Although the Golden State Warriors gave the Los Angeles Lakers fits for three quarters, in the fourth quarter their defense sunk to unimaginable depths even for Nellie-ball standards. Monta Ellis gave Kobe Bryant all sorts of trouble for three quarters, but Bryant took over the fourth quarter, scoring 17 points in the final six minutes, and nailing two huge threes that effectively ended the game with under two minutes left (he also assisted Ron Artest on another big three pointer). Ellis scored 38 points, but only 7 in the fourth quarter after probably fatiguing out from playing the entire game.
Bryant took advantage of the smaller Ellis on defense late with an offensive explosion that capped the Laker comeback. It was curious that head coach Keith Smart didn’t put the more athletic Dorell Wright on Bryant; that decision haunted the Warriors down the stretch.
The Laker bigs also should be mentioned. Pau Gasol dominated his matchup with David Lee (Gasol had 24 points and 11 rebounds, Lee only 14 points and 7 boards, but he did chip in 6 assists). Andrew Bynum chipped in 11 points, but it was Lamar Odom who charged the comeback with 16 4th quarter points, 20 in all in the period (plus 9 rebounds).
Wright hit five three pointers and scored 27 points and Stephen Curry had 15 points and 10 rebounds in support of Ellis and Lee for the Warriors. Golden State fell to 15-23 on the season.
For more on the game from the perspective of Warriors fans, head over to Golden State of Mind.