ONTARIO — In the end, the Lakers’ late arrival tonight didn’t hurt them in the least and they won their fifth exhibition in six tries. Kobe Bryant led them with 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting, and Andrew Bynum had 20 points and nine rebounds. Lamar Odom had 16 points in his first game since suffering a bruised right calf in last Thursday’s victory over the Sacramento Kings in Las Vegas.
Bryant said after the game he wasn’t motivated by critical comments made by Golden State’s Stephen Jackson earlier in the week. Ron Artest wasn’t so sure, however.
“He always finds a reason,” Artest said of Bryant. “You looked at me the wrong way? All right, I’m going to give you 40. Oh, you don’t want to say my last name, I’m giving you 40. He just always finds a reason. The Black Mamba always finds a reason. He’s unbelievable. Oh, you don’t want to speak to me? The Black Mamba, he’s special.”
Lakers coach Phil Jackson wasn’t unaware of Jackson’s comments about Bryant until reporters relayed them to him after the game. Then he said, “That will motivate Kobe. I was wondering why he was so hyped up before the start of the game.”