With 34 points on Sunday night against Atlanta, Kobe Bryant is in the mood for play-off basketball.
The Los Angeles Lakers are stepping up their bid to ensure play-off basketball this season, as they continued their improved run of form with a 99-98 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night.
The Lakers are 5-1 since the All-Star break, and have won 13 of 18 games since January 25, thus re-igniting their hopes for a post-season.
Despite still being two-and-a-half games back of the final play-off spot in the Western Conference, they do have a not-so-secret weapon, and his name is Kobe Bryant.
The ‘Black Mamba’ went for 34 points on Sunday night, as he continues to heat up at crunch time and helped the franchise move to a 30-30 record for the season.
Last month Bryant told SI.com that he could guarantee his team would make the play-offs, and he appears in no mood to break that promise.
The 34-year-old poured in 33 points against Minnesota on Thursday, 29 against Denver three nights before that while also shooting an incredible 38 points against the Dallas Mavericks this time last week.
Having temporarily resorted to being the facilitator by dishing out the assists, it appears Bryant has changed tact and is now attacking the basket with more regularity and success.
In a remarkable play at the Staples Center on Sunday, Bryant went past the Hawks’ Josh Smith before throwing down a huge dunk late in the fourth quarter. With the crowd on their feet, the Lakers legend continues to defy the odds considering his age.
If he can continue posting up such numbers then not only will his guarantee look more and more likely, but you can also guarantee there will be a few nervous teams looking over their shoulders in the West.