Kobe Bryant Likes Game 3′s

D073786024.JPGThat Kobe Bryant has had a plethora of outstanding playoff games in the last two seasons isn’t exactly breaking news.

Um, duh.

Yet some of Bryant’s best performances have come in Game 3′s, which is not likely a coincidence since each of those games has been L.A.’s first road contest in their past seven playoff series, when No. 24′s sheer will in front of hostile fan bases can be most useful.

While L.A. has gone 3-4 in those games, it has won both times in which the series was tied at 1-1 (at Denver and at Houston last season), and went 1-4 when going up 2-0, perhaps signifying something about the opposing team’s desperation.

Here’s a look at what Bryant’s managed to do on an individual basis in those games heading into Tuesday evening’s Game 3 in Boston.

2010
Game 3 @ Oklahoma City (101-96 L): 24 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
Game 3 @ Utah (111-110 W): 35 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
Game 3 @ Phoenix (118-108 L): 36 points, 11 assists, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block
Game 3 @ Boston (we’ll see shortly)

2009
Game 3 @ Utah (88-86 L*): 18 points, 6 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals
Game 3 @ Houston (108-94 W): 33 points, 3 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals
Game 3 @ Denver (103-97 W): 41 points, 5 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals
Game 3 @ Orlando (108-104 L): 31 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds
*This was Bryant’s only really poor Game 3, but he bounced back for 38 points on 16-of-24 shooting in L.A.’s Game 4 win.