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Phil Jackson Tweets That Kobe Bryant 'Almost Pitched Perfect Game' vs. Mavs

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Phil Jackson Tweets That Kobe Bryant 'Almost Pitched Perfect Game' vs. Mavs
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Kobe Bryant triple-doubles make everything all right.

The Black Mamba carried the Los Angeles Lakers to a 101-81 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, and Phil Jackson approved.

Following Bryant's monstrous performance against Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs, the Zen Master took to Twitter to praise his former pupil and the Lakers.

So much for any hard feelings on Phil's behalf.

Never mind that Kobe had four turnovers and shot 8-of-18 from the floor. Seriously, don't even think about it, because the Mamba truly did border on perfection, no Yu Darvish pun intended.

He finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, four steals and two blocks for his second triple-double of the season (19th career). 

On a night when the Lakers hoisted Shaquille O'Neal's jersey into the rafters, some would argue that Bryant attempted to steal the show. Others would choose to question his absence from Shaq's halftime ceremony and attempt to revive the rift that once existed between the two.

Jackson, however, took a different approach.

The 11-time coaching champion suggested that Kobe played and won the game for Shaq and the fans.

I wouldn't disagree. I doubt he gave Shaq the game ball, dedicated the victory to him or rubbed his head for good luck before every quarter, but he was definitely playing for someone other than himself here.

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He played for his teammates, for everyone in the building, for all of Los Angeles.

Sensing how much Los Angeles needed this victory, he took over the game in just about every possible aspect. His shot wasn't falling at a particularly high rate, but he had a very LeBron James-esque game otherwise.

Distributing, defending, leading—he did everything possible to ensure the Lakers won. With Los Angeles' playoff hopes on life support, he did everything and anything that was needed to keep the Mavericks from essentially pulling the plug.

The Lakers needed a win, so Ice Mamba delivered one.

You can bet every one of Jackson's 11 (or 13) championship rings that he did what he did for all of "Lakers Nation."

Shaq included.

 

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