Kobe Bryant helped to power his team Los Angeles Lakers to a winning jumper in the final minute as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 97-94. In a fourth quarter slugfest that featured 11 lead changes, Bryant made a pull-up that put the home team ahead 95-94 with 42 seconds, then allowed Andrew Bynum to deliver the final basket as the Lakers scored the last eight points to triumph against their long-time NBA rivals.
Bryant finished with 26 points and seven assists for Los Angeles (25-16). Andrew Bynum co-starred with 20 points and 14 rebounds while seizing his team’s final possession during the critical final seconds that normally belong to Bryant. “Today was just another example of (Kobe) trusting Andrew,” Lakers veteran guard Derek Fisher said. “It’s a part of the continued evolution in terms of him doing different things to get us over the top.”
The Lakers needed everyone’s contribution to escape the Celtics who had two last gasp three-point attempts from Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo fail before the clock expired. Rondo had 24 points and 10 assists for Boston (21-19) who trailed by 15 in the second quarter but rallied and held a 94-89 advantage with under three minutes remaining.