NBA Game Summary - Seattle at LA Lakers
(Sunday, April 15th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 109, Seattle 98
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant poured in 50 points, his tenth 50-plus point game of the season, to lead the Los Angeles Lakers into the playoffs with a 109-98 win over the Seattle SuperSonics.
Bryant, who was 18-of-25 from the field, also had eight rebounds for the Lakers, who snapped a four-game losing streak to secure a playoff berth for the second season in a row, the 12th time in 13 seasons, and the 29th time in 31 seasons. Lamar Odom added 14 points for LA, which holds the seventh seed in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of Golden State.
Rashard Lewis scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Sonics, who have dropped four straight and eight of nine. Mike Wilks scored 22 and had eight assists. Chris Wilcox had 20 points and 10 boards, and Damien Wilkins had 17 points for Seattle.
A Lewis three pulled the Sonics to within 92-89 with 4:52 left, but the Lakers sealed the win, and their playoff berth, with 11 straight points, capped by a reverse dunk by Bryant to put LA up 103-89 with 1:28 left.
"We needed this type of game for us and the city," said Bryant.
After an Odom jumper opened the second half to put LA ahead 57-46, the Sonics answered with a 12-2 run, pulling to within 59-58 with 8:09 left. Bryant answered with back-to-back threes, though, and the Lakers pushed their lead to 81-74 entering the fourth quarter.
"To reach our goal is cool," said Odom. "We weren't playing too well, but the concern is now over."
Bryant went off in the first quarter, and the Lakers opened with a 20-4 surge, with 15 of those points scored by Bryant. LA led 29-15 entering the second quarter, as Bryant tallied 17 points in the first.
The Lakers lead topped out at 19 points with 6:11 left in the first half, with back-to-back baskets by Maurice Evans putting LA up 46-27. The Sonics mounted a comeback, though, closing the half with seven straight points, part of a 19-9 stretch that sliced the LA lead to 55-46 entering the break.
Bryant's 10 50-point games this season is the third highest season total in NBA history...The last time the Lakers went consecutive seasons without a playoff berth was in 1975-76.
04/16 00:52:58 ET