BEIJING, Feb. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- The Staple Center in Los Angeles welcome a special visitor on Friday evening as the Lakers played host to the Phoenix Suns. In attendance for the game, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, taking a little time off from his official state visit to watch the league’s leading scorer Kobe Bryant do his thing.
Xi watched the game in a luxury suite where he reportedly received a pair of autographed sneakers from Kobe.
And the All-Star guard put on a show for the Chinese V.P. as Kobe scored 18 of his team leading 36 on the night in the third quarter, the only one that Xi saw in its entirety.
He led the Lakers to pull away in the third. A 13-point lead for L.A. on the Andrew Bynum dunk.
The Lakers led 87-73 after the third quarter, thanks to an 18-2 run capped off by Bryant’s 3-pointer deep in the Q.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Steve Nash started a quick break for Markieff Morris to score with a layup. 17 dimes for Nash overall. The Suns cut the deficit to 7, looking for a comeback.
And the Suns, would cut into the lead even further as Shannon Brown, facing his former team, throws it down after Morris missed a three. It was a 5-point game. Brown had 15 on the night.
However Kobe and the Lakers would regain control of the game...and this floater from Kobe, making it double-digits once again for L.A.
And Pau Gasol would put a nail in this one, as the Lakers held off the Suns 111-99.