Los Angeles at New Orleans

Kobe only second player with 50 points in four straight games

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW ORLEANS -- Kobe Bryant wants to be remembered for scoring points and winning basketball games, not the suspension-yielding swipes he's taken at opposing players.

If he keeps this up, he may get his wish.

Bryant scored 50 points to lead Los Angeles to a 111-105 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night, making the Lakers star only the second player in NBA history with at least that many points in four consecutive games.

"Remember that suspension two weeks ago?" Lakers coach Phil Jackson said, referring to a one-game suspension Bryant got for hitting Timberwolves guard Marko Jaric. "I think this has motivated him. I don't know if we like to have suspensions all of the time work for us, but there were some things there that motivated him."

Bryant, who also was suspended in January for hitting San Antonio's Manu Ginobili, had scoring totals of 65, 50 and 60 in his previous three games, all Lakers victories.

"The thing that was frustrating for me was people were talking about, 'He's a dirty player,' which, for me, is pretty insulting," Bryant said. "To have people talking about something else besides that -- it's a much better feeling."

Indeed, people are now talking about Bryant's place alongside the man the Lakers' star first knew as the character Bombaata in the movie "Conan the Barbarian."

Only the late Wilt Chamberlain has had more 50-point games in a row than Bryant, hitting that mark in seven consecutive games during the 1961-62 season. Bryant, of course, has long since learned all about Chamberlain, the basketball legend. He's also studied up on Elgin Baylor and knows Michael Jordan, the only other players to hit at least 50 three straight times.

"It's a tremendous honor for me to be in the same (category) with those guys," Bryant said. "The coolest thing about it is this younger generation gets a chance to learn about Elgin Baylor, gets a chance to learn about Wilt Chamberlain and some of the things that they've accomplished, so that the legacy will continue to live on."

Bryant said his recent streak has resulted from his feeling great physically and his teammates helping him get better looks at the basket. But Bryant hit off-balance fades over double teams and other shots of similar difficulty as well.

And he calmly made all 16 free throws he attempted while the opposing crowd tried to rattle him with arm-waving taunts.

"He's just been in such a good rhythm and he's such a good player that when he's feeling like that, it's kind of hard not to just keep going to him because it's amazing to watch and there's a good chance you're going to score," Lakers forward Luke Walton said.

Tyson Chandler had 22 points and 22 rebounds for New Orleans, which trailed nearly the entire second half. Chris Paul had 28 points and 12 assists for the Hornets, who were playing the last of six games scheduled in New Orleans this season before a full-time return to the rebuilding city over the summer.

The Hornets had won two straight and three of four before falling to Los Angeles in a game that left New Orleans on the outside of a close race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Lamar Odom had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, while Kwame Brown had 10 points.

Hitting everything from a long 3-pointers to fadeaways off the glass, Bryant scored 10 points in the first three minutes of the second half during a 14-4 run that gave the Lakers the lead for good at 70-61.

His one-handed floater as he skipped across the lane gave him 39 points and Los Angeles a 78-65 lead with 5:28 still remaining in the third quarter. A half-minute later, Bryant made a 3-pointer from the corner that prompted a rumble from the hostile crowd and excitement for a young boy in a courtside seat.

"I went over to the sideline and I said ... watch this 3, I've got a 3 for you," Bryant said, "Then I knocked down a 3 and gave him a high-five."

Bryant gave Los Angeles its largest lead of the game when his 16-foot jumper late in the third quarter made it 87-69.

None of it surprised Hornets coach Byron Scott, who while trying to analyze video of Bryant's recent performances found himself repeatedly rewinding simply to enjoy the mastery of Bryant's shooting.

"We knew Kobe was going to have one of those nights," said Scott, who looked like Bryant's biggest fan in the hallway outside the locker room after the game, giving his former teammate a prolonged hug. "He's just so good. He's such a competitor and he lives in the moment. This is the moment right now with a playoff-type atmosphere. We knew he was going to come out and play like that."

Notes

  • With a dunk and a tip-in in the first 1:22 of the game, Chandler, now in his sixth season, surpassed 3,000 points for his career.
  • Announced attendance was 18,535, a New Orleans Arena record for a Hornets regular-season game. The old mark was 18,509 in January 2003, the Hornets' first season in New Orleans.
  • When Chandler hit 20 points and 20 rebounds in the fourth quarter, it was the first time a Hornets player had hit that mark in both categories in a home game since Anthony Mason did it in 1996, when the team was based in Charlotte.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Kobe Bryant drops this 20-foot jumper to reach 50 points for the fourth game in a row. (AP)
Kobe Bryant drops this 20-foot jumper to reach 50 points for the fourth game in a row. (AP)

Scoreboard
L.A. Lakers (37-32) «29273124111
NO/Okla. City (31-38) 31261830105
LAL:K. Bryant 50 Pts
LAL:L. Odom 10 Reb
LAL:L. Walton 8 Ast
NO:C. Paul 28 Pts
NO:T. Chandler 22 Reb
NO:C. Paul 12 Ast
Players of the Game
New OrleansLos Angeles

T. Chandler

K. Bryant
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
222235071
Los Angeles
K. Bryant, SG4716-2916-1671250
L. Odom, SF426-93-4106515
L. Walton, SF383-100-05827
K. Brown, C215-70-101510
S. Parker, PG163-70-03436
S. Williams, PG201-50-01023
S. Vujacic, PG183-80-00018
A. Bynum, C184-50-07018
J. Farmar, PG121-50-05112
R. Turiaf, PF91-10-03112
A. McKie, SGDid Not Play
C. Mihm, CDid Not Play
V. Radmanovic, PFDid Not Play
M. Evans, SGDid Not Play
B. Cook, PFDid Not Play
Totals 43-8619-21412223111
 50.0%90.5% 
New Orleans
C. Paul, PG459-1510-12612228
T. Chandler, C409-134-5223222
D. Mason, SF354-142-633110
D. Brown, SG324-114-450214
D. West, PF294-160-07358
R. Butler, SG365-120-041312
J. Pargo, PG153-90-02029
M. Jackson, PF80-22-22002
B. Jackson, PGDid Not Play
P. Stojakovic, SGDid Not Play
L. Johnson, SFDid Not Play
B. Bass, PFDid Not Play
H. Armstrong, CDid Not Play
C. Simmons, PFDid Not Play
M. Vinicius, SFDid Not Play
Totals 38-9222-29512217105
 41.3%75.9% 
Other Games
Mia 70 Final
Ind 95
NJ 82 Final
Orl 90
Char 97 Final
Phi 106
Den 94 Final
Tor 121
Port 102 Final
Atl 100
Dal 109 Final
Bos 95
NY 68 Final
Cle 90
Det 89 Final
SA 90
Wash 128 Final
GS 135
Utah 72 Final
LAC 104
Min 82 Final
Sea 85