Kobe Bryant, who thinks the Lakers will make the playoffs, scored 40 points in Los Angeles' 111-107 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
Bryant said in an interview with Sports Illustrated that he is certain the Lakers will make the playoffs. The 15-time All-Star also claimed he has "no fear" of any potential postseason opponent in the competitive Western Conference.
The 34-year-old Bryant added seven rebounds and two steals for the Lakers, who have won seven of 10 and sit 3 1/2 games behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth spot in the conference standings.
Dwight Howard tallied 19 points and 16 boards for Los Angeles, which has won six straight home games against Portland. Antawn Jamison had 16 points.
J.J. Hickson ended with 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who have lost seven in a row. Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard added 22 and 19 points, respectively.