The retiring Kobe Bryant may not have the best game but his presence alone is enough for fans as he played his final NBA Christmas game by scoring 12 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 26 minutes of game play.
The Lakers late run in the 4th quarter fell short by outscoring the Clippers 27-9 as they lose 94-84. DeAngelo Russell came off from the bench to lead the Lakers with 16 points and 7 rebounds while Julius Randle anned the inside presence with 11 points and 8 rebounds.
In Bryant’s last Christmas game, Kobe admits that playing these games is something that he will miss doing.
“There’s a little mixed emotions, honestly,” Bryant said via ESPN.com who now leads all NBA scorers for Christmas games with a total of 383 points.
“I mean, I’m so used to playing on Christmas. It’s kind of become a part of our family routine.”
“I’m just very, very thankful to be able to play this many games on Christmas,” Kobe added. “Growing up and watching the Bulls and the Knicks and all those great games on Christmas Day, having been a part of this for so many years has been cool.”
There had been questions on why Bryant was not played by Coach Byron Scott in the 4th quarter and he was quick to admit that he was having a tough time due to his injuries.
“Tonight, my bones just couldn’t get loose,” said Kobe Bryant.
“I was hurting all night, but I still felt like I played well and played a solid all-around game for the minutes that I was in there. So that was encouraging.”
On the Clippers’ side, Chris Paul had 23 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals led his team past the Lakers. Blake Griffin gave the team 13 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists while J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford added 14 and 13 points respectively.