Sunday saw the Los Angeles Lakers do something they have not done in a long time--they made it back to .500 with a big win over the Atlanta Hawks, 99-98. Kobe Bryant led the way (shocker) with 34 points; 11 of which came in a tough fourth quarter including the last six for the team.
More heroics were necessary from the Black Mamba after the Lakers blew a 16-point lead in the second half. Luckily heroics on the hard court is something Kobe excels at!
The win marks the end to the kind of streak the Lakers are not accustomed to-days with a record below .500 (61).
The last time they spent that much time below .500 was the 2002-03 season (91). That season they bounced back to finish 50-32, but eventually lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the conference semi-finals ending their reign as NBA Champions at three seasons (1999-02).
This season has been a tough year for the Lakers and their fans. It started off with tons of promise with all the big name free agents they brought in during the off-season namely Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, and Antawn Jamison.
Talent does not always mesh with talent though. Injuries and a lack of chemistry led to a poor start and their head coach getting fired. The worst occurred when Lakers long time owner Jerry Buss passed away.
That event appears to have focused the team.In the days that followed Kobe Bryant stated that the Lakers would indeed get it together and make the playoffs. Since then they've actually been playing good basketball.
At 30-30 they are three games behind the Houston Rockets for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.