(LOS ANGELES) — “The Masked Mamba” was at his best again on Friday night. Kobe Bryant, who played in his second straight game with a protective mask since injuring his nose at the All-Star game, scored 38 points to lead his team to a 115-107 victory over the Kings.
It wasn’t easy though. Headed into the fourth quarter, Los Angeles (22-14) was up by 20 points. With five minutes left, the Kings (12-24) trimmed that lead down to five after a 21-6 run and 11 consecutive points.
“We played well, (but) we didn’t come in with the right sense of urgency and focus in the fourth quarter, and it almost cost us,” Bryant said.
Now the Lakers attention will shift to Sunday when they will host the Miami Heat. After all, the reason Bryant is in a mask is because of Heat guard Dwyane Wade who fouled him hard during the All-Star game.
Bryant called Sunday’s game a “measuring stick” against Miami, which has the third-best record in the league at 28-8 and is 3-0 against Bryant and the Lakers since “The Decision.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN