(PORTLAND, Ore.) — Kobe Bryant is trying to will the Lakers into the postseason.
He scored a season-high 47 points in 48 minutes to lead the Lakers to a 113-106 win over the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night at the Rose Garden.
The win moved the Lakers (42-37) a full game up on the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference.
“We’ve got no breathing room at all,” Bryant said. “I’m still on edge. We’ve got to win three more games and we’re in.”
Pau Gasol chipped in 23 points for the Lakers (42-37) who are trying to back up Bryant’s vow that the team will make the playoffs.
Portland (33-45) has now lost nine straight and will miss the playoffs for the second-straight year.
Both the Lakers and Jazz are in action Friday night. The Lakers play Golden State while the Jazz host Minnesota.
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Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
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James Hanlon, CNN