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Game Recap: Kobe Returns, But Lakers Fall To Raptors Reviewed by Momizat on . Tonight is the game everyone was waiting for. Kobe Bryant made his return to the Lakers tonight from a torn Achilles he suffered last season. He makes his retur Tonight is the game everyone was waiting for. Kobe Bryant made his return to the Lakers tonight from a torn Achilles he suffered last season. He makes his retur Rating: 0
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Game Recap: Kobe Returns, But Lakers Fall To Raptors


Tonight is the game everyone was waiting for. Kobe Bryant made his return to the Lakers tonight from a torn Achilles he suffered last season. He makes his return against the team he scored 81 points against in the Toronto Raptors.

The Lakers have been playing great basketball and have improved to 10-9 on the season. The Raptors come in with a depleted team after completing a huge trade involving Rudy Gay, but still boast a plethora of young athletic wings in Demar Derozan, Terrence Ross, and Landry Fields who are sure to give Kobe all kinds of troubles in his first game back. The Lakers have won three of their last four games while the Raptors have lost five straight.

First Quarter

The crowd was absolutely electric for the beginning of this game. Kobe got the Lakers started with an absolutely beautiful pass to Robert Sacre for an easy layup. Lakers having trouble in transition defense as the Raptors got going quickly with a couple of layups. Jonas Valanciunas was dominant on the block in the early going, moving Sacre and Gasol out of the way for easy jump hooks. A couple of Lakers turnovers led to some more easy buckets as an uptight Lakers team fell behind 15-4 early. Lakers run a beautiful fast break led to a vicious Wesley Johnson and Kobe with another great pass to Gasol that cut the Raptors lead to 7. Kobe took his first break after seven minutes, missing two shots but dishing out two assists. Raptors dominated the Lakers in the paint and pushed the lead back out to 11 quickly. Nick Young got the Lakers going late in the quarter with three jumpers, but Terrence Ross hit a 3/4 court shot at the buzzer to push the Raptors ahead by 10 at the end of the first.

Second Quarter

Jodie Meeks got the scoring started with a nice three pointer but the Lakers leave Amir Johnson wide open for an easy dunk. The Lakers offense seemed to find its stride with the second unit being lead by Xavier Henry, but the defense continued to be lackluster as Amir Johnson has 17 points midway through the quarter. Henry continued to be aggressive with an impressive three point play and Nick Young hit a three pointer to cut the lead to five. Kobe returned to the game with seven minutes left and picked up where he left off with another assist to Gasol and finally recorded his first point of the season at the free throw line. Kobe would then hit his first basket with a left handed bank shot, but Amir Johnson has been unstoppable in the first half and put the Raptor s back up by six. The Lakers defense was the weak point of the first half as the Raptors continually got wide open dunks and three pointers. Kobe started to look like his old self late in the quarter with a signature mid range jumper. A Meeks jumper cut the lead to four at the end of the half.

Third Quarter

Both teams started off the quarter slow with some sloppy play and missed shots. Derozan finally got the scoring going with a fast break layup and Gasol has struggled badly shooting only 3-11. A Johnson jumper and a Lowry layup and the lead quickly rose back to 10. Fans began to openly boo Gasol at every mistake and Johnson continued to dominate as he passed his career high in points with 27 only four minutes into the quarter. Kobe turnover leads to a Derozan layup as the Raptors push the lead to 13. Lakers also haven’t helped themselves with fourteen turnovers. Meeks and Williams hit three pointers to cut the lead back to seven but a Lowry layup and another Johnson bucket push the lead right back to double digits. More Lakers turnovers kill any offensive momentum they try to build. Lakers with a 10-1 run led by Young and Hill to end the quarter as they cut the lead to five.

Fourth Quarter

Teams traded buckets to start the quarter and Novak and Henry trade threes as the Raptors lead by seven. Nick Young attempted some sort of 720 layup that missed horribly and led to a Ross three pointer on the other end to put the Raptors back up by 10. Lakers  get a quick run to cut the lead to five on a Henry three but Ross with a great move to push the lead to eight. Bryant re-enters the game with seven minutes remaining and assumes the point guard role. Crazy play eventually leads to a Hill layup off the Johnson assist and the Lakers trail by six halfway through the quarter. Bryant free throws cut the lead to four before the Lakers give up another easy layup off of a defensive breakdown. Derozan free throws and a Lowry layup push the lead back to four with only three minutes remaining. Bad Laker fouls and more Derozan push the Raptors farther ahead as time runs down. More turnovers end the game for the Lakers as they fall to the Raptors.

** For Our Lakers Post-Game Videos: Click Here

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About The Author

Corey is currently a full-time staff writer for Lakers Nation. He is a passionate follower of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys and can usually be seen arguing the merits of Kobe Bryant or cursing the decisions of Jerry Jones. He is also a former producer and associate producer for Sirius XM Sports Radio. Follow him on twitter @TheeCoreyH

Number of Entries : 465
  • charluz88

    No doubt they will come back big.. On there next schedule!! And for Kobe lets giv him time.. Im sure little by little he will pick his game… and THE MAMBA will rule!!!!

  • Lakers Fan

    Kobe has a long way to go. He was obviously rusty, and it showed. He didn’t look to shoot much, and it was because he didn’t want to disrupt the flow the team has had. He moved well, but he needs to get his legs back under him. Once he comes around, we should be able to see the Kobe we are accustomed to.

    That being said, Pau either needs to be benched or put on the trading block. How many chances is management going to give him to step up his game? There are no more excuses to give. He got outplayed terribly by Amir Johnson. We need a rim protector bad. I don’t know how many games it has been this year where the opposition has taken advantage of the fact that Pau is patrolling the paint and goes right at him. I’ve grown tired of it. I’ve backed him for as long as possible, but its time to take some action and let him know his performance is unacceptable.

