Bryant sets new priority

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 February, 2008, 12:00am

Kobe Bryant established the tone for this season from opening night: He's going for his fourth championship instead of his third consecutive NBA scoring title.

Bryant (pictured) got 11 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Lakers beat Portland Trail Blazers 96-83 for their ninth straight victory. The 10-time All-Star added nine rebounds and seven assists.

'The real value of a super player is that he makes other players better,' coach Phil Jackson said. 'You can see the apparent emphasis of Kobe's game to get other people involved and make the rest of his team better.'

Second-year back-up point guard Jordan Farmar tied a career high with 21 points for the Lakers, who lead the Western Conference by one game over San Antonio and Phoenix and are 40-17, just two wins behind last season's total with 25 games to play.

'We have the best bench in the league,' Bryant said.