April 27, 2012- The 2011-2012 NBA regular season came to an end Thursday night. The lock out shortened season only had 65 regular season games, but was thrilling throughout. The playoffs start on Saturday.
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers sat out his last game of the regular season Thursday night in Sacramento to rest his sore shin for the upcoming opening round of the playoffs. By not playing, Bryant ensured Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder forward, of his third consecutive scoring title in the league. If he played, Bryant would have had to score 38 points to overtake Durant for the title.
The contest was meaningless with regard to playoff positioning and the Lakers will open their “second season” on Sunday against Denver. Thursday, before the game, Lakers coach Mike Brown said his star player would not play so he could rest even longer to prepare for Saturday’s first game.
The fans were noticeably disappointed by the absence of Bryant but the veteran Lakers guard wants to make sure the team has the best chance to win the playoffs. On Tuesday, the Lakers clinched another Pacific Division crown and third place in the playoffs when the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers.
On Wednesday, Durant had 32 points in his last regular season game. He finished with a per game average of 28 points, while Bryant’s average was 27.9.