During an emotional tribute night for the recently deceased Kobe Bryant, Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis battled back-and-forth all night, while Kyrie Irving was making history against the Chicago Bulls.
Throughout the week, many NBA stars have scored big in honor of Bryant, who lost his life Sunday in a helicopter crash. Trae Young, Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard are some of those players to dedicate their hard work and love of the game to Bryant.
During an emotional night in Staples Center against the Los Angeles Lakers, Lillard delivered a performance that the Black Mamba would be proud of.
As with the rest of the week, the two teams took 8-second and 24-second shot clock violations to start the game. Before the game, the crowd honored Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant with 24.2 seconds of silence.
Lillard scored 48 points, dished 10 assists and grabbed nine rebounds in 40 minutes of action. In the third quarter alone, he scored 23 points. He was helped by Hassan Whiteside, who scored 30 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony didn’t play, as he is still mourning the loss of Bryant.
The top-seeded Lakers were no match for the Portland Trail Blazers on this night, losing 127-119. Davis scored 37 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while LeBron James scored 22 points, dished 10 assists and grabbed eight rebounds.
In Brooklyn, the Nets beat the Bulls 133-118 after Irving scored 54 points on 19-of-23 shooting. He is the first player in over 25 years to score 50+ points while shooting 80% or better. Even through all of the scrutiny, Irving is a baller who can get buckets. The Nets are 21-26 and in desperate need of a boost. After the game, Irving told the media how important Bryant was to the development of his game.