Kobe Bryant enjoyed every minute of his return to Madison Square Garden and making history made his trip that much better. Bryant scored 39 points, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000, and the Los Angeles Lakers held off the New York Knicks 95-90 Sunday. Bryant became the 31st player with 20,000 points.
|30 players are in the 20,000-Point Club: 18 are in the Basketball Hall of Fame; 10 are not yet eligible. Only eligible players not in Hall: Tom Chambers, Adrian Dantley.|
Bryant added 11 rebounds and eight assists in his first game at the Garden in nearly two years. His 3-pointer in the opening minute of the third quarter allowed him to reach the milestone at 29 years, 122 days.
Kobe Bryant said: "I always like playing here, period," Bryant said. "Last year I didn't have an opportunity to play and I was upset about it. This is my favorite arena to play in so I'm just happy and relieved that I was able to play tonight."
Here that Isiah Thomas? Maybe you should look into acquiring Kobe to revitalize the Knicks and keep the fans happy. A move like that would make the fans happy and you would be likable again in the Garden. Though Bryant told reporters Saturday that the Knicks were one of the four teams he would have accepted a trade to, both coaches downplayed New York's chances. Jackson said there were no serious talks before the season, and Thomas added, "I never sincerely thought that the Lakers would trade him." Well, Isiah, you thought wrong. You didn't even make an effort.
Bryant's last basket came in the final minute after the Knicks had trimmed a 25-point deficit to one. The victory capped a 3-1 road trip for the Lakers, who headed home to host Phoenix on Tuesday. Kobe is also happy his team is finally connecting and playing well together. When Kobe is pleased, thats a good sign.
The Knicks, however, are still a disgrace. After the Knicks fell too far behind to make a comeback likely for the second time in three days, coach Isiah Thomas said there would be lineup changes when the Knicks play their next game, against Orlando on Wednesday."We probably have the wrong guys starting and we'll look to change our lineup and try to get some more energy and defensive guys in the lineup," Thomas said. Hey, with the way things are going for the Knicks, who can really argue with Isiah?