Kobe’s barrage is one for the books

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson And Bryant might have topped it all with his explanation of the off-balance bank shot he hit with 11.4 seconds left Saturday night to beat the Clippers. “That’s H-O-R-S-E,” he said. “Like when you’re a kid, you just play H-O-R-S-E in the backyard and you throw up all kinds of b.s. and see if it sticks.” Bryant had 40 points in the second half against the Clippers, including the first 11 of the fourth quarter, and laid claim to the NBA scoring crown over the weekend. He has scored 40 points or more in nine games and is averaging 33.7 this season. He set one franchise record by hitting seven three-pointers without a miss against the 76ers and nearly set another with his 40-point second half against the Clippers. Bryant had 42 points in a half against Washington on March 28, 2003. As Lakers coach Phil Jackson put it after Saturday’s game, “We’re getting immune to his heroics at times.” On the first page of the Lakers media guide this season, as part of a tribute to George Mikan, is a photograph of the marquee that greeted pro basketball’s then-biggest star when Mikan arrived at Madison Square Garden for a game in December 1949. It read: “Wednesday Basketball: Geo Mikan vs. Knicks.” As legend has it, Mikan was greeted by his teammates before the game asking if they should wait in the locker room while he played one on five as advertised. Added Bryant: “Phil asked me with two minutes to go in the game (Saturday), he asked me if I needed a breather, just being funny. I said, `Coach, I’ve been shooting all jumpshots tonight. I’m not even tired.’ ” With his 45-point game against Memphis before the suspension, Bryant became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1990 to score 45 points or more in three consecutive games. The Indiana Pacers will get their crack at Bryant tonight, a game for which they sorely could use the suspended Ron Artest as a defensive stopper. The Pacers, one of the NBA’s top five defensive teams, could start out with Stephen Jackson on Bryant. It is still a team game, but Bryant has accounted for nearly one-third of the Lakers’ scoring this season and remains on pace to become only the second player in the last 30 years (Jordan is the other) to take more than 2,100 shots in a season. “We know we’re going to have players step up and make big contributions,” Bryant said. “We’re not going to think about this as being a long-haul thing. We’re just going to take it game by game.” Bryant went 19-of-29 in Friday’s game and 17-of-41 Saturday, connecting on a combined 14-of-22 three-pointers in the two games. He moved from the backcourt to the wing in the triangle offense this season and has seized on the opportunity to be a scorer. The Clippers finally got the ball out of his hands in the fourth quarter, but only after committing Chris Wilcox or Elton Brand to double Bryant at the very start of possessions, leaving forward Brian Cook open for a three-pointer and long jumper. “It’s just a matter of me stepping back into that zone,” Bryant said. “I’m just being aggressive, just attacking these guys, and us as a team, we’re doing a good job spacing. “And (Lamar Odom’s) doing an excellent job facilitating the offense. He takes a lot of pressure off me, where I don’t have to concern myself with playmaking because that’s what he does.” Odom, in particular, was effusive in his praise of Bryant. When Odom couldn’t stop Clippers forward Cuttino Mobley in the third quarter, Bryant went on his scoring barrage and kept the Lakers in a game they trailed by as many as 13. “I felt like him catching on fire like that, like he got my back,” Odom said, later adding, “He wills himself to victory. That’ll rub off on all of us.” Cook, meanwhile, was asked if he thought Bryant had affirmed his status at the NBA’s premier player. “He’s carried us a lot this season,” Cook said. “He gets the job done every night.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img A half-century later, after two transcendent games over the weekend, Kobe Bryant might deserve similar billing on the big board next to Staples Center and the 110 Freeway. Bryant went ballistic in his return from a two-game suspension, following up a 48-point game against Philadelphia with a 50-point effort against the Clippers. The 98 points were the most Bryant has ever scored in consecutive games in his career. last_img

Doolittle, Gallegly fend off primary challenges

first_imgRepublican Rep. John Doolittle of Rocklin, whose close friendship with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff brought him unwanted scrutiny, easily beat back a GOP primary challenge Tuesday. He was among a handful of incumbents in California’s 53 congressional districts fending off primary challengers. Most attention focused on the San Diego race to replace former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham and the contest against House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo of Tracy, both Republicans. But with voters frustrated over congressional corruption and business as usual in Washington, several other contests were being watched. In the conservative 4th Congressional District, Doolittle defeated Auburn Mayor Mike Holmes. Early returns showed Doolittle with a commanding lead over Holmes. On the Democratic side, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Charlie Brown was favored against Lisa Rea and Mike Hamersley. Brown was leading Rea and Hamersley in early tabulations. In Southern California’s beach-hugging 36th Congressional District, anti-war liberal Marcy Winograd generated political buzz with a longshot challenge to hawkish incumbent Jane Harman of Venice. Harman, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, supported the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act. Winograd, running under the slogan “A Real Democrat for the People,” supports withdrawing U.S. troops. In early absentee balloting, Harman showed a commanding lead over Winograd. Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Simi Valley, beat back a primary challenge from first-time candidate Michael Tenenbaum, an attorney. Gallegly tried to drop out of the race on the day of the filing deadline in March, citing unspecified health problems and wrongly thinking the deadline for other candidates to file would be extended. It wasn’t, briefly leaving the field clear for Tenenbaum. GOP leaders urged Gallegly back in, but Tenenbaum stayed in the race. With early absentee ballots counted, Gallegly had an overwhelming lead over Tenenbaum. Meanwhile, in the state’s U.S. Senate race, Sen. Dianne Feinstein easily beat two little-known opponents to secure the Democratic nomination. Conservative former state legislator Richard Mountjoy ran unopposed on the Republican side.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

‘If Liverpool want my opinion, I’ll give it’ – Van Dijk talks up De Ligt talent

first_img Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade The Ajax centre-back has impressed for club and country, giving a very mature performance during the Netherlands’ Nations League victory over Germany last month.Ronald Koeman’s side have two tough tests in the new competition against France at home on Friday (a game you can listen to live on talkSPORT 2) and Germany away on Monday with promotion to the last four not out of the question.And van Dijk said Liverpool’s broad scouting network will be very aware of de Ligt’s talents.Van Dijk told De Telegraaf: “He [de Ligt] is already very far, especially at that age. Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star LIVING THE DREAM De Ligt in action during his country’s Nations League victory over Germany Latest Transfer News IN DEMAND 3 3 3 RANKED “A good defender, good boy, calm, knows what he wants and hopefully he makes the right choice in his next step.“He will be on the list, because they have enough scouts at the club.”Asked if he’d be the best scout because he plays next to de Ligt, van Dijk said: “No, but if they need my opinion at Liverpool, I’ll give it.”Liverpool fans call on Jurgen Klopp to sign Matthijs de Ligt LATEST moving on Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Van Dijk, who was made Netherlands captain earlier this year, has dramatically improved the Reds’ leaky defence from last season.He has developed a formidable partnership with Joe Gomez as Liverpool lie second in the Premier League after twelve games. Van Dijk is one of the world’s highest rated defenders and has been impressed with de Ligt’s displays REVEALED Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland targets Virgil van Dijk believes Netherlands defensive partner Matthijs de Ligt will be on Liverpool’s radar.De Ligt, 19, is one of Europe’s rising stars and has been linked with moves to clubs including van Dijk’s Liverpool as well as Manchester City, Tottenham and Juventus. Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ targets Liverpool’s defence has made great strides since van Dijk’s arrival and Gomez’s return to full fitnesslast_img read more