The Los Angeles Lakers have notoriously struggled at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, so it wasn’t surprising that the Lakers struggled against a Blazer team featuring 4 rookies in their starting line-up. However, the hex on this Laker team was lifted temporarily Wednesday evening when a 36 year old Kobe Bryant went off for 47 points. Bryant’s season high lifted the Lakers to a 113-106 victory and 1 game ahead of the Jazz for the 8th seed.
"We've got no breathing room at all," Bryant said. "I'm still on edge. We've got to win three more games and we're in."
Kobe’s will and determinism at the age of 36 is even making Father Time a bit uneasy at this point. Kobe played the entire 48 minutes of Wednesday game going 14-27 from the field and 18-18 from the free throw line; not to mention his 3 steals and 4 blocks.
"What he (Bryant) is doing is phenomenal. He's determined to get us in the playoffs," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "That's what happens when you open your mouth and guarantee that we'll get in the playoffs."