Back from a two-game suspension, Bryant made all seven of his
3-point shots and scored 48 points Friday night in a 119-93 victory
over the Philadelphia 76ers.
He moved a fraction ahead of the 76ers' Allen Iverson, who had
31 points, in the NBA scoring race. Bryant raised his average to
33.166 a game to Iverson's 33.090.
The win halted the Lakers' five-game losing streak and prevented
Jackson from losing six straight for the first time in his 15
seasons as an NBA coach.
"Our spacing was good, which made it very difficult to corral
me," Bryant said. "When they did, we were able to swing the ball
and get open opportunities for everybody else."
Smush Parker joined his teammate in popping from outside, going
5-of-5 on 3-pointers and scoring a career-high 24 points.
"Kobe was hot shooting, making fadeaway jump shots from 25 feet
away," Parker said. "It was good to have Kobe back. We got a
brief taste of life without Kobe and we definitely missed him."
Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks is used to Bryant's shooting
"Kobe makes shots, we kept saying they were incredible shots
and for most people they are," Cheeks said. "But for Kobe, I
don't think they were incredible. He does things like that on an
Lamar Odom had a career-high 12 assists to go with eight points
and seven rebounds for Los Angeles.
"Lamar is such a great facilitator, he takes a load off my
shoulders so I don't have to facilitate, I can just focus on
putting the ball in the basket," Bryant said.
He was suspended without pay for two games for elbowing Memphis'
Mike Miller in the throat during the Lakers' 100-99 overtime loss
to the Grizzlies on Dec. 30.
"We don't have an identity as far as how we play on the
defensive end," Iverson said. "We always score, so it's obvious
our problem is in other areas."
Bryant sat out most of the fourth quarter of the lopsided
victory and went 19-of-29. Iverson made 11-of-22.
The Lakers, up by 15 at the end of each of the first two
periods, maintained a double-digit lead most of the second half.
The Lakers shot 59 percent for the game, including 13-of-20 from
3-point range, to the 76ers' 42 percent. Philadelphia was 2-for-10
^Notes:@ Iverson has four scoring titles and no NBA championship
rings. Bryant has no scoring titles and three rings. "I'd trade
all of 'em for one of his rings," Iverson said. "People think I
care about something like scoring titles because of the way I
compete and the way I score night in and night out. I don't want to
just be a scorer. I want to be a winner." ... Bryant is pleased
the Lakers will be the Hornets' opponent in their first game back
in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. "It's going to be fun. I
don't know where they are right now, as far as their recovery
process is," Bryant said. "You can always rebuild buildings, but
it's about the people and their emotions." That game, one of three
the Hornets have scheduled for New Orleans Arena, is March 8.