Kobe Bryant’s “Exorcist”: Act One is a Wrap, Act Two Starts Thursday

Kobe Bryant continues to play like a man possessed while trying to exorcise demons. He has now finished Act One of his two-act suspense/drama/thriller. He capped-off Act One on Sunday night in thrilling fashion with 37 points in a Lakers win.

What is to be remembered more than the fact that he had 37 points is how and when he got them. The Lakers had an 18 point lead in the fourth quarter cut down to five due in large part to teammate Sasha Vujacic giving up a six-point play to start the the rally.

On the bench at the time, Bryant was sent in to repel the run the Suns were on—and that he did. Every shot he took had a degree of difficulty of 10 on them. 

He made on-the-move three-pointers and pump-faking jumpers against double-teams. He could have challenged Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan to a game of HORSE with those shots.

Coming into the series, Bryant said, "What do you think?" when asked if revenge was on his mind from being eliminated by the Suns in 2005-06 and 2006-07. His play showed that those two playoff eliminations still tormented him.

In the series he averaged 33 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds per game. He shot 52 percent from the field. That included 42 percent from three-point range. Above all, he took over games when it was time to.

What an opening act that was! The Demons of 2005-06 and 2006-07 have now been exorcised! 

Act Two will open Thursday at the Staples Center against the Boston Celtics. Will Bryant exorcise the demons of 2007-08? The look in his eyes says he will!



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