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Three Stars of the Night: Kobe Bryant makes history

Dec 6, 2012, 1:00 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Hornets Getty Images

There were plenty of stellar performances on a night that featured an 11-game slate.

Kyle Lowry continues to toil in obscurity in Toronto, putting up 34 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a loss to the equally horrendous Kings.

DeMarcus Cousins had no problem getting his confidence back in the same game with a 25-point, 13-rebound performance of his own.

Ty Lawson scored 32 points on 12-of-16 shooting in Denver’s loss to the Hawks, while also dishing out seven assists and grabbing five steals.

But those are simply honorable mentions before presenting our true Three Stars of the Night.

Third Star: Al Jefferson — 31 points on 13-of-20 shooting, 15 rebounds, in 35 minutes

The points and rebounds are impressive, but even more so in a low-possession contest like the one Utah was able to win by a final of 87-81. Jefferson was dominant all night long, and was unfortunately forced to leave with back spasms with about a minute and a half to play in the game. But not before ensuring his team would leave with the victory.

Second Star: J.R. Smith — Game-winning three at the buzzer to beat the Bobcats

Smith didn’t have that amazing of an evening, finishing 6-of-16 from the field, and a dismal 1-of-9 from three-point distance. But that one was a monster, and as cold-blooded a shot that we’ve seen this season. Smith lined up his man in isolation, dribbled left, stepped back for the fadeaway jumper that was perfectly defended, yet calmly swished it through the net nonetheless.

Smith is a shooter above all else, so the 0-for-8 three-point shooting on the night to that point had zero effect on his confidence for the game’s final shot. Shoot ’til you’re hot, shoot ’til you’re cold, my man.

First Star: Kobe Bryant — 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 30,000 point milestone achieved

Bryant did a little bit of everything to help his up-and-down Lakers get a much-needed road win over the dreadful Hornets. But considering the talent disparity between the two teams and the final 103-87 result, the performance wasn’t all that amazing.

While Bryant was more efficient and effective than normal, he earns the top spot tonight based on his becoming just the fifth player in NBA history to score more than 30,000 career points.

  1. cosanostra71 - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    congrats to Kobe

  2. bozosforall - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Congrats, Kobe.

  3. magicbucs - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Much respect to Kobe! …Too bad your team sucks…

  4. asublimeday - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    I’m far from a laker fan, but game respects game. Jordan is the greatest, but Kobe is damn good

  5. jerdogthompson - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Too bad, had Kobe scored 30 then the Lakers were 1-7 coming into tonight. 1 more point by Kobe and the Lakers lose. Too bad, oh wait there’s OKC waiting. Good luck Laker faithfuls.

    This just in……..Kobe buys extra large tube of “mangina-sil” for Pau and tells him “I’ll kick your a** if you don’t use it all”.

    Story to follow at 11’oclock news.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2012 at 7:00 AM

      dude, go put on your BIG boy pants……………….

      • manchestermiracle - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:47 AM

        Can’t. Wet them again while rooting for the arena roof to cave in.

    • martbear - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      It couldn’t possibly be that Kobe is forced to pick up a larger part of the scoring burden when his team is trailing, leading to him having higher point totals in losses than in wins (especially ones that involve large leads in the 3rd quarter, meaning he sits longer than usual).
      Nope, clearly the laws of correlation and causation state that when Kobe scores his 30th point the Lakers cease to play basketball and the scorekeeper calls it for their opponent.
      Definitely how statistics work.

  6. styx630 - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    J.R. Smith’s buzzer-beater wasn’t a 3-pointer.

    • pglive21 - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:23 AM

      The article doesn’t state that Smith’s buzzer beater was a 3-pointer (at least as of 8:20 AM on Thursday). All Brett said was that Smith was 0-8 from 3 point range up to that point. It is just meant to be indicative of how poor a shooting night it had been for Smith.

      • nderdog - Dec 6, 2012 at 5:51 PM

        So did they write it wrong, then fix it, then screw it up again? Seems unlikely. The bold lead-in reads “Second Star: J.R. Smith — Game-winning three at the buzzer to beat the Bobcats” and the first line reads “Smith didn’t have that amazing of an evening, finishing 6-of-16 from the field, and a dismal 1-of-9 from three-point distance” before the article later references that 0 for 8 up to that point.

      • pglive21 - Dec 7, 2012 at 7:52 AM

        Nope you’re correct. I was reading the body of the text and had just skipped over the bold heading. My bad.

  7. dko83 - Dec 6, 2012 at 3:02 AM

  8. 00maltliquor - Dec 6, 2012 at 4:55 AM

    This is a bittersweet milestone. Sweet because, wow, 30,000 pts. In elite and VERY exclusive company. So glad I was able to watch darn near all of those points in my lifetime as a HUGE Laker fan (complete with Lakers logo tat on my forearm!).

    Bitter because I know that it’s all gonna come to an end sooner rather then later. He may still got 2-4 years left in him, but thats all. I’ve had Kobe throughout my childhood to my adulthood. I’ll probably never see another player like him, complete with all his reportoire.

    Thanks for everything, Kobe. Thanks for the memories. 81 points! Damn! Kobe the maaaan!

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2012 at 7:03 AM

      thanks man, can you send me some money, Vanessa left with half my damn money.

      Mamba.

      oh yeah, to ALL you MF’ers who doubt me. see you in June

      • 00maltliquor - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:43 PM

        I don’t know if I’ve ever been more confused…….

  9. paulhargis53 - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    You actually have a lakers ratio on your forearm malt? Why would you do something like that?

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      Is “ratio” what you youngsters call a tat out there in Boston nowadays? Man, I can’t keep up with you guys and your slang, lol!

      Yeah, I really have one. It’s really more of a birthmark to me. Win or lose, this is the team I’m rollin’ with ’till the casket drops.

  10. ebrownwareagle - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    GREATNESS!!

  11. omniusprime - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Congratulations top Kobe Bryant for reaching the 30,000 point mark, hopefully he’ll score another 10,000 to become the highest scorer in NBA history when he finishes. Still even better was reaching 30,000 points and winning the game. Go Kobe!!! Go Lakers!!!

  12. chargerdillon - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Wilt, Kareem, Malone, Jordan, Kobe

    That’s quite a respectable list to be apart of

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