Kobe Pours in 81 Points
January 22, 2006 - 81 points??? "I've seen some remarkable games," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who coached Michael Jordan with the Bulls, "but I've never seen anything like that before."
Jackson was discussing Kobe Bryant, who had torched Toronto for 81, second best in NBA history only to Wilt Chamberlain's 100 in 1962. Trailing the Raptors by 18 in the third quarter, Bryant took over the game, scoring 55 points in the second half (27 in the third period and 28 in the fourth) to lead Los Angeles to a 122-104 win.
"I was locked in, determined, tuned in to what was going on out there," said the 27-year-old guard. "I wanted to keep riding the wave."
A month earlier, Bryant had scored 62 points -- in three quarters. Tonight in the Staples Center, he easily surpassed his previous high, making 28-of-46 shots, including 7-of-13 three-point attempts. He also had six rebounds and two assists.
But not everything went perfectly in his 42 minutes. While Bryant made 18-of-20 foul shots, his team-record for consecutive free throws ended at 62. But the big question posed after the game about the No. 62 was whether Bryant could top a record set in that year. "I don't think anyone, in this era, could imagine that," said Jackson. "Then again, I couldn't have imagined 81 either."
Odds 'n' Ends