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On Kobe Bryant Day, Lakers Honor The Black Mamba With A 135-115 Win Over Portland In Game 4

On Kobe Bryant Day on the 24th day of the eighth month, the Lakers wore special black snakeskin uniforms to honor the late superstar in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Lakers were not going to lose this game. 

On Kobe Bryant Day, on the 24th day of the eighth month, the Lakers wore special black snakeskin uniforms to honor the late superstar in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers. 

They went on to embody him in their 135-115 win.

The Lakers opened the game with a 15-0 run. 

They led by as much as 30 points in the first half. 

And they grew that advantage to 38 points in the third quarter.

Bryant would've been proud. 

And there was an eerie moment near the top of the game which LeBron James took as a signal. 

With 4 minutes and 58 seconds left in the first quarter, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drove to the basket for a contested finger roll layup to put the Lakers up, 24-8. Bryant wore jersey Nos. 24 and 8 over his 20-season career with the Lakers. 

James, of course, noticed immediately.

"When I looked up there and saw 24-8, I was like, OK, this is a [sign]," James said. "He’s here in the building."

James scored 30 points on 10-for-12 shooting, including making four of his five three-point attempts. He also had 10 assists and six rebounds. 

The 35-year-old vowed to carry on Bryant's legacy after he died in a helicopter crash Jan. 26 along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people.

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Nearly seven months later, James made it clear that he intends to keep that promise. 

"To be able to continue his legacy is something that hits home for me and it’s easy for me because I’ve put in the work," James said. "And if you want to see results, you got to work at it. And it’s not about the wins or the losses and all of that nature. It’s about, a lot of people want to see results, but a lot of people don’t want to put in the work. And he wasn’t one of those guys. And I’m not one of those guys. So, it’s just an honor to be able to continue that legacy."

Anthony Davis had 18 points in just under 18 minutes. He left early in the third quarter because of back spasms and did not return. 

"The back is doing fine," Davis said. "I’ll be fine."

Damian Lillard, who finished with just 11 points in nearly 27 minutes, sustained a right knee injury late in the third quarter and did not return. Jusuf Nurkic led the Trail Blazers with 20 points and 13 rebounds.  

The Lakers' 135 points were the most the franchise has scored in the postseason since 1987, when they had 141 points against Boston.

And they shot 56.3% from the field, their highest postseason percentage since  May 19, 2010, when they shot 57.7 percent against Phoenix.

Of course, Bryant led the Lakers to his fifth and final title that season.

That Lakers haven't won a championship since. 

It has been an emotional season for the Lakers, especially following Bryant's death. 

After the crash, the Lakers' first game was against Portland on Jan. 31. James spoke to the nearly 19,000 fans at Staples Center before tipoff, calling Bryant his brother. He said Bryant will never be forgotten. He cried during the national anthem. 

And on Monday, he made sure to play for him. 

"To go out there one day removed from his birthday and then his day of 8/24, to be able to have a game on this day, the stars aligned," James said.