Kobe Drops 61

Last Updated: February 3rd, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor)

Kobe BryantKobe Bryant has been known for outstanding performances of the past and for his ability to take control over in games over the best the NBA has to offer. Last night was not any different as Bryant lit up the scoreboards again posting a 61 point performance in Madison Square Garden. The Los Angeles Lakers had a solid night as they held of a New York Knicks team who had won 6 of their last 7 by a score of 126-117. Lakers power forward Pau Gasol had an excellent night in a double-double performance knocking down 31 points and pulling down 14 boards. However, it was Bryant that stole the spotlight as he dropped 60 plus points for the 5th time in his career.

Kobe Bryant is no stranger to huge performances as he quite possibly is the best scorer of the modern era. Of course Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points back in 1962 is a feat that will likely never be broken considering how evolved and competitive the NBA has become. However, Bryant has made a few runs and big performances that rank as high as Wilt’s 100 point performance. Last night, the Lakers franchise player posted 50 or more points for the 25th time in his career. The performance took place in the historic and majestic Madison Square Garden where Kobe surpassed Michael Jordan as the highest scoring game ever for an opponent ever at the Garden. The 61 points also ranked 1st all time at Madison Square Garden for any player as Bryant edged out Bernard King’s 60 points back in 1984.

Kobe’s 25 50 point games ranks 3rd all-time behind Wilt Chamberlain who had 118 50 point nights back before there was a shot clock and the great Michael Jordan who posted 31 50 point games. The miraculous night still fell short of Kobe Bryant’s career best when he drained 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in January of 2006. Bryant performance last night was led by a 61% shooting performance from the floor (19-31), 50% shooting from behind the arc (3-6), and Bryant capped all of it off by not missing a single free throw in 20 attempts from the stripe. The performance along with the 31 points from Pau Gasol marked the highest scoring game all-season by two teammates as they nearly got to the century mark between the two as they ended up with 92 points combined.

The Lakers win moved them to a 38-9 record on the year that ranks the 2nd best in the NBA. Los Angeles has now won their last 3 games including the last 6 of 7. The game was the 3rd of six straight road games. Los Angeles will now get one night off before two hectic back to back games with Toronto and the highly anticipated showdown with the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. The Celtics own the best record in the NBA at 40-9 barely ahead of the Lakers and the showdown will represent last year’s Finals re-match and also represents the two best teams in the NBA at this point in the season. The Lakers won the first meeting this season inside the Staples Center when Bryant led the team with 27 points as they took down the Celtics 92-83. However, the Celtics will likely be in better position to get some revenge this time around. Boston not only will host the meeting which is huge considering Boston owns a 24-2 home record after sporting the best home record in the league last season at 34-6 in the NBA. The Celtics will also get the slight advantage heading into the contest considering they will be on a little fresher legs as the Lakers battle the Raptors on Wednesday night. However, Bryant has a tendency to have some of his biggest nights on the biggest stages and the Lakers will look for him to have another big performance when they travel to Boston on Thursday.

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Posted in NBA Basketball - Last Updated on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 @ 1:17 am (EST)
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