PHILADELPHIA -- Kobe Bryant opened his postgame press conference with a joke on Tuesday:
“That was beautiful basketball.”
The Los Angeles Lakers' star was kidding, of course, after his team’s 103-91 loss to the previously winless Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center, where Bryant shot an abysmal 7 of 26 from the field, including 4 of 17 from 3-point range.
Bryant opened the game by hitting three of his first four shots, then he missed 18 of his final 22, including being off the mark on 12 of his final 13 shots from beyond the arc.
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Bryant is the first player this season and only the second player over the last 10 seasons to miss at least 13 3-pointers in a game.
“Yeah, there’s going to be some games like that that you’re just going to live and die with it,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said of Bryant’s shooting. “You just hope that you don’t die too much. You hope that you can live a little bit more. Yeah, there’s going to be some nights like that.”
The 37-year-old Bryant leads the Lakers in field-goal attempts this season (17.6), yet he’s shooting a team-worst and career-worst 30.1 percent from the field.
Scott said some of Bryant’s shots were “ill-advised.”
“Got to get some better shots than that,” Scott added, “but other than that, just got to keep playing. I do trust that he’ll get to the point where he’ll make them on a much more consistent basis, but it has just not happened yet.”
Scott also said Bryant took too many 3-pointers.
“He had about five or six that were real good looks, a couple that were real wide open, where he pump-faked, got the guy open,” Scott said. “We moved the ball, got it to him, but there were some that weren’t good shots, and I think he would agree with that.”
As he has done in the past, Scott said he needs to help Bryant, his former NBA teammate, get better shots closer to the basket.
“I didn’t do a good job of that [Tuesday],” Scott said.
Bryant, whose past three seasons have all been cut short by injury, again pointed to his health after the game.
“I've just got to figure out how to solve getting stiff as the game goes on,” Bryant said. “I haven’t been able to figure that out yet, how to stay lose and keep the legs warm and things of that nature. When it gets stiff, it goes south, and it goes south fast. That problem I haven’t figured out yet.”