Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Kobe Bryant recorded 21 points, 14 assists and 9 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers ripped the Oklahoma City Thunder, 105-96, Sunday at Staples Center.
The Lakers are finally back in their winning ways with a suddenly pass-first Bryant leading the way. Known for his offensive mentality, Bryant dished out 14 assists for a second consecutive game, leading to victories against the Jazz and the league-leading Thunder.
As expected, the latest showdown between the Lakers and Thunder provided another playoff type of basketball with both teams exchanging furious rallies and knocking down big jumpers down the stretch.
The game featured 18 lead changes and 19 deadlocks but the Lakers showed their heart in the waning minutes.
With the Thunder threatening once again to steal the show at Staples, the Lakers came through with 19-8 run in the last six minutes to secure the victory.
Kevin Durant was in his element again, scoring 35 points on 10-for-26 shooting. Russell Westbrook had 17 points and 13 rebounds while Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins each chipped in with 10 points.
The Lakers, meanwhile, got solid contributions from Steve Nash (17 points and 5 assists), Pau Gasol (16 points), and Metta World Peace (15 points and 10 rebounds).
The Lakers (19-25) are still six games below .500 but now showing some life after miserable run through the first weeks of January. The Thunder still on top of the Western Conference with a 34-11 slate.