Kobe Bryant has missed the past five games for the Los Angeles Lakers with an ankle injury, but he was back in true form for the Lakers in his first game back last night. With 4.3 seconds left and the Lakers down 98-96 to the Memphis Grizzlies, Kobe nailed a three from the right wing to put the Lakers up for good. It was Kobe’s fifth game-winning shot this season. Kobe went 13-19 from the field and finished with 32 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. He also put the Lakers on his back in the final 2 1/2 minutes, scoring the team’s final 9 points and also outscoring the Grizzlies 9-3 by himself in those final minutes. Although the Lakers played well without Kobe (4-1 in his absence), they don’t have a closer who can make big shots down the stretch consistently throughout the season. Kobe is the best closer since Michael Jordan, so the Lakers are ecstatic to have him back. Kobe’s play last night is a great sign for the Lakers, as his ankle handled 40 minutes last night and he looks healthy again.
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