EL SEGUNDO (CBS/AP) — Although Kobe Bryant’s late-game effectiveness has been debated and dissected over the past 16 years, he seems to love it whenever he doesn’t have to take the Los Angeles Lakers’ last shot.
That generally means the Lakers are taking care of business by themselves.
After Bryant took a supporting role in a dramatic win in Game 4, they’ll attempt to close out the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.
Bryant scored 69 points in the series’ two games at Staples Center, but just 44 in two games in Denver. Instead, he doubled his assists total and encouraged his teammates to step up.
“Defenses are relying on me, Pau and Andrew to not trust our guys, and if they keep hitting them (shots) , it puts them in a predicament.” Bryant said.
They did, with cold-blooded 3-pointers by point guards Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake closing out Game 4.
The young Nuggets are impressed, but they hope they’re not done gathering knowledge about playoff intensity just yet.