WHAT IT MEANS: Kobe Bryant’s first-ever game in Brooklyn was unforgettable.
Bryant turned it on in the fourth quarter, and the short-handed Lakers extended their winning streak over the Nets to 10 with a 92-83 victory on Tuesday night at Barclays Center.
The Nets (28-20) had been 17-0 against sub-.500 teams (at time of game played) prior to their loss to the Lakers (23-26). They shot just 34.8 percent from the field, had 16 turnovers and fell to 14-6 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
MAMBA: Bryant finished with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. He heard loud chants of “MVP! MVP!” while taking a couple free throws in the second quarter. He then broke Gerald Wallace’s ankles with a ridiculous crossover that he turned into a pull-up jumper in the third quarter. His emphatic one-handed dunk over Wallace and Brook Lopez with 2:45 left brought the crowd to its feet. He then delivered a driving layup with 1:42 remaining to give the Lakers an 86-83 lead. The “MVP!” chants would return.
BROOK-LYN: While Dwight Howard watched the game -- his first in Brooklyn, against the team he wanted to play for -- in a suit from the end of the L.A. bench, missing his third straight game due to a shoulder injury, Lopez delivered on the court, notching 30 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks. Unfortunately, he missed a couple shots late. Lopez has a team-high 22 20-plus-point games this season, and recorded his 2,000th career field goal in the fourth quarter. It was his 10th double-double. The Lakers were also without Metta World Peace (suspension).
BROOKLYN’S BACKCOURT: Deron Williams and Joe Johnson combined for just 26 points on 9-for-28 shooting. Williams (15 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds), who had just four points after the first quarter, is one assist shy of 5,000 for his career.
GLASS MAN: Reggie Evans had his 19th 10-plus-rebound game of the season.
RALLY! RALLY! The Nets came back from 53-40 down early in the third quarter to take a 60-59 lead.
MISSING IN O-CTION: The Nets missed 12 straight shots after starting 9-for-17 from the field. They ended up getting outscored 31-16 in the second quarter, a quarter in which they shot 6-for-23 from the field, 1-for-7 from 3-point range and had six turnovers. The Nets shot just 33.3 percent in the first half and trailed 49-40.
WHO’S IN THE HOUSE? Justin Bieber, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen
UP NEXT: Nets at Pistons on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.