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NBA play-offs: LA Lakers honour former great Kobe Bryant in play-off win over Portland Trail Blazers



The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 135-115 as they honoured the memory of former great Kobe Bryant in Orlando on Monday.

LeBron James scored 30 points for the Lakers who lead 3-1 in the first round of the Western Conference play-offs.

Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in January.

Monday was designated as ‘Mamba Day’ by the NBA because 24 and eight were Bryant’s two playing numbers.

“When I looked and saw (the score was) 24-8, I was like OK, he’s here in the building,” said James.

“I am proud of my team, the way we played. I am extremely blessed and honoured to continue to remember Kobe Bryant and Gigi Bryant and all the fallen people who were part of that tragic incident.”

The Lakers wore special black and yellow-trimmed ‘Black Mamba’ jerseys as they remembered Bryant who would have celebrated his 42nd birthday on Sunday.

The five-time NBA champion spent his entire career with the Lakers and is the only player in league history to have two jersey numbers retired with the same team after wearing both for a decade.

The Lakers can clinch the best-of-seven series with a win in game five on Wednesday.

In the Eastern Conference the Milwaukee Bucks beat Orlando Magic 121-106 to take a 3-1 series lead.

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