The L.A. Lakers grabbed sole possession of the eighth seed out West, with a 104-96 win over the New Orleans Hornets, for the time being that is.
Kobe Bryant didn't show up until the 4th quarter, when he went into beast mode, dropping 23 points in the 4th quarter alone.
He ended the night with 30 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals, while shooting 50 percent from the field.
In the first three quarters though Pau Gasol led the way, ending the night with 22 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.
While the Lakers pulled away late, this win has to be concerning for Lakers' fans. Fighting for the eighth seed is going to require lots of energy and effort from everyone on the Lakers' roster, and they don't have the youngest team in the league.
Fatigue could hold the Lakers back as they close in on the final few games of the season. When Kobe is playing at the level he did on Tuesday night though, they are going to be hard to beat.
Eric Gordon did all he could, with 22 points, and he got some assistance from Anthony Davis and his double double of 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Kobe was just three points away from outscoring the entire Hornets team in the fourth quarter—26-23—but it was enough to get the Lakers one game closer to the playoffs.