The final encounter between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James produced some mercurial moments. Bryant displayed flashes of his brilliance in the game as the Los Angeles Lakers’ two game winning streak ended; LeBron James and company won with 120-108 at Los Angeles.
The Lakers were able to beat the top team of the Western Conference last Sunday. Here they had an opportunity to beat the best of the East, but their defense failed them.
The Cavs won the thriller, LeBron James led them to do so, but Kobe Bryant out-shined James in terms of points. Bryant notched up 26, as James finished with 24 in the historic and entertaining final encounter between the duo. Bryant was plagued by inaccuracy this season, but on Thursday night he displayed a commendable 11-for-16 shooting, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Lakers gave up 95 points in the first three quarter, a situation from where it’s hard to pull off a win against a side which tops the Eastern Conference table. Bryant got a raucous standing ovation in the first quarter after a smart move in which he faked James in the air, according to Fox Sports.
“It was everything for a competitor like myself and I know for himself,” James revealed his feelings after the game. “I know he was not taking this game off and I definitely wasn’t taking it off, so it was great to be out there for sure. “For the both of us, we are two sportsmen … we love the lights and get up for the best moments and for us to give the fans and give our beautiful sport one last opportunity to watch us both on the same floor and give them a show, it was great.”
Channing Frye replaced Kevin Love in the Cavs line-up, and returned with 21 points. D’Angelo Russell did a decent job for the Lakers, posting 24 points. But the Lakers defense is 27th ranked this season, having conceded 107 points per game. Is it possible to stop LeBron James or Kyrie Irving with such a defense? Irving added 26 to the winners tally.