You read Brian's breakdown of the game. Here are some videos for your eyeballing pleasure.
You wouldn't have known it judging by an 18-point showing in the third quarter, but Kobe Bryant admitted his in-game injury hurt like a (NSFW). However, he's familiar with the ailment, having experienced it during a game last season against Sacramento. As is typically the case with any ailment and Kobe, he didn't want to dwell on it, opting instead to focus on the upcoming game against the Thunder and the team's recent play, which pleases him.
"I think the rest (from the All-Star break) helped a lot. It helped kind of rejuvenated us and to sharpen our focus up with 20-something games left or whatever. I think that helped a lot."
Check out the videos of Phil Jackson, Pau Gasol and Shannon Brown below the jump.
Phil Jackson had a classic Phil Jackson line about Kobe's monster third frame:
"He kind of faked them out with that dead arm thing."
Despite Kobe's early halftime retreat to the locker room, Pau Gasol was too occupied with the on-court action to be aware of the superstar's discomfort. But as he noted, it quickly became difficult to tell Bryant had even been injured in the first place.
"I didn't realize he was in a lot of pain," acknowledged Gasol. "I didn't know. At halftime, I think he got some treatment or some therapy. I heard that something was bothering him. But then the third quarter, (he) came out and I didn't think anything was bothering him. He didn't look like it, at least."
Did Bryant's explosion surprise Gasol?
"Nothing that he does surprises me," Gasol said. "He's a very good player. He plays through pretty much anything. You see his hands, his fingers are really all messed up. I don't know many players who could play like that."
What did surprise Pau (and his entire team, really) was the deadline deal between Boston and Oklahoma City. Given the success Kendrick Perkins has enjoyed pushing around and bothering all the Laker bigs, the Celts' decision to part ways with him while still an elite contender threw everyone for a loop.
"I'm sure they had their reasons and they think they've gotten better," shrugged Gasol. "That's why they've done it. They have a better chance that way. But it was surprising because, especially during the playoffs, you need that bigger inside presence that's going to give you defense and rebounds. Those extra possessions. We'll see how it plays out."
Beyond expressing confusion over Boston trading Perkins, Shannon Brown talked about the Lakers being "0-fer" (more or less) in afternoon games. "It's just mental," insisted the high fly act. "Nothing really changes. We come out and battle each other in practice early every single day, so you just gotta come out and go hard, man. That's all. Just come out and go hard. I think it's more mental than anything."
Although, when I asked if he and his teammates were "not morning people, necessarily," Shannon couldn't help but flash a grin. "Not necessarily," he admitted, before emphasizing the need to handle business.