBA history. The superstar guard made 28-of-46 shots - including 7-of-13 3-pointers - and 18-of-20 free throws to shatter his previous career high of 62 points set vs. Dallas in just three quarters on December 20, 2005.
"As the years go on, (81 points) will probably get more and more special. I think when it is all said and done, I will kind of look back and talk about it," Bryant said. "I said the thing that was fun for me, and is still fun to this day, is people coming up to me and telling me they were there. And they all have stories, and then they pull out their ticket stubs."
For most of the game, Walton was not nearly as good. With the Lakers trailing by two points with three minutes left, the versatile forward was 0-of-8 from the field and had scored just two points. However, he made two free throws, a floater in the lane and an acrobatic layup to make it 103-101 with 1:11 remaining.
After Sarunas Jasikevicius' turnover on the ensuing possession, Los Angeles scored five straight points to secure the victory.
"I was happy for Luke. It was important for him to stay with it," Bryant said. "You have periods, sometimes during the season, when you struggle a little bit. It's good for (Lakers coach) Phil (Jackson) to kind of go back to him at the end of the ballgame and show confidence in him."
"I was struggling so bad," Walton said. "The ball didn't feel good, the rim didn't look big, but I stayed with it. The guys kept saying you have to take the shots. Once that first one dropped, it eased it a little."
Walton finished 2-of-10 from the field with seven rebounds and five assists.
"I had a long break between the third and fourth (quarters), and I kind of settled down a little bit and got back under control," Walton said. "Then, I got a couple of bounces that came my way, and when I put the ball through the hole once, it kind of got a little easier."
Andrew Bynum added 10 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who shot just 43 percent (34-of-79) but outrebounded the Warriors, 51-36.
In just his second game with his new team, Al Harrington scored 30 points for Golden State, which shot 48 percent (42-of-88) and lost its second straight game since an eight-player trade with Indiana on Wednesday.
"We played about 44 minutes. There was four minutes there that we let the game get away from us," Harrington said. "At the end of the day, I think we played hard, and we competed. It is a growth problem, and we just can't dig ourselves too big a hole."
GOLDEN STATE 103
LA LAKERS 108 FINAL
Jan 23 1:03 AM
GOLDEN STATE 85
LA LAKERS 80 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 23 12:22 AM
GOLDEN STATE 57
LA LAKERS 61 HALFTIME
Jan 22 11:37 PM
END 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
GOLDEN STATE 33 33
LA LAKERS 32 32 END 1ST QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 1ST QUARTER
GSW - AL HARRINGTON 10, STEPHEN JACKSON 7,
BARON DAVIS 6
LAL - KOBE BRYANT 10, ANDREW BYNUM 10, BRIAN
Jan 22 11:06 PM
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