POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 15, 2010
WASHINGTON » Kobe Bryant said it was a first for him. Never had he missed all three free throws after getting fouled attempting a 3-point shot. He heard the crowd boo and laugh at his expense, especially as shot No. 3 badly clanked off the front of the rim.
"Never happened to me," Bryant said. "Never."
And it was the worst thing that could happen to the undermanned Washington Wizards. After his dubious NBA hat trick, Bryant kick-started himself and soon was running off 12 straight points for his team, leading the decisive third-quarter run last night in the Los Angeles Lakers' 103-89 victory.
"Absolutely," said Bryant, when asked if the trifecta of misses got his juices flowing. "I just got going. I got some good looks, knocked them down. I made one. I made the next. Things just went on from there."
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"I called Nick and Gil over, and said: 'I just want you guys to be ready' because Kobe's the type of player -- the more difficult the situation the better he is," Saunders said. "He got going. He hit 3s, and that's what he does. Great players -- great teams. When they get going, it's like they're playing in slow motion."
Bryant's streak came during a 17-2 run, and 16 of his 24 points came during the third quarter for the Lakers, who won for the fifth time in six games, including three of the first four on their seven-game East Coast road trip.
Andrew Bynum scored seven points in 17 minutes off the bench in his season debut after offseason right knee surgery. Pau Gasol added 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Lakers. Lamar Odom had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Shannon Brown scored 16 points.
Washington has lost five straight and nine of 10, and No. 1 overall pick John Wall missed yet another game, this time with tendinitis in his right knee. He has sat out eight of 23 this season, mostly with left-foot and left-knee injuries.
Thornton 3-9 5-8 11, Yi 1-2 0-0 2, McGee 6-8 0-0 12, Hinrich 3-10 1-2 7, Arenas 5-15 0-0 11, Armstrong 2-6 0-0 4, Booker 4-7 1-1 9, Young 9-21 3-3 21, Seraphin 2-6 2-2 6, Martin 2-7 0-0 6. Totals 37-91 12-16 89.