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by Kyle Galdeira, editor

Golden State jumped out to a 16-4 lead to start the game, but the Lakers were able to pull within a point at halftime, thanks in part to Bryant’s stellar play, which included an under-and-around the basket dunk that brought the crowd back to life.

“ It was pretty difficult to watch for a while,” said Los Angeles Head Coach Phil Jackson. “But we collected ourselves and came back.”

“ I think we did a good job keeping our poise,” Bryant said. “They jumped out to that early lead, and it didn’t rattle us. We just stuck with the game plan and executed.”

After Warrior stars Baron Davis and Jason Richardson, responsible for 17 and 14 points respectively, were given most of the second half off for the same reason as Bryant, the Los Angeles bench was able to hold off its counterparts and surge ahead for the victory. Lamar Odem chipped in with 16 points and Brian Cook added 10 of his own to help the Laker effort.

Throughout Bryant’s time on the sideline, the crowd started chants of, “Kobe, Kobe,” in hopes of seeing more from one of the NBA’s most exciting players.

“ It’s great to be back here (in Hawai‘i),” Bryant said. “This is where my first training camp was [held] back in ’96, so it feels great to come back. People have always been great and really receptive, and they’ve embraced us as a team.”

In the grudge match between the two teams held on Oct. 12, the Warriors trounced Los Angeles 112-81. Golden State guard Baron Davis had a game-high 18 points despite sitting out most of the second half.


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