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NBA -- Lakers fall in Kobe's final Xmas Day game


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- In his 20 decorated seasons in the NBA, Kobe Bryant had appeared in a record 16 Christmas Day games. His last one was early today at the Staples Center and it left little memories for the five-time champion's scrapbook.

The 37-year old Bryant who will be retiring at season's end, made only 4-of-10 field goals and settled with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists in 26 minutes and four seconds of action. He sat out the entire fourth quarter as their crosstown rivals, the L.A. Clippers hung on to a 94-84 triumph in front of 18, 997 fans at the Staples Center.

"There's a little mixed emotions, honestly. I mean, I'm so used to playing on Christmas it's kind of become part of our family routine," the 17-time All-Star told NBA.com. "I'm just very, very thankful to be able to play this many games on Christmas. Growing up and watching the Bulls and the Knicks and all those great games on Christmas Day, having been a part of this for many years has been cool."

With the latest setback, the Lakers fell to 5-25, last place in the Western Conference.

Chris Paul guided the Clips with 23 points and six dimes while Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford each had 13. The Clips entered the final 12 minutes with an 85-57 advantage, which proved more than enough to hold off the Lakers who made a great fourth quarter run.

D'Angelo Russell led all Lakers with 16 while Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle contributed 11 apiece. The Lakers converted only 32 of 77 field goals (41.6 percent) and 7-of-23 triples (30.4 percent). They also missed 12 of their 25 free throws.

Photo: In his final Xmas Day game, Kobe Bryant managed just 12 points as his Lakers fell to the Clippers, 94-84 at Staples Center.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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