Kobe Bryant is becoming accustomed quite nicely to the mask protecting his broken nose, thank you.
Bryant has his second consecutive big game with the facewear, erupting for 38 points and eight rebounds in a 115-107 triumph Friday night over Sacramento.
The mask is courtesy of the broken nose he received in the All-Star Game, courtesy of an elbow from Miami guard Dwyane Wade.
Bryant wears it throughout the game, resulting in the protection making his face feel like “a sauna on my face.”
“The mask felt fine,” Bryant told the Associated Press after the game. “It felt fine last game, it felt fine tonight.”
It particularly didn’t bother him early Friday night as the NBA’s leading scorer went for 20 points in the first quarter. He slowed down as the game progressed before scoring a pivotal 3-pointer with 2:43 left to ice the victory.
“We played well, (but) we didn’t come in with the right sense of urgency and focus in the fourth quarter, and it almost cost us,” Bryant told the AP.
He’ll have a chance to meet up again with Wade Sunday afternoon after a strong effort leading Friday’s Studs and Duds.
Los Angeles Lakers G Kobe Bryant: Erupted for 38 points, eight rebounds, three assists and was a team-best plus-13 in the Lakers’ triumph over Sacramento.
Atlanta F Josh Smith: Filled the stat sheet for 24 points, 19 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in the Hawks’ victory over Milwaukee.
Boston F Paul Pierce: Produced 27 points, eight assists and was a team-best plus-25 in the Celtics’ victory over New Jersey.
Denver G Ty Lawson: Went for 22 points, seven rebounds, 15 assists, two steals and was a team-best plus-18 in the Nuggets’ victory at Houston.
Miami F LeBron James: Produced 35 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and was a game-high plus-7 in the Heat’s loss at Utah.
Milwaukee G Brandon Jennings: Scored 34 points and dished off nine assists in the Bucks’ loss at Atlanta.
Milwaukee F Carlos Delfino: Clanked through a 1-for-10 shooting night with two turnovers and was minus-11 in the Bucks’ loss at Atlanta.
Sacramento C Jason Thompson: Went 1 for 8 from the field with a turnover and was minus-5 in the Kings’ loss at the Lakers.
Dallas G Jason Terry: Struggled throuugh a 1-for-9 shooting effort with a turnover and was a game-worst minus-19 in the Mavericks’ loss at New Orleans.
Phoenix C Channing Frye: Clanked through a miserable 2-for-18 shooting effort in the Suns’ victory over the Clippers.
Miami G Mario Chalmers: Went 1 for 6 from the field with four turnovers and was minus-1 in the Heat’s loss at Utah.
Dallas F Dirk Nowitzki: Struggled through a 7-for-19 shooting effort with six turnovers and was minus-5 in the Mavericks’ loss at New Orleans.