Nicolas Batum brought the Portland Trailblazers to within 2 points after hitting a shot in the corner with 10.7 seconds remaining in the game; however, it wasn’t enough as the Los Angeles Lakers were able to hold and win 111-107, in a closely contested game.
There was a more familiar Kobe Bryant Friday night, scoring a game high 40 points in the game. This was Kobe’s first time scoring 30 or more points since the January 15th game against the Milwaukee Bucks when he scored 31 points. It was the first time he scored 40 or more points in a game since the day after Christmas, when he scored 40 in a loss at the Denver Nuggets. This was Kobe’s 117th 40 point game in his career.
The Lakers win extends their lead over the Blazers to 1 game and 1/2 for the 9th spot, and keeps them 3 and 1/2 games behind the 8th place Houston Rockets who won Friday night as well in Brooklyn, 106-96.
Dwight Howard has also beginning to resemble the player that we saw in Orlando since his return from the All Star Break. Dwight Howard scored 19 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the win against the Blazers. This is coming of his 24 points and 12 rebounds game in the win against the Boston Celtics Wednesday night.
The Lakers next game is Sunday in Dallas to face the Mavericks.