For anyone who thought it was a fluke, or a floozy, or any other word describing a lucky, once-in-a-lifetime happening, Kobe Bryant's done it. AGAIN.
The Black Mamba became the oldest player at 33 years old to record 40 or more points in four straight games—48 against Phoenix, 40 against Utah, 42 against Cleveland and 42 against the Clippers—and soared high as his Los Angeles Lakers took their fifth loss of the season in a 102-94 home, yet away, loss Saturday night.
Bryant shot 14-of-28 from the field, shooting 2-of-5 from deep and a nearly perfect 12-of-14 from the charity stripe. He also added in seven rebounds, two steals and a block, and only turned the ball over twice in 44 minutes of play.
Chris Paul, public enemy number one for the Lakers, scorched the defense for a season-high 33 points (12-22 FG, 3-4 3PT, 6-6 FT) and dished out six assists, as well as hauling in three rebounds and three steals. Even more impressive, CP3 solidified his position as the best PG in the NBA by only turning the ball over once in his 39 minutes on the court.
DeAndre Jordan only scored twice for four points and didn't block any shots, but he snatched down 10 rebounds and was on the receiving end of a nifty pass from Blake Griffin, who finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.
The Laker bigs (Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol) came up short, combining for 26 points, 26 rebounds and only one block, on a particularly horrible shooting night. Gasol shot an inefficient 7-of-17 from the field, including a wide open 10-foot jumper that stunted the Lakers' fourth-quarter comeback.
Chauncey Billups scored 19 points, killing the Lakers from deep with 4-of-6 shooting from three.
While the Clippers came away with the win, CP3 suffered a strained hamstring injury late in the fourth quarter and was forced to sit out the remainder of the game. It didn't look too serious, but he may miss a game or two.
The Clippers have won Round 1 of the Battle of Los Angeles, but L.A. is still the Mamba's town. The Staples Center crowd reacted more to Kobe's made shots than any others in the entire game. The Lakers may have a new foe in town, but they still have the key to the fans' hearts.