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On this date: Kobe Bryant and Lakers regain their mojo versus Jazz

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In the 2009-10 season, the Los Angeles Lakers were going for back-to-back NBA championships, which would be their fifth in 11 seasons.

After getting off to a white-hot start the first couple of months of the season, L.A. had to deal with injuries to Kobe Bryant that held it back the rest of the way.

Even though it finished with the best record in the Western Conference, it looked vulnerable and creaky as the playoffs started.

Bryant was bothered by a troublesome knee as well as an avulsion fracture in the index finger of his shooting hand, and he clearly didn’t look like himself as the Lakers squeaked past the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games in the first round of the playoffs.

But right after that, things quickly changed for the better.

In the Western Conference semifinals versus the Utah Jazz, Bryant scored at least 30 points in each game, and the Lakers swept an opponent that had won 53 games in the regular season.

In Game 4, the Black Mamba had 32 points, while Pau Gasol dominated with 33 points and 14 rebounds in L.A.’s 111-96 blowout win that ended the series.

The Lakers would defeat the Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics in the next two rounds to claim another world championship, while Bryant shook off his injuries to win a second straight NBA Finals MVP award.

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The NBA playoffs are showing the type of player the Lakers need