    I don’t agree with D’Antoni pulling Xavier in the 4th when he was our best player tonight. I know he wanted to see if Kobe could close out the game, but we see that was a mistake. That unit had a groove going, and he interrupted that when he pulled Xavier out the game. I’m beyond pleased with our second unit. I seriously don’t know how many times I will say that. Overall, I’m not too upset about this lost. Kobe is going to get his groove going, and when he do that’s when we will really see what this team is made of. Go Lakers!

  • carlo82005

    Kobe is still rusty but damn the lakers played well today, even though they lost, they showed a lot of heart playing the game

    • Al Haldie

      The bench played well-not the starters—bench 80 pts-that does not say much for the starters KOBE 2 OF 9 0 for 3 0N 3 PT TRY 8 T/O HE DID GET 8 REB THAT WAS THE ONLY THING THAT WAS GOOD-and takeing out the X – facter was the cost of the game in the 4th qtr..its going to get better but can we last that long ??????

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Welcome back Kobe.

  • Jim213

    The 1 position is locked for the season they said, don’t need no trades for a starting PG they said, SMH. The starters AGAIN failed to show up BUT IT’S MORE PAU AND BLAKE. Can’t give up wins against teams they’re supposed to beat (no excuses) but aside of that the coach get’s the blame for the loss.

    Should’ve started Hill given that we know how Pau plays under the rim. Let him play 5 to 6 minutes and if tired sub him for Sacre (where’s Kaman). Don’t believe the team will go over 500 too much if the rotation doesn’t get addressed. But aside of that the coach killed the momentum in the 4th by bringing in Kobe (not hating on Kobe) but it’ll take time like mentioned in the past IMO for him to return to his level of play. The coach basically relied too much on him and should’ve sat him out late in the 4th.

  • LakersFan

    Wow, he is really just a shell of himself. The end is near Kobe. Stay strong

    • Lakers Fan

      You can’t say that. It’s completely unfair. Did you expect a 35 year old coming off an Achilles injury to put up career numbers? It will take time. This should have been expected. It will get better with time. Just be patient.

      • Al Haldie

        It was KOBE who said he was ready–does he look ready-or are my EYES bad ???

        • Lakers Fan

          He was ready, but it will take time for him to get into his rhythm. What’s the difference between him coming back now than later? He will still be rusty regardless and it will still be the same outcome. He looked ready to me. He just needs to get his legs under him. Be patient.

  • iDon’tCare

    Kobe has to be himself when he is with the starters. No passing because gasol can’t shoot. Maybe a few assists but mostly dominate. The bench CAN play, so let them stay as they are.

    • Al Haldie

      Yea let the BENCH do all the work— and only play with on man {KOBE} on the starters—not another yr of that,,,

  • vulkanthekrusader

    Look all I know is playing Kobe with Pau & Sacre is not doing his any service at all,and Pau has looked horrible being a wing shooter this year, when he said he wanted to go in the paint more. He let this guy Amir get over 30 points tonite, its time to move on from Pau thank you for your effort in those few years you did good, but right now he’s a fucking liability.

  • Mark Webb

    Kobe’s style & D’Antoni’s style will never mesh, EVER. Adding to that, with the type of roster we have now, it will be difficult for Kobe to blend in with the rest of the team. They will be forced to try to adapt entirely to the Kobe system. I envision a lot of disappointing nights for the rest of the season.

    • Jim213

      I observed this too, but only time will tell given that Kobe’s strength has been his shooting. Relying more on the team now while letting them do their own thing this season or until late in the season and if they happen to make the playoffs hopefully Kobe’s gotten his legs back. X, Young and a few others seem to hesitant at times with their offense believing that the old Kobe who return.

      It’ll take time and if Kobe plays more than 20 minutes it may hurt the chemistry of the unit overall being that as we’ve observed it’ll take time for him to adjust to his level of play thus it’s best for the team to play their style while buying him more time to conditioning himself and adjust. Thay just seem to play two different style up tempo as opposed to the slower style.

      • Al Haldie

        SAY WHAT U WANT BUT WE HAVE GREAT SHOOTERS—BUT IF WE ADD PLAYERS THEY , NEED TO BE TEAM PLAYERS -NOT BALL STOPERS..

    • Al Haldie

      Kobe should be able to blend in with the team-but does not have to have the ball every time down the court-he does not move the ball-they have BLAKE bringing up the ball , pass to KOBE -that does not fit this system–like they say the ball stops here???? this is a pass and move till open shot is found….Kobe can say what ever he wants but he has never been a team player – and never will be- so get ready for a long season but no PLAY OFFS..

  • LakersHeatBeef

    I sound like a broken record but get Kendall Marshall.Lakers need a temp PG.

    • micka_lubs

      D ANTONY made another huge mistake, how can you bench the best player in the game and disturb the rythm like that?? i know kobes is kobes but we’ve all seen how hard it was for him through 1st,2nd and 3rd so kobe shouldnt have stepped back into the court. I agree with most of the comments… Kobe’s return was very rusty and he is very much out of sync BUT knowing the MAMBA i wouldn’t put too much pressure on him right now… will give him time.

      Paul must seriously just be traded… he is a liability and not helping this team in any ways. second UNIT is the only reason LA has been playing well this season so far.

      • Al Haldie

        Leave the bench alone, and let them stay as a group, and dont bust them up at the end of the game—that was real dumb….

    • Jim213

      Need a starting franchise PG…

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