As Nugget fans chant “Kobe sucks,” Kobe sucks all the air out of the arena, by dominating the final minutes in the Lakers’ 103- 97 Game 3 win;  Trevor Ariza hits 2 big 4th quarter 3’s and snatches a game-changing, last-minute steal (again!) to help Bryant give the homecourt advantage back to L.A.

Don’t poke the snake.

Obnoxious Denver fans can thank themselves tonight, after unwittingly contributing to their beloved Nuggets’ Game 3 loss to the Lakers.  After Denver had led almost the entire game, they started chanting “Kobe sucks” when The Black Mamba was at the Free Throw line.

Kobe had already been pretty much carrying the Lakers, but after the taunts, he shifted it into another gear, and earned his Title of “Best Closer in the NBA.”  Kobe ended with 41, but with the score pretty even late in the 4th, Kobe scorched Denver with a spectacular series of shots, including a turnaround, fallaway, a long-distance, double-clutch three, and an “and one” opportunity on a drive through two defenders.  Speaking of spectacular, his BEST play came earlier, finishing a semi-lob pass from Luke Walton with a vicious one-handed dunk.

The only thing Kobe did wrong was miss a couple of Free Throws down the stretch, but he hit the ones in the last half-minute that clinched the game.  Trevor Ariza also hit two out of two clutch Free Throws in the final minute, after he ONCE AGAIN, stole an inbounds pass to virtually stick a dagger in Denver.  Trevor scored 16 points, and hit two huge three-pointers in the 4th quarter, both times giving L.A. crucial shifts in momentum.  Pau Gasol also came through when it mattered, with 20 Points, and 2 straight TOUGH jumpers in crunchtime.

But no one can quiet an opposing crowd like Kobe, and as the announcer said, his late three that gave the Lakers the lead for good was the ultimate way of saying to the Nugget fans:  “Sit down, and shut up.”

And yes, I know WHY the fans in COLORADO hate Kobe, and it has nothing to do with roundball or hardwood.  Or maybe it does.  But they should know by now, that booing him excessively and aiming offensive, arena-wide taunts at him just fire him up, and when he’s fired up, he fires up shots, the other team loses.