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Kobe hits two FTs. Lakers down 89-85.
Kobe did a lot of the talking int hat Lakers timeout. Now two free throws by him. TOR 89, LAL 85 with 4:50 left.
Kobe is still looking to pass first with 5 minutes left in a six-point game. I'd expect that to change soon.
Bryant will be shooting bonus FT's with LAL down 6 and 4:50 to play out of a time out. Has 5 points, 8 boards, 4 assists in 23 min.
GREAT pass from Wes to Hill. Six point game.
Kobe saw Steve Novak as a white cornerback on that pass...
Lakers score on fast break thanks to heady outlet pass from Bryant. He helps, even though the shot hasn't been there.
This 4th quarter is so stressful.
Bryant enters with LAL down 89-81 after Lowry FT's. Tough call for D'Antoni to pull Henry after 8 quick 4th Q points. Meeks stays in.
Kobe back in to play point guard. If he plays the rest of the way, he'll play 28 minutes. TOR 89, LAL 81.
Bryant is set to return (after a "We want Kobe!" chant, no less) at the 6:53 mark. He'll play 28 minutes if he stays in.
Kobe checks in the close out the game.
6:53 left, Lakers down 8, and Kobe Bryant is back in the game. Checks in for leading scorer Xavier Henry.
So here he comes with 6:53 left.
It worked. Kobe is now coming back into the game.
And Mike D'Antoni gives the people what they want. AK
A loud "We want Kobe!" chant. He's played 21 minutes and these people paid good money to see him play.
Fans want to see more, and are chanting "We Want Kobe"
Ask and ye shall receive, Kobe is checking back in
A "We want Kobe!" chant is starting with 7 minutes left in the 4th and the Lakers down 6 with Bryant on the bench
"We want Kobe" chant building at Staples. AK
"We want Kobe" chant starts up. Lakers down six, 7 mins left.
Staples Center: "We want Kobe..."
Xavier from three again. Lakers down four. 7:30 left to play.
Xavier Henry's still rolling, draining another triple to cut the lead to 4. He has 17 off the pine in 13 minutes.
There you go, Jordan. Get Hill rolling to the basket instead of having him create his own shot.
No more Jordan Hill isolations, please.
I did literally LOL at that Nick Young shot.
Toronto has made 2 of its last 3 triples after starting the game just 2 for 19. LAL are 7 of 20 from 3.
Of course Terrence Ross hits a three on the other end following the Nick Young 720 air balled layup.
In fairness to the Lakers, the scouting report on Terrence Ross is that he's best from 60 feet out. AK
The most fun missed layup ever from Young, a 360 finish that wasn't close, resulted in a transition 3 for TOR. Raptors back up 10.
We live in a world where Nick Young just attempted that shot.
Nick Young is the only player in the NBA physically incapable of knowing time, place and score. It's really incredible.
Xavier Henry finished a second tough FG with his off hand (right), then answered Novak's 3 w/1 of his own. 82-75 TOR, 9:35 left.
Xavier with the right again?
Young's up to a team-high 16 points after 2 FT's. Meeks has 14 off the pine, Williams 10, Henry 9, Hill 2. Deficit at 7 after 2 TOR FG's.
Young heading to the line with a chance to cut the Raps lead to 5.
Really interested to see who closes out this game for the Lakers.
Toronto has a very, very thin bench esp. after the trade. Novak, Ross, Stone combined for just 5 points tonight.
Nick Young is all like, "Kobe, I'm really happy for you, and I'ma let you finish, but..."
Second unit cuts TOR lead to 73-68 entering 4Q. Would you dare sit Kobe the rest of the way?
Meant at the end of 3. Sorry folks.
Lakers trail 73-68 after three quarters, cutting TOR's 14-point lead back into striking distance. Young and Meeks have 14 pts apiece
Valanciunis managed 1 of 2 FT's in the final seconds to halt that 10-0 LAL run, but the deficit is only 5 (73-68) after 3.
LAL continues to get excellent defense from this bench unit. Very active from 1 to 5. Three straight stops spurred a 10-0 LAL run.
