Kobe returns, sends Celtics to 13th straight loss
Boston, MA (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant came back refreshed and on a mission
after his controversial one-game suspension, and ripped the Celtics for 43
points to lead the LA Lakers to a 111-98 win over Boston.
Bryant was suspended for LA’s 99-94 loss to the Knicks on Tuesday night for
striking Spurs guard Manu Ginobili in Sunday’s game, an incident that Bryant
claimed was unintentional.
Bryant made 7-of-9 from behind the arc, and added eight assists and eight
rebounds for the Lakers, who snapped a three-game skid with the win. Smush
Parker scored 19 points, and Lamar Odom added 10 points and nine rebounds for
LA. Vladimir Radmanovic scored 13 points in the win.
Ryan Gomes scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Celtics, who
tied a franchise record with their 13th straight loss. Gerald Green scored 22
points, and Brian Scalabrine scored a season-high 17 for Boston. Al Jefferson
added 10 points and 14 boards.
Boston has not won since its 128-119 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan.
Green pulled the Celtics to within one midway through the third quarter,
hitting a three-pointer and a jumper on consecutive possessions to cut the LA
lead to 63-62. Bryant answered with a back-to-back threes, though, pushing the
lead back out to 69-62.
The Lakers star drilled a shot from 30 feet out at the buzzer, pushing the LA
advantage to 83-73 entering the fourth.
Scalabrine scored nine straight midway through the fourth quarter to bring
Boston within 91-84 with 6:51 left. Bryant answered with a layup, though,
Parker hit a three, and an Odom layup pushed the LA lead to 100-88 with just
over three minutes left.
Bryant added a sensational reverse dunk and a long fadeaway three pointer in
the final two minutes to cap the win.
The Lakers led 35-32 after the first quarter.
The Celts battled back into the game with a 20-8 stretch to open the second
quarter, tying the game at 43. The Lakers closed the quarter with a 10-2 run,
though, and took a 57-49 lead into the break.
This was Bryant’s fourth straight 40-point game against Boston…This is the
third time a Celtics team has lost 13 straight, which also happened in 1994
and 1997…The loss extended Boston’s franchise worst 10-game home losing
skid. Boston is 4-18 at home on the season.