During Tuesday night’s game, Kobe Bryant hit three clutch shots and gave the Lakers a late lead. The shots added to Bryant’s long resume of game-winning performances, but a pair of missed free throws by Wesley Johnson allowed the Suns to send the game into overtime where the Lakers fell, 114-108.
Despite the missed opportunity, Bryant didn’t place blame on his teammate instead believing it to be a learning experience, according to Lakers Nation senior writer Ryan Ward:
Kobe Bryant on Wes’ missed free throws: “I think it was good for him to miss them.”
— Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner) October 22, 2014
Kobe on Wes: "He cares so much about the game & he can get really hard on himself at times & he winds up being his own worst enemy."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 22, 2014
The Lakers were up three, 91-94, with 12 seconds left in the game when Jeremy Lin fouled Isaiah Thomas and subsequently fouled out. Thomas made the first free throw before missing the second as Johnson grabbed the rebound.
With an intentional foul, Johnson had the chance to make it a two possession game but failed to hit either free throw which left the door open for Thomas to hit a the game-tying jumper.
Johnson tried his best to put the missed free throws behind him and made a pair of three pointers to keep the Lakers in the game, but those made shots were in vain as the Lakers couldn’t get a defensive stop in the final minute. In addition, Ronnie Price turned the ball over effectively ending a Laker comeback.
When the regular season begins, Johnson is projected to be the team’s starting small forward but has struggled in the preseason. Through the six games, he is averaging 6.8 points and 3.0 rebounds a game.
Kobe Comments On ESPN Article