Bryant registered an NBA season-high 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.
In the final NBA game of his career, Bryant couldn't have asked for a better possible ending, as he put on a show to remember for the Staples Center crowd that had feted him for 20 seasons. Bryant shook off some early jitters from the field to catch fire by the second half of the first quarter, finishing with 15 points in the period. He also came up clutch when it mattered most, pouring in 23 of his 60 points in the final quarter to aid the Lakers to a comeback victory. Of course, the 60-point outburst came with plenty of caveats. For one, the Jazz, who were eliminated from the postseason minutes before Wednesday's contest started, weren't exactly playing with much motivation and rested their top two rim protectors, Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors, which presented little resistance for Bryant as he drove to the tin. And secondly, Bryant's Lakers teammates fed him the rock incessantly throughout the night, as he needed a whopping 50 shots -- a single-game record in the modern era -- to get his point total. In that sense, Bryant's final game was a microcosm of his polarizing career; his supporters surely reveled in the 37-year-old's dedication to take the game into his own hands, while his detractors likely viewed the finale as the ultimate embodiment of his lack of efficiency and unwillingness to keep his teammates involved. The debate regarding Bryant's legacy figures to continue well into his retirement, but there's no denying that the 18-time All-Star was one of the top players of his era and a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Among a long list of achievements, Bryant will end his career as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, a five-time NBA champion, and a two-time NBA Finals MVP.
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) will play in Friday's matchup with the Pelicans, Mark Medina of L.A. Daily News reports.
Bryant pledged earlier in the week that he would suit up for all of the Lakers' remaining games, so it comes as no surprise he'll take the court Friday. Bryant has struggled recently, posting averages of just 12.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 1.4 steals over his last four games. Don't expect that to discourage Bryant, though, as the future Hall-of-Famer will still get off his fair share of shots. As long as his shoulder doesn't act up during the game, Bryant should play a full minutes load Friday.
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.
Bryant tallied six points (2-12 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), two rebounds, and two steals over 22 minutes in Tuesday's 103-81 loss to the Clippers.
Bryant was far from the only Lakers player to lay bricks on a night when the team's five starters combined to shoot a putrid 10-for-51 (19.6%). While Bryant is capable of delivering big scoring nights such as the 34-point effort he turned in just two days earlier against the Celtics, his 35.4 percent and 28.2 percent season marks from the field and three-point range, respectively, often ensures that he needs tons of volume to produce significant totals. His lack of efficiency hasn't deterred Bryant from firing away at any point this season, so don't expect him to take a backseat offensively over the final five games of his career.
Bryant plans to play Tuesday against the Clippers, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Bryant has dealt with nagging injuries all season, with a sore right shoulder being the latest culprit to cause him to miss games. However, he's been able to play in each of the last seven contests, and has stated that he intends on playing in all of the Lakers' remaining games in his final NBA season. While it looks like Bryant will play Tuesday, coach Byron Scott said he would limit the veteran's minutes in one of the back-to-back games against the Clippers either Tuesday or Wednesday. Bryant is a bit of a risky daily pick due to the uncertainty of his minutes, but he's coming off one of his best games of the season, a 34-point effort in Sunday's loss to the Celtics.
Bryant scored a team-high 34 points (11-28 FG, 4-11 3Pt, 8-10 FT) to go with four rebounds, one assist and three steals in 33 minutes during Sunday's loss to the Celtics.
We expected Bryant to play his vintage maniacally competitive style and he did exactly that against the Celtics on Sunday. The future Hall of Famer wasn't shy with his shot, hoisting 28 attempts for the second time this season. He shot relatively well, however, and was visibly aided by the Lakers' three day break this weekend. Statistically speaking, this could likely be the last relevant fantasy game in Kobe's career.
Bryant will play in Sunday's game against the Celtics, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Though it hasn't been much of a rivalry the past five years, Bryant surely wanted to face the Celtics one last time. He only played nine minutes Wednesday against the Heat, but he did log 23+ minutes in each of the previous five games.
Bryant is still expected to play in Sunday's game against the Celtics, but he hasn't discussed his status with head coach Byron Scott, Mike Trudell of Lakers.com reports.
Though expected to play in each of the Lakers' remaining games, Bryant probably won't push things if he's feeling too sore. His availability, or lack thereof, should be confirmed at some time prior to Sunday's 9:30 ET tip-off. Bryant logged just nine minutes in his last appearance.
