By Ben Golliver
Kobe Bryant provided one legit highlight on an otherwise grim night for the Lakers, who fell 109-103 to the Warriors at Oracle Arena on Monday.
Down 75-52 with a little more than seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, Bryant posted up on Warriors guard Klay Thompson on the right block. Bryant calmly waited for Jodie Meeks and Steve Nash to clear out before wheeling to his left, beating Thompson to the baseline and elevating from inside the protected circle. With both David Lee and Andrew Bogut eyeing him, Bryant double-clutched to go underneath the hoop, popping out on the left side to throw down a one-handed dunk.
Otherwise, this was about as bad as it gets for the Lakers, who dug themselves a 25-point deficit and had to settle for keeping the final score respectable. This wasn't exactly the effort coach Mike D'Antoni had in mind when he lit into his team after a Friday night loss to the Wizards. To make matters worse, the Jazz beat the Sixers 107-91, narrowing L.A.'s lead in the race for the Western Conference's No. 8 spot to just one game. The Mavericks now trail the Lakers by just 1.5 games and the Blazers are just 2.5 games back thanks a three-game L.A. losing streak.
Bryant finished with a game-high 36 points (on 11-for-27 shooting), eight rebounds, and three assists in 42 minutes.
The Warriors were led by 25 points (nine-for-24 shooting) and 10 assists from Stephen Curry and 23 points (on nine-for-15 shooting) and 12 rebounds from David Lee.
L.A. dropped to 36-35 with the loss; Golden State, the West's No. 6 seed, improved to 41-31.
Video via YouTube user firstandskol | Hat tip: @CJZero