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Kobe Bryant passing to make Lakers winners
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On January 30, 2013 @ 10:00 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES – Some people will do something even though they aren’t thrilled about doing it, and will do it well, just to prove a point Not to themselves, necessarily, but to those who doubt it can be done.
Exhibit A: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is the type of person who will accumulate assists even though it’s not his forte, and he will do it well, just to prove a point. That he can, or, more pointedly, wants to pass the ball.
So for just the second time in his career, Bryant has delivered at least 11 assists in three consecutive games, according to basketball-reference.com, with results that so far favor the Lakers.
Maybe it’s proving a point to Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni. Or to his teammates, specifically center Dwight Howard. Maybe even to reporters, who for years have watched Bryant rack up points in a most ruthless manner.
Whatever the reason, the result of Bryant sacrificing his offense has been a three-game winning streak when so desperately needed.
For the third consecutive game, Bryant recorded double-digits in assists as the Lakers beatthe New Orleans Hornets 111-106 on Tuesday.
Bryant has totaled 39 assists in victories against the Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder and Hornets since Friday — vs. 34 combined shots taken. That is a first for Bryant, according to basketball-reference.com, three consecutive games with at least 11 assists and 12 shots or less taken in each game.
With the Lakers struggling for most of January, Howard sour about his touches and D’Antoni pressing for more ball movement, Bryant decided to become a playmaker, another point guard on the court.
“When I focus on something, I become obsessed with it,” Bryant said.
Even D’Antoni admitted he was surprised Bryant could have such an impact as a distributor.
Bryant has taken just 34 shots in the past three games. It was only Jan. 20 when he launched 32 shots against the Toronto Raptors.
In a three-game stretch to start the new year – all losses, by the way – Bryant took a total of 80 shots.
Bryant the scorer has deferred to Bryant the passer. And it has worked as … [For more on Bryant passing on all his talents to make Lakers winners, click here.]
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