Coach Byron Scott said he believes Bryant plans to play in each of the Lakers' seven remaining games, the LA Daily News reports. "I sense he wants to play all seven of these games," Scott said. "We haven't put a minute restriction or anything like that. He wants to make sure he plays, and I'm sure he will."
Bryant was limited to only nine minutes against the Heat on Wednesday, spending much of the second half on the bench with ice packs strapped to his knees and shoulder. The 37-year-old has dealt with nagging injuries to both areas for most of the season, but with only a handful of games remaining in his career, it looks as though Bryant is determined to savor what he has left. With three days of rest before Sunday's matchup with the Celtics, Bryant is expected to return to a more significant role.
Bryant was removed from Wednesday's game against Miami with general soreness early in the third quarter, Mike Trudell of Lakers.com reports.
Bryant managed just two points on 1-7 shooting in nine minutes of action. He has been dealing with shoulder soreness and was clearly straining himself to ensure he got into one last game against Dwyane Wade and the Heat. The Lakers' next game comes Sunday against Boston, but even if he manages to go, Bryant is clearly struggling physically and that won't change between now and the end of the season.
Bryant (shoulder) said he plans to play Wednesday against the Heat, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Bryant has played in each of the Lakers' last five games, including a back-to-back set last week against the Grizzlies and Suns. While his right shoulder is still not 100 percent healthy, Bryant appears determined to make the most of his final couple of weeks in a Lakers uniform, so it seems likely that he'll suit up for the majority -- if not all -- of the Lakers' eight remaining games.
Bryant (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Wednesday's game against the Heat, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
As has been the case for the majority of the season, Bryant is being evaluated on a game-to-game basis and will again head into Wednesday's outing versus the Heat as questionable. He recently stated that he intends to play in the Lakers' remaining nine games, so it seems as if Bryant will try and give it a go despite the questionable tag. With that being said, we should see his status updated again following the team's morning shootaround on Wednesday.
Bryant said after Sunday's 101-88 loss to the Wizards that he intends to play in the remaining nine games on the Lakers' schedule, the Associated Press reports. "[I'm] damn sure going to try," Bryant said. "Unless something drastic happens, God forbid."
Bryant has battled soreness in his shoulder since January, resulting in him sitting out with more frequency in the second half. However, the worst of the injury seems to be behind him, as he's suited up in four consecutive games, though the 23 minutes he received Sunday were his fewest during that stretch. His limited court time may have been intentional though, as coach Byron Scott likely had an eye on preserving Bryant for the second half of the Lakers' back-to-back set Monday against the Jazz. Bryant has averaged 20.5 points (on 41.2% shooting), three treys, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists over 27.5 minutes during that four-game stretch.
Coach Byron Scott said that Bryant (shoulder) will play in Sunday's tilt with the Wizards.
It will mark the fourth appearance in a row for Bryant, who despite nursing a sore right shoulder, seems to have found a second wind with the final season of his career inching closer to its end. He also said that he plans to play in Monday's game against the Jazz to close out the Lakers' back-to-back set. Bryant has seen between 28 and 30 minutes in each of the last three games, scoring at least 17 points in all contests while shooting a collective 41.5 percent from the floor and 40.9 percent from three-point range.
Bryant (shoulder) tallied a game-high 28 points (10-22 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 4-5 FT) and four rebounds over 29 minutes in Friday's 116-105 loss to the Nuggets.
The veteran turned in a better-than-average shooting night, and was able to take on an additional role as a scorer after D'Angelo Russell went down with an ankle injury. It's Bryant third game of over 20 points in the month, and although he continues to battle a troublesome shoulder ailment, he's averaging a solid 17.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in March.
Bryant (shoulder) will play Friday against the Nuggets, Mike Trudell of Lakers.com reports.
Bryant was initially considered questionable after playing both games of the Lakers' back-to-back set Tuesday and Wednesday, but he said his shoulder is feeling fine as Friday's contest approaches. Expect Bryant to play his usual role of 25-30 minutes while starting at small forward.
Bryant (shoulder) is questionable for Friday's game against the Nuggets, Mark Medina of the L.A Daily News reports.
As has been the case for much of the year, Bryant is day-to-day with persistent soreness in his right shoulder and will be questionable heading into Friday's matchup. He has been able to play in each of the last two games, but he hasn't played more than two games in a row since late February. If Bryant is unable to go Friday, look for Larry Nance or Metta World Peace to pick up his minutes.
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