Kobe Bryant beat the Hornets

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Published: March 24, 2007

Ah shit.

Kobe Bryant done did it again, dropping 50 or more for the fourth straight game and delivering another win for the Lakers. Once you look past the dazzling brilliance of Kobe's run, you'll see that the Hornets' ever-dwindling Playoff hopes just took another colossal blow.

He actually missed this one

Let's hit the bullets and shake this out…

  • Linkage: box | recap | video

  • So yeah, Kobe is making history, and the Hornets are on the wrong end of it. He punched out with 50 last night. That's a scoring run of 65, 50, 60 and 50 in his last four games. Un-fucking-believable. I think Vlade Divac had a four-game run of 20, 16, 14 and 17 for the Hornets once.
  • For the most part, it was Rasual Butler and Devin Brown taking turns guarding Kobe. Not sure why Byron Scott didn't stick Desmond Mason on 24 for more than a few possessions, or why he didn't send more double-teams, but whatever. Butler and Brown actually played solid D for the most part, sticking with the guy, a hand in his face on every jumper. Kobe was just supernatural. Hurricane Katrina couldn't have stopped him.
  • The Hornets led 57-56 at the half, but Kobe came out and dropped 10 points in 150 seconds to start the third quarter. That turned the game around, and the Lakers stretched their lead to as much as 18 near the end of the third. The Hornets crawled back within 6 a couple of times in the fourth, but couldn't get over the hump.
  • Overshadowed by Kobe's performance were some damn fine outings by Tyson Chandler and Chris Paul.

    TC finally got himself a 20-20 game, finishing with 22 points and 22 rebounds. Compare that to the Lakers starting five combining for 25 rebounds. I'm reading that the last Hornet to deliver a 20-20 at home was Anthony Mason back in 1996. Nobody seems to know about the last time a Hornet did it on the road. Strange.

    CP's line last night: 28 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and just 1 turnover. You could even say his 28 points and 12 assists were more impressive than Kobe's 50 points and 1 assist, right?

  • Balancing out Paul and Chandler were Desmond Mason and David West, who shot a combined 8-of-30 for 18 points. Eyes on the prize, fellas.
  • Mason's free-throw technique goes under the microscope. Children, avert your eyes. (Also, be sure to follow the link at that blog post to the Vick skit. Quality.)
  • Once again last n ight, the rotation was trimmed to eight. Linton Johnson is putting up shelves in the doghouse.
  • By all accounts, a great crowd and atmosphere at the Arena. The 18,535 paid attendance was apparently a record. See you next season, N.O.

This loss wouldn't be so bad except the Clippers and Warriors both won last night. The Clips routed the Jazz in LA, 104-72, while Baron Davis dropped some ridiculous numbers in the Warriors 135-128 win over the visiting Wizards. Those results put us a full two games out of the Playoffs.

But wait, it gets worse! Starting tomorrow, the Hornets next three opponents are the Rockets, Mavs and Spurs, who have a combined winning percentage of .727.

Say, worst case scenario, we only lose two of those games, and we're left with a 32-40 record with ten games left this season. The Hornets would need to win eight of those last ten to finish with a 40-42 record. That might be enough to sneak in to the postseason, at which time we can all take comfort in the words of Gerry V as the Hornets get blown out by the Mavericks.

Lots to look forward to. 

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