LOS ANGELES — This video, via the NBA’s YouTube page, is simply titled, “The Greatness of Kobe Bryant.”
That about sums it up.
The Lakers had no business beating the Raptors the way they defended for most of the night, but Bryant made sure that after his teammates helped close the gap, he would personally dig them out of the rest of that hole himself.
Bryant made three increasingly difficult three-point shots in the final two minutes of regulation, and then drove the lane for the game-winning dunk near the end of the overtime session.
The dunk, with the game hanging in the balance, was particularly impressive. Here’s how Bryant explained it to us afterward.
“[Aaron Gray] was coming out to blitz me,” Bryant said. “I saw him coming, I just had to kind of decoy it a little bit and kind of wait for him to get his top foot and get him close enough to me where I could go around him. When that happens, it kind of becomes a screen for my defender.
“He doesn’t have the speed to really do anything, so I just kind of went around him and he wound up screening my man.”
And Bryant went flying in for the slam to win the game, essentially uncontested.