For three quarters, Kobe Bryant played like a 19-year-old youngster, which he is.
In the final period, he performed like an All-Star, which he also is.Bryant scored 11 of his 15 points in the last 81/2 minutes and Shaquille O'Neal had 18 of his 30 in the second half as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied Friday night for a 104-102 victory over Portland in the opener of their playoff series.
The Lakers went ahead for good by scoring nine straight points to turn a three-point deficit into a 93-87 lead with a little over three minutes remaining.
Arvydas Sabonis made two free throws with 1:19 left to draw the Trail Blazers within one point, but that's as close as they would get.
Bryant made a foul shot with 1:06 to go, and after Rasheed Wallace missed a jumper that could have tied the game, Nick Van Exel made a 3-point shot with 31.1 seconds left.
Gary Grant's 3-point shot with 4.7 seconds left made it 102-100 before Eddie Jones made two free throws to clinch the victory.
Van Exel, Jones and Elden Campbell had 14 points each for the Lakers.
Isaiah Rider led the Blazers with 25 points. Wallace added 18, Arvydas Sabonis had 15 points and nine rebounds and Walt Williams scored 14.
The second game will be played Sunday at the Forum before the best-of-5 series moves to Portland for Game 3 on Tuesday night.
The Blazers scored the first five points of the second half to take a 58-47 lead - the largest of the game.
That flurry, along with the screaming capacity crowd of 17,505, seemed to wake the Lakers up.
They went on 22-9 run to take a 69-67 lead - their first since late in the opening quarter. It was 74-all entering the final period.