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NBA -- Lakers fall in ​Kobe​'s farewell to Toronto​


PhilBoxing.com




TORONTO -- A​​ ​thick crowd of 20,163 fans trooped to the Air Canada Centre on Monday night to watch Kobe Bryant play in Toronto for the last time following his announcement to retirement at the end of this 2015-16 NBA season.

The 6-foot-6, 212-pound guard, a 5-time NBA champion and 17-time All-Star, put on a modest show, hitting eight of 16 field goals to finish with 21 points alongside eight rebounds and four assists. In 33 previous games against the Raptors over the past 19 seasons, Bryant had averaged 27 points.

This time, though, the Raptors had the final say and defeated the visiting Lakers, 102-93. The Lakers tumbled to 3-18 in the overall standings while Toronto, which ended a two-game home slide, improved to 13-9.

​ ​Kyle Lowry ​paced ​the Raptors with 27 points and six ​assists​ while Terrence Ross​, who started in place of the injured DeMarre Carroll), added 22 points and six rebounds.​ DeMar DeRozan and Bismack Biyombo each had 15 ​points ​with Biyomb​o​ addin​g​ 11 ​boards​ Corey Joseph added 14 ​off the bench ​for Toronto​.​

​ Besides getting 21 from Kobe, the Lakers also drew 15 and 11 rebounds from Julius Randle. Lou Williams also had 15 while Jordan Clarkson contributed 13 markers and five rebounds. The Lakers made only 34 of 83 field goals (41 percent) and 7-of-19 from 3-point range (36.8 percent).

​Bryant, 37, entering his 20th campaign, was blown away by fans' reception in Toronto.

​ "Wow.Wow," he told reporters. It felt absolutely amazing. Siting on the bench and they started chanting. We want Kobe! I was like give me five minutes."​

Photo: An appreciative Kobe Bryant thanks Raptors fans for the love.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Mark Josef.


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