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Jumpers, floaters and a block — Kobe’s 47-point night (VIDEO)

Apr 11, 2013, 8:50 AM EDT

Over the years the Rose Garden has been a tough place for the Lakers and for Kobe Bryant.

But Wednesday night the Lakers needed a win to keep their playoff dreams going and so Kobe exorcised those Portland demons and dropped 47 on the Trail Blazers, playing a full 48 minutes and getting his points in every possible way it seemed — deep threes, driving layups and pull-up midrange jumpers. But maybe his best play of the night was a block. Kobe played with an aggressive energy all night.

Above see his highlights from the night.

With the win, the Lakers are one game ahead of Utah for the last playoff spot in the West with three games to play. The Lakers are at home for those three and control their own destiny, but must play Golden State, San Antonio and Houston. Utah’s last three are a home-and-home against Minnesota, then they close against Memphis.

  1. saint1997 - Apr 11, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Man I love it when players battle it out and I have to say watching Damian and Kobe battle it out was just flat out fun. Amazing Blazers kept it so close when a team without any semblance of a bench didn’t have 3 starters

    • money2long - Apr 11, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      aint the first time the blazers had battles. lakers need wins. they’ll take em how they come

  2. lakerluver - Apr 11, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    MJ 1
    Kobe 1A

  3. valeb2012 - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    This is the thing I don’t understand when people talk about Lebron. Kobe, for a 6’6′ guy who’s 220 lbs wet, the variety and mastery of shots is unparalleled. His degree of difficulty is high because many defenders are taller and bigger:
    Pavlovic is listed as 6’7″ 235
    Xavier Henry 6’6″ 220
    Shawn Marion 6’7″ 230
    Caron Butler 6’7″ 225
    Gordon Hayward 6’8″ 220
    Klay Thompson 6’7″ 210
    Danny Green 6’6″ 210/Kawhi Leonard 225
    JR Smith 6’6″ 220
    Afflalo 6’5″ 215
    Iguodala 6’6″ 210
    Jimmy Butler 6’7″ 220
    Korver 6’7″ 210 / Josh Smith 6’9″ 225
    Harden 6’5″ 220
    AK47 6’9″ 230
    Joe Johnson 6’8″ 220

    The list goes on. Part of the problem for Kobe (and his defenders) is that at 6’6″ maybe +1/2 inch, Kobe’s a tweener, not quite as small as trad’l SG height but not quite as tall as SF. That’s why you’ve seen him guarded by Ray Allen and also Paul Pierce/Shane Battier. Same with JoJo and Gerald Wallace. Last night, POR had Lillard, Barton, and Pavlovic on Kobe.

    Contrast this with Lebron. Lebron is almost always as tall/taller than his defender or have 50 pounds on them. It’s the crazy matchup problem Lebron poses by being so quick but being 270 lbs. So, Brandon Bass may be able to match Lebron physically but not in quickness. Shawn Marion may be as quick but gives up 40 pounds. Durant has length but gives up 60 pounds. This is why Lebron gets to the basket easily at times or he’s shooting uncontested jumpers.

    I’m not blaming Lebron for being such a freak. It’s a gift and skill. Just pointing out how much harder it is for Kobe to be presented with lopsided matchups. That’s why his shots always look more difficult. Because they are.

    Think about it this way: if Lebron had Kobe’s body, what would Lebron be? If Kobe had Lebron’s, Kobe would probably be the greatest of all time. My humble opinion.

    • saint1997 - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:34 AM

      Yeh i agree with you on most of that. I have to say I do hate it when people portray these players as only being successful because they are athletically gifted (which is true to an extent but when people say “If i had LeBron’s body I would be in the NBA i want to smack them). I’m not suggesting you’re saying that but my point is LeBron still works an incredible amount on maintaining his game and his body and striving to become better so don’t sell him short; he would still be successful in the body of Steve Novak

      • valeb2012 - Apr 12, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        I agree with you wholeheartedly. That’s why I said his freakishness is both a gift and skill because you still have to work at your craft to express your gifts and become so dominant. I take nothing from Lebron when I applaud Kobe. But I think even you would have to admit that 10 years into the league, Lebron’s skill arsenal is more limited than Kobe’s in #8’s 10th year.

