Updated: March 8, 2012, 6:09 AM ET

1. Kobe's Gunning Shoots Lakers In Foot

By Kyle Weidie
TrueHoop Network

WASHINGTON -- If the lowly Wizards have proven anything, it's that they're more apt to spawn GIFs of boneheaded plays than come close to competing on their home court, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors, on the last game of a six-game road trip, by 20 points on Monday.

With the Lakers coming off an ugly overtime loss to the Pistons in Detroit the night before, and Kobe Bryant coming out snarling behind his mask in front of the hordes of Lakers jerseys, things initially looked no different. With an especially friendly Verizon Center crowd regaling him with "M-V-P" chants on occasion, Bryant fired off 20 first-half points on 6-for-13 shooting as the Lakers coasted into halftime sporting a 15-point lead.

The lead would balloon to 20 with 6:05 left in the third as Bryant hit his only shot attempt of the quarter and held a prolonged follow-through in the air for all to see.

Kobe Bryant
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

But then Kobe missed two shots, badly -- a 3-pointer with Trevor Booker running at him that didn't even touch rim, and a free-throw line jumper over Jordan Crawford that was short and far to the right. As the Wizards cut into the lead while running double-teams at Kobe, he increasingly forced the issue. He followed a falling, double-clutch, one-handed miss over two players with a steal, but then immediately missed a 17-foot baseline jumper. He finished the third period 2-for-8, and Washington finished on a 22-4 run.

Kobe barely clanged rim while playing the final 12 minutes. While the little-used Roger Mason Jr. knocked down three 3-pointers in the fourth, hitting two in the quarter's first 80 seconds, Kobe shot 1-for-10. After an MVP-like burst of 14 points from Bryant in the first quarter, a period where L.A. also picked up seven of its 21 assists, it looked as if the mask were giving him tunnel vision on top of dead legs. He took 18 of the Lakers' 38 second-half shots and made three of them.

Pau Gasol called the 106-101 loss "a little bit embarrassing."

"It's not something that we would ever expect to happen, and it doesn't feel good right now," said Derek Fisher, ready to move on.

Bryant, well after the game, kept the throngs of media waiting, their angst only building by the moment. Some wondered if Kobe had left the building. He did talk, sort of.

"Very," Kobe said to the initial question, about the level of disappointment in losing to Washington. "Keep it to one-word answers."

Sly smiles crept across Kobe's face, gently, but barely, hiding his frustration in a condescending game with the press. His shell eventually cracked into multiple-word answers, but the point was driven home to viewers: Kobe was not a happy camper.

The deeper reasons behind if the Lakers can get their act together will be left up for time to tell. But on this night, the road, the concussion, the face mask, the finger tendons, the teammates, the Wizards, were just a little too much for Kobe and the Lakers.

Kyle Weidie covers the Wizards for Truth About It, part of the TrueHoop Network.

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