That they're functioning better without Kobe on the floor shouldn't surprise anyone. This is what they're used to. BK
Lakers have trailed by as many as 14 in this game. Even with Bryant playing, it's the Meeks/Young/Hill/X/Williams unit keeping Lakers in it
Jordan Hill slams one home to cut lead to four, 72-68 with five seconds left in 3rd
Meeks rimmed out on a momentum three that would have cut it to 3, but Hill's follow-up jam of Henry's miss then cut the lead to 4.
Williams, Meeks and Young have got the Lakers rolling. Trail by six, 72-66.
Five straight Nick Young points, plus another Shawne Williams 3 capped an 8-0 push to cut TOR's biggest lead of 14 to 6.
Oh hai, Jordan Hill
The Lakers' season low in points this season is 85. They have 61 as a team with 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter tonight
Nick Young: Accidental offense.
Someone please explain what offense these Lakers are trying to run right now. These sets are foreign to me.
Amir Johnson has 32 points on 14-for-17 shooting. He was averaging 9.8 points before tonight's game.
The Raptors blew a 27-point 3rd Q lead in Golden State the other night. The margin is 12 with 3 minutes to go in the 3rd right now.
After a 3 from Williams cut Toronto's lead to 7, the Raptors rolled off a 5-0 answer to push the lead back to 12. Johnson up to 30 points.
Kobe was missing even in halftime warmups. Didn't bother to make his last one before stopping. He's 2 for 6 in the game and sitting again.
Meeks has much improved his ball-handling & finishing this year, but his last FB didn't show it. Ended in a TO after he failed to draw a PF.
He's been great in that role all season, doesn't make sense to almost completely take him away from what's made him successful.
At some point, Steve Blake is going to have to start taking over some of these ball handling duties from Kobe.
That's twice tonight Kobe has tried to absorb charges. Is that going to be a post-Achilles adjustment? BK
Kobe tries to draw the charge, but was clearly moving on that one. DeRozen extends the Raptors lead to 13.
Bryant's up to 6 turnovers, 3 in the first 6 minutes of the 3rd. LAL have 13 to TOR's 6, a major factor tonight.
Kobe has as many turnovers as points, 5 apiece, in 20 minutes of play. TOR 61, LAL 50.
The 4th Bryant assist got Meeks a transition dunk, but TOR got an answer from DeRozan to take a 61-50 lead at the 7-minute mark o/t 3rd.
Kobe drops the dime to Meeks on the break. Lakers down 9.
Raptors have 36 points in the paint after Amir Johnson scores on Gasol. Guess Kobe cant fix everything
Light boos after Gasol missed a free throw. Some jeers after Amir Johnson scored on him. Not a good night for him at all.
Amir Johnson has a new career high, already, with 27 points on 12 of 15 FG's. He'd been replaced by (now injured) Hansbrough as a starter.
Pau extremely upset after Amir Johnson scored on that putback.
Get. Pau. Off. The. Floor.
Kobe's return hasn't done much for Pau Gasol tonight: 3-for-11, 6 pts, 7 boards. Is booed as he misses a FT.
Boo birds flying over Pau right now.
Lakers turn the ball over out of the timeout.
Also in early: Jodie Meeks, replacing Johnson. That's two shooters in for two defensive players, to spread the floor around Bryant/Gasol.
No question LAL's starters look out of sorts on offense, and D'Antoni adjusts by putting Williams in for Sacre at the 9:23 mark.
LAL's starters have struggled once again, allowing a 6-0 Raptors run to start the 3rd Q. LAL have missed all 6 of their 3rd Q FG's.
Not the start to the half the Lakers wanted. They're now down 10 and haven't scored yet. 9:23 left to play in the 3rd.
Bryant averaged 5.6 boards last season, and 5.3 in his career. He has 7 in 18 minutes tonight.
Lakers don't balance the floor well after the Wes shot. Raptors up 53-47.
Blake, who's pushing through a hyper-extended shooting elbow, rimmed out on a 3 to start the 3rd Q. Tough injury for a shooter.
Living in LA would be so much easier if celebrities had to wear jerseys with their names on the back. Would eliminate all the "Is that...?"
Stu Lantz is wearing the Lakers 2002 championship ring.
Kobe adjusting post-Achilles while the league adjusts to Kobe post-Achilles is going to be an interesting thing to watch. BK
Is Kobe in MVP form through 14 minutes. Not even close. And that is so OK. A lot of promising signs, given circumstances.