        Lebron went on a tear shooting 60%+ and scoring over 30 ppg in 6 consecutive games. If you study his shot distribution in that span, half were at the rim. Good for him. And that requires incredible skill to get to the rim and then to finish at a high clip. He even shot over 40% from distance. As incredible as that was, it was a yawn for a lot of people because Tyson Chandler averages 65%+ every year and Wilt, Artis Gilmore, Oscar, even Jordan had incredible streaks as well. (See Jordan’s triple-double streak). It’s true Chandler doesn’t shoot a lot (and can’t) but he hits a high % and I suppose that means something.

        The difference between skill and brute strength is obvious to anyone who cares to see it. When Lebron was in CLE, his fans used to say, “Which team would be better off? LAL with Lebron or CLE with Kobe.” Simple: Lakers with Lebron. No one asked, “With a good set of teammates, which player will lead his team to the finals and take advantage of the opportunities.” Simple: Kobe. Lebron is 1-for-3 in the finals. Kobe is 2-for-3 in his recent finals. Were Kobe’s squad better than Lebron’s? Maybe. It’s debatable.

        My point is, the interesting question few ask is, “What if they were born with the other’s body?” I argue that Kobe could play another 3-4 years because of his skill. Lebron, once his body surrenders to age, won’t have much to fall back on. And I think his slide will become obvious — and so will what anchored his career — brute strength and speed.

        When it’s all said and done, Kobe will be regarded at one of the 5 best. Lebron, despite his excellence now, will not. Again, my humble opinion.

  4. Bill Gabay - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    MVP-type performance by Kobe who played all 48 minutes last night. Won the duel with Lilliard (who was shooting it from everywhere) and the game for LA. #Count on Kobe

  5. Bill Gabay - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Reblogged this on jumajaworski and commented:
    Coming back from 2 hrs of bball last night with no subs, this was worth staying up late for.

  6. losanginsight - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Well said valeb. This is why you cant compare Kobe and scottie pippen jr. Different size and positions.

  7. waiting4asuperbowl - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Valeb, couldnt have said it better myself. Ive tried making the same argument for years.

  8. kb2408 - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    I have watched NBA basketball since the mid 70’s and Kobe is as good as anyone that has ever played. His critics point to his flaws but when he’s on his game there is not a player better.The comparison to MJ is the only one that makes sense.

  9. valeb2012 - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    I think this explains why Kobe is so popular in China, more popular than Lebron. Asians generally conced that they’re not going to be naturally gifted (taller, more muscle). Skill/mastery is the only thing you can do anything about. So, Lebron is gifted with a large frame and incredible speed. But he didn’t exactly choose those things. He won the genetic lottery. Kobe, no slouch physically, is not as tall or big or fast as Lebron. But Kobe works harder than anyone. A jumpshot, free throws, left and right hooks — these things require immense practice. And there’s no doubt in my mind that Kobe is better at all these things than Lebron. He has diligently worked to be great. In Asia, that means a lot. People may be in awe of a physical beast, but they admire the skilled swordsman or archer.

    The other thing about people who argue that Lebron’s %s are just higher (or comparable in 3PT%) is the same misplaced argument that Blake Griffin’s midrange % around 36% is as good as the league avg. Blake Griffin is almost always uncontested when he shoots a midrange jumper. Defenders dare him to shoot it. So, if he shoots at the league average uncontested while everyone else is contested, what does that say about Griffin’s true % accurately reflected for defense (aka playoffs)?

    Lebron is almost never guarded at the 3pt line. He pretty much has a 7foot buffer from his defender. What Lebron during games. Lebron is effectively shooting open 3PTers. There’s a rule some people follow in the nba. You practice shooting 3PT until you can hit 70-80% during practice. In the game, the defense cuts that range in half. When you watch Kobe, he is almost always shooting contested 3PT. In practice, he hits 70-80% of his 3s. Now, what does that say about Lebron’s true 3PT prowess. I’m just saying, if you want to see a truly great 3PT shooter, watch S Curry or Ray Allen. Moving and guarded tightly every time. Incredible.

    • justaride88 - Apr 12, 2013 at 3:09 AM

      Ive allways said that if defenders would give so much space to KD as they do with Lebron, he would shoot better than 60% from 3pt. So yes, I think that Lebrons perimetr efficiency is way overrated.

      He’s high 3pt and midrange FG% says a lot about he’s physical gifts, because defenders are often forced to give him so much space just to take away the devastating driwe to rim wich usally ends with either freethrows, lay up or cross cort pass to open jumper. But in no way it can make an argument that he is better player on perimeter than Kobe is, no way!

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