The Lakers nearly completed a monumental comeback against the Warriors from 23 points down at halftime, but came up just short, 115-111. Kobe Bryant’s 36 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists helped the Lakers storm back on Golden State, briefly taking a 99-97 lead in the fourth quarter before a pair of late Stephen Jackson three pointers sealed the deal for L.A.’s northern rivals.
“Stephen (Jackson) made a couple of big, big, big shots from deep,” said Bryant. “You got to tip your hat to that. When you’re down that many points, you want to give yourself the opportunity to win the game and we kept ourselves in it down the stretch and he made a couple big ones.”
“We had a large gap to make up in that 3rd quarter, probably took a lot of energy out of us to get there but we just couldn’t make a stop down the stretch,” said Coach Jackson. “There’s a foul, Jackson hit those 2 threes sequences, and you got to make stops in the end.”
Despite outscoring the Warriors 62-43 in the second half, the first 24 minutes ultimately doomed the Lakers’ comeback bid.
“It’s an 11 point game in the first quarter, and the first unit went back on the floor,” said Jackson. “In the time out I just said lets get ourselves back and gain momentum before the quarters out and it just flipped flopped. Instead of being solid and being under control, turned the ball over and they made fouls in the back court. They really put themselves in a big deficit and a big hole.”
Jackson said that the special holiday circumstances may have contributed to his team’s sluggish start.
“It was Easter Sunday, I didn’t have a shoot around this morning,” said Jackson. “Sometimes you just have to honor the day. It was on of those things where they just weren’t focused when they came.”
Aside from Kobe Bryant’s outstanding effort, Lamar Odom also had a monster game for the Lakers, compiling totals of 19 points, 22 rebounds and 4 block shots.
The Lakers will get another chance against the Warriors in Oakland tomorrow night–according to Bryant, a place that has been friendly to the Lakers in recent years.
“Yeah, sure. It’s a quick flight,” said Bryant. “Get in, get out, move on. There’s a lot of Laker fans though. A lot of Laker fans out there.”