Pivot Points: “The Kobe Clutch Show” Is Truly Must-See TV

At this rate, Kobe Bryant is on a pace to re-define the term "clutch player," as the Sacramento Kings became the latest team to fall victim to his end-game antics.

Add the Kings to a list that already includes the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks as teams that Bryant has sent off into the night heart-broken and despondent after having to experience defeat on the sure heels of victory.

There was no luck involved in this one, simply catch, set, and release. Basket made, another SportsCenter moment achieved, along with another silencing finger to the mouths of the many who decry Bryant's status in these situations.

Lost in the after-glow of the moment is the point that Los Angeles needed a herculean come-back effort after trailing by as many as 20 points, as the Lakers suffered through another sub-par performance.

The Lakers seemed to be feeling the effects of a New Year's Day hang-over as they came out flat and uninspired, and point guard Derek Fisher did his best to shoot Los Angeles out of the game by missing 9 out of his first 10 shots.

The fourth consecutive game missed by Laker forward Ron Artest added to the defensive problems for a team that has struggled lately to keep any opponent from scoring easy buckets.

The Kings, with a twinkle of revenge in their eyes, took all the drama out of this one early and headed to the locker room at half-time up 64-49 as a chorus of boos rained down on the ears of the hometown Lakers.

This anger was not directed at the officials as was the case in the Cleveland loss, but rather at the Lakers themselves, who had given the Staples Center crowd little to cheer about up to that point.

The game of professional basketball is a game of runs, and the Kings had to realize the Lakers would make one, but when it came, Sacramento was left powerless to prevent it.

The Lakers spent the third quarter chipping away at the lead and...

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