Down the stretch of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Game 3 win over the Phoenix Suns, fans at Staples Center started chanting for Kobe Bryant.
The Los Angeles Lakers may be the defending NBA champions, but Game 3’s win over the Phoenix Suns actually marked the team’s first playoff win at the Staples Center since 2013.
Because last year’s playoffs were played in the NBA bubble in Orlando, and because the Lakers hadn’t made the postseason since 2013 before that, Thursday night’s 109-95 victory actually provided LA fans with their first playoff win at home in almost a decade.
As such, and even with a reduced crowd, Lakers fans were feeling pretty good about what they were witnessing. And whenever that happens, you can be sure those fans will go back to the well with a tried and true chant for Kobe Bryant.
Lakers fans chanted for Kobe late in Game 3
Did it make sense that fans at the Staples Center were chanting for their dearly beloved superstar who left us far too soon late in Game 3? No, not really. But the team hadn’t won a playoff game at home since back when the Black Mamba still suited up in the purple and gold, perhaps fans were reminded of him and wanted to honor that drought coming to an end in the only way they knew how.
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 34 points and 11 rebounds, while LeBron James chipped in 21 points, 9 assists and 6 boards. The Suns were led by 22 points and 11 rebounds from Deandre Ayton, while Devin Booker (19 points on 6-of-19 shooting) was ejected in the game’s final minute for a hard foul on Dennis Schroder.
After dropping Game 1 on the road, the Lakers have to be feeling good about themselves now that they’ve won two straight games. They’ll need to keep the pressure on this very good Suns team by taking Game 4 at home to put Phoenix in a 3-1 hole, but as the late “Kobe” chants proved, the Staples Center crowd is feeling better and better about their chances.