On Sunday night, Kobe Bryant set another record against the Toronto Raptors in a rare Los Angeles Lakers' victory at Staples Center.
Against the team that he famously torched for 81 points, Bryant recorded his 6,000th NBA assist. With a pass to Wesley Johnson in the second half, he became the first player in NBA history to have 30,000 points and 6,000 assists.
From the onset, Bryant appeared to have his mind set on passing the ball. He did not take his first shot until over eight minutes into the game. By that point, every other Lakers' starter had scored and "Kobe Johnson" already had four assists.
In the second quarter, Bryant and the Lakers would continue to attack with balance. By halftime, four Lakers were in double figures in points compared to only one player from Toronto hitting that mark. At that point, Carlos Boozer led the way with 12 points, but Jordan Hill, Nick Young and Bryant were close behind with 10 points a piece.
In the third period, the Lakers continued their trend of coming out flat. Bryant would play all 12 minutes of the quarter, but even an inspired and historic night by one of the greatest ever could not turn around the Lakers' third quarter woes. The Raptors cut a nine-point halftime deficit to only one point entering the fourth quarter.
With the game on the line, Bryant came back in to take charge. As much as this night would be remembered for Bryant's career of passing, the fourth quarter and overtime would go down as one of Bryant's vintage game-winning performances.
Down the stretch, no. 24 scored eight points, including a memorable baseline fadeaway jump shot. Bryant would also dish out a crowd-raising assist to Young for a three-pointer that gave the Lakers a four-point lead with less than a minute and a half to play. However, a three-point play for the Raptors would quickly set the game up for an exciting finish.
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In the thrilling final couple minutes of regulation that included two head-scratching missed free throws from Bryant, the Lakers got the ball back with 13 seconds to play in a tie ball game. Bryant attacked the rim and got contact, but he did not earn a foul call. The buzzer rang, and the Lakers and Raptors went to overtime.
In the overtime, Bryant would continue to attack offensively. Again, though, he went to the foul line and missed. Bryant would straighten out the free throw issues after that first miss and his free throws started dropping. He continued to demand the ball, receive the ball and score the ball. Bryant scored six crucial points in the overtime period, so he had 14 points in the fourth quarter and overtime period.
Also, Bryant notched the 20th triple-double of his career when he grabbed a rebound late in overtime. Bryant finished with 31 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. The Lakers went to 4-13 on the season.