TORONTO, February 5 – Kobe Bryant showed no sign of a let-down Wednesday, following up a record-setting performance in New York with a 36-point effort in leading the Los Angeles Lakers past the Toronto Raptors.
Two nights after he set a Madison Square Garden scoring record with 61 points against the Knicks, Bryant pushed the Lakers to a 115-107 National Basketball Association victory over Toronto.
The solid effort, which also included nine rebounds and five assists, was a nice encore to Bryant’s stunning New York performance.
And it was also a good warm-up for the Lakers’ clash Thursday with the Boston Celtics – the Lakers’ first visit to Boston since the Celtics wrapped up the NBA title against them in game six of last season’s Finals series.
Pau Gasol registered a double-double with 31 points and 15 rebounds and Los Angeles committed only five turnovers to overcome a feisty Raptors squad.
The Lakers trailed for much of the game but used a 16-6 scoring run late in the fourth to hand the Raptors their fourth straight defeat.
Joey Graham scored a career-high 24 points to lead Toronto and Jermaine O’Neal fell one rebound and one block shy of a triple-double, scoring 22 points while collecting nine rebounds and a season-high nine blocks.
Bryant carried the Lakers down the stretch, scoring 10 points in the final six and a half minutes.