They gave up a nine-point lead in the final 1:59, a seemingly fatal mistake on the road against the defending
The victory didn't come without a cost, specifically Young giving himself a new nickname: IDM
What is IDM, you ask?
"I Don't Miss," said Young, who a day earlier proclaimed nobody in the world could guard him, words overheard during an epic trash-talk exchange with Bryant at Lakers practice.
"It's hard to guard somebody like myself," Young said Friday, standing by his declaration after scoring 29 points. "But I'm not here to talk about that."
Yes you are.
"OK, then cool, let's talk about me doing what I've got to do. I don't play like Charmin, I play like Scott," Young said. "That's a little rougher. I don't like ultra-soft."
It was a reference to Bryant's now-infamous decree Thursday that his teammates were "soft like Charmin."
Will this season ever become normal?
Bryant scored 22 points and remained nine away from passing Michael Jordan for third on the all-time scoring list. It will apparently happen Sunday in Minnesota.
His on-court rant at practice toward teammates, Young in particular, was of course brought up after the Lakers' victory. Someone theorized that it might have sparked his teammates.
"You can all criticize my style of leadership all day long. I mean we really can sit there — it's uncomfortable, it's whatever you want to say," Bryant said. "But I've been doing that since high school. We play this game to win championships and I have five of them. It's worked pretty well throughout my career. I've done all right with that."
Friday's game didn't leave Spurs Coach
His demeanor was surprising because the Spurs (16-7) played without
The Lakers (7-16) were apparently on their way to winning when Bryant drilled a three-pointer as the shot clock expired, a 28-footer no less, for a 101-92 lead with 1:59 remaining in the fourth quarter.
But then he had three quick turnovers, including an awkward cross-court attempt that was tipped and intercepted. He also missed a 16-footer and another mid-range shot from the left side with two seconds left in regulation. After a Spurs timeout,
One Spurs highlight: Duncan scored 19 points and passed
It will be Bryant's turn to pass someone Sunday.
He never found much shooting rhythm Friday (seven for 22) but had nine assists. He also got a laugh out of none other than Young, the same guy he had jaw-jacked a day earlier, to steal Young's phrase.
"I've never heard of a self-acronym," Bryant said when told about Young's new nickname. "That's great."
So was everything on one night for the Lakers.