Thunder-Lakers: Kobe pays Westbrook ultimate compliment
Kevin Durant outscored Kobe Bryant 17-13 Tuesday night. Down night for both superstars? Hardly.
Kobe was the star of the Lakers’ 111-87 rout in Game 5 of this Western Conference playoff series. Kobe said it was one of the Lakers’ best games of the year, and considering the stakes, probably ranks No. 1.
It also was one of the milestone defensive games of Kobe’s career. Just as Durant was hailed for his all-around performance in Game 3 (19 rebounds; tough fourth-quarter defense on Kobe), Kobe’s performance in neutralizing Russell Westbrook will be long remembered in LaLa Land.
Laker coach Phil Jackson said Kobe came to him Monday wanting the assignment of guarding Westbrook, who has toyed with Laker veteran Derek Fisher. “We had to make some adjustments,” Kobe said. “Ron (Artest) has been working extremely hard on Durant. Russell has just done such a great job of getting into the paint. I think I’m a pretty good defensive player myself. So I took the assignment.”
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