Bryant posted 60 points (22-50 FG, 6-21 3Pt, 10-12 FT), four rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block over 42 minutes in Wednesday's season-ending 101-96 victory over the Jazz. The Black Mamba's farwell probably couldn't have been scripted any better, save for the first few minutes of the game in which he was unable to connect on multiple shot attempts. Once Bryant got rolling however, he began draining shots from all over the court. Coach Byron Scott held true to his word about giving his future Hall of Famer all the minutes he could handle, and Bryant held true to his reputation of never meeting a shot he didn't like. On such a momentous occasion however, his monopolization of the ball was certainly overlooked, and the 20-year veteran put on a show that neither the fans nor the players in attendance are likely to ever forget. Bryant closes out his final season with averages of 17.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.2 blocks over 28.2 minutes per game. He played, and started, in 66 contests overall.
Coach Byron Scott plans on giving Bryant his most minutes all season during Wednesday's regular season finale against the Jazz, Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report reports. The struggle with utilizing Bryant all season has been his fluctuating availability and playing time, but he's been able to produce nicely while actually present on the court. His season-high in minutes is currently 37 on Nov. 20 against the Raptors, so the soon-to-be retiree will have plenty of opportunities to produce during his final NBA game, assuming Scott holds true to his word.
Bryant scored a team-high 35 points (10-22 FG, 11-11 FT, 4-11 3Pt) to go along with two rebounds, two steals and an assist in just 27 minutes during Sunday's loss to the Rockets. The Black Mamba seemed to savor his head-to-head matchup with James Harden, who finished with 40 points of his own, as he delivered one of his finest offensive performances of the season. Bryant will play in each of the Lakers' final two games, and he appears focused on finishing off his illustrious career on a high note.
Bryant will play in both games during Sunday and Monday's back-to-back, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. Braynt has struggled with shoulder soreness for much of the year, and often has been restricted on minutes during back-to-back games, but it seems he'll play both. Bryant has been determined to play in all of the final games of this season. He has struggled to score lately, but he's likely to not be discouraged by this and continue to take a lot of shots. Bryant continues to be a risky daily pick due to the wear-and-tear of the season's effect on his body.
Bryant (shoulder) is officially listed as questionable for Friday's game against the Pelicans, Brett Dawson of the New Orleans Advocate reports. Bryant has repeatedly pledged over the past week that he plans to suit up in all of the Lakers' remaining games in his final NBA season, so it's expected that he'll find a way to make his last career appearance in New Orleans. If Bryant's chronically sore right shoulder proves to be too much of a nuisance during the game, coach Byron Scott could look to limit the former MVP's minutes a bit. Bryant seems to have hit a wall over his last six games, as he's averaging a meager 13.5 points (on 29.3% shooting), two rebounds, 1.3 three-pointers, 1.3 steals, and one assist over 23.8 minutes. With the exception of the steals category, all of those figures are lower than his season-long marks.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||40||345||43.5||63||31.2||246||83.1||999||24.98||40|