Bryant's 65-point outburst helps Lakers end seven-game slideMar 17, 2007 - 7:49 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Superstar Kobe Bryant said enough is enough.
Bryant scored a league-high 65 points as the Los Angeles Lakers put an end to their seven-game losing streak with a 116-111 overtime triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Bryant shot 23-of-39, including 8-of-12 from 3-pointer range, to post his second-highest career total, surpassing his 62-point effort on December 20, 2005 against Dallas. He also had seven rebounds and three steals.
"I just thought I was in great rhythm, in a good zone and it was a great performance," Bryant said. "I just stayed aggressive throughout the game, just continue to attack and try to get them in the penalty, try to create other situations, but mostly just try to attack."
A 6-7 All-Star, Bryant netted a career-best 81 points - second highest in NBA history - in a win against the Toronto Raptors here on January 22, 2006.
It was Bryant's fourth game this season with at least 50 points. Los Angeles improved to 11-4 when last season's scoring champ goes over the 50-point plateau.
"We needed a breakout game. It's my job as a leader," Bryant said. "Sometimes me taking over a game installs confidence in us all. Hopefully we were able to accomplish that. It is important to understand the urgency of the situation and that the mistakes we made at the earlier this year is not going to slide and be OK.'
"It is important that they understand to come to practice and come to games and understand that high sense of urgency."
With the win, Los Angeles (34-32) moved one-half game in front of idle Denver (32-31) for sixth place in the Western Conference standings.
Bryant broke a 108-108 tie in OT with an incredible fadeaway 3-pointer with two Portland defenders in his face from the right corner and Maurice Evans added two free throws for a five-point lead with 28 seconds remaining.
"Kobe game us the opportunity to win the game," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said. "It was an amazing performance. It is another story to tell my kids and family. To see somebody score 65 points is special. It is a blessing to be on the court, especially in that kind of atmosphere and at this time of year when we have to win."
"I mean Kobe would make some shots over two guys," Blazers rookie Brandon Roy. "I don't know how many 3-pointers he made. He was just hot. You can't explain when a guy makes shots like that. He's done it before and he'll do it again."
Martell Webster drained a shot from the arc to bring the Trail Blazers within 113-111 10 seconds later, but Bryant and Evans made key foul shots to seal the win.
In regulation, Bryant connected on three straight 3-pointers, highlighted by his game-tying shot from the arc with 17 seconds left to make it 98-98.
"That finish was incredible," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "They tried to keep the ball out of his hands but it just came back to him and they couldn't stop Kobe from putting the ball in the basket."
The Trail Blazers had a chance to win it, but Zach Randolph misfired on a 27-footer as the buzzer sounded.
"You just have to tip your hat to Kobe," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "That was just an unbelievable performance."
Odom collected 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Evan netted 14 for Los Angeles, who won for the first time in three games against Portland this season.
Randolph scored 31 points and rookie LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who held a 46-36 advantage in points in the paint.
LA LAKERS 116 FINAL IN 1ST OT
Mar 17 1:20 AM
LA LAKERS 98 END OF 4TH QTR GOING INTO OVERTIME
Mar 17 1:01 AM
LA LAKERS 68 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 17 12:20 AM
LA LAKERS 46 HALFTIME
Mar 16 11:39 PM
LA LAKERS 16 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 16 11:05 PM
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