WATCH: Lakers Fans Chant for Kobe Bryant to Mark First Playoff Win at Staples Center Since 2012

Published 05/28/2021, 1:50 AM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – DECEMBER 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers waves to the crowd after passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list with a free throw in the second quarter of the game on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)


The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns tonight in Game 3 of their first round matchup. The Lakers had a long absence from the playoffs until last season but unfortunately, the fans weren’t able to watch their team live in the postseason. The last time fans were at the Staples Center for a postseason game, Kobe Bryant was leading them.

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Tonight’s game marked eight years since the fans win a postseason game at the Staples Center. And those fans couldn’t forget their hero who led them to this stage last time.

The home fans chanted ‘Kobe,’ as the Lakers were blowing out the Suns late in the fourth quarter. Most of the fans would have grown up watching the Mamba lead them to victory. So, this was a chant to honor the late legend.

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Since his passing in January 2020, fans have always taken every chance to pay their respects. So, whenever they get an opportunity like this to celebrate the hero who won five rings for them, this chant will be heard loud and clear.

The players would have also been motivated to hear their fans cheering them on and creating such an atmosphere. They missed having fans in the bubble, but now they will be delighted every bit of this love from the home crowd.

Throwback to the Lakers’ last win at Staples Center, led by Kobe Bryant

The Lakers faced the Thunder in May 2012, when they got their last win at home. Although the series ended in a loss, this win was iconic as Kobe led the barebones Lakers to a win over the eventual Finalists.

Bryant had 36 points in an inefficient 9-25 display. But his excellent free throw shooting helped the Lakers to edge out the Thunder by three points. It was an ageing team with poor depth. But they still eked out this win against a strong and young team.

Lakers win Game 3, favorites to win next game as well

The Suns stole Game 1 of the series, and rival fans felt the Lakers would lose. But they have bounced back with two big wins, and look favorites to grab the next one too. Playing with the home crowd cheering for them has elevated their performance.

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Hence, this series could end soon, possibly in just five games.

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May 27, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates scoring a basket in the third quarter against the Phoenix Suns in game three in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

 

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Aaron Mathew

1658 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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