Bryant doesn’t care about how, just how many
Kobe Bryant, 33, might be getting older, but he’ll take a victory any way he can get it.
Bryant lived at the free throw line Friday night and made all 18 of his foul shots to lift the Lakers to a 99-96 Game 3 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bryant’s 36 points helped the Lakers cut the Thunder’s series lead to 2-1, with Game 4 back at Staples Center on Saturday night.
Bryant shot 9-for-25 from the field, so he needed some other tactic to get points on the board. He made two free throws with 33.8 seconds left that gave the Lakers the lead for good.
“You’ve got to do what it takes to win at this point,” Bryant said.
Bryant broke the Lakers’ playoff record for most free throws without a miss, set by Gail Goodrich with 17 in 1972. Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki set the NBA playoff record by making 24 of 24 last year against the Thunder.
The Lakers made 41 of 42 free throws for the game — 97.6 percent — which was second-best all-time in NBA playoff history to Dallas’ 49 of 50 against San Antonio in 2003.