|Posted by shawn cassidy on March 4, 2013 at 1:00 AM|
Kobe Bryant scored 11 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and hit the go-ahead layup with 9 seconds left, leading the Los Angeles Lakers back to .500 for the first time in more than two months with a 99-98 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night.
Steve Blake stole Josh Smith's final pass in the waning seconds for the Lakers (30-30), who blew a 16-point lead in the second half before Bryant scored their last six points.
How it happened: The Lakers led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter but allowed Atlanta's hot shooters off the bench (Kyle Korver and Devin Harris had 16 points apiece) to get the Hawks back in it. But Bryant and Metta World Peace (two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter) made the plays that mattered in the win.
What it means: All the jokes about the Lakers restarting the season for the umpteenth time aside, the guys in purple and gold got back to the same even record they began the 2012-13 campaign with on Sunday.
Here come the Lakers. They're 30-30 now, and back to .500 ball. They sit 2 and a half games back of Houston. I still like the Rockets squeezing past the Lakers for the 8th seed. The drama may hit a peak with both teams facing off on the last day of the regular season. That would be awesome seeing the Lakers make it to that point, and with a winner take all game. The Rockets own the season series with a 2-1 edge.