Eleven years ago this week, the NBA witnessed one of the greatest scoring performances in history when Kobe Bryant traveled up to Toronto.
11 years ago today, Kobe Bryant dropped 81 points on the Toronto Raptors.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) January 22, 2017
Bryant had a streak of two consecutive 40-point games going into the Lakers’ matchup with the struggling Raptors, and came out firing early from the first quarter.
11 years ago, Kobe Bryant scored 81 points.
The Lakers scored 73 points in their loss tonight.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 22, 2017
Bryant shot 46 (!) shots from the field, but hit 28 of them. The next closest Lakers scorer had just 13 points, and ‘Black Mamba’ led all scorers by 57 points.
— California (@CaliMusicPlug) January 23, 2017
The game itself was even more bizarre. The Raptors held the lead until late in the fourth quarter, and actually had double-digit leads at multiple points during the game.
On this day 11 years ago, Kobe Bryant drank grape soda and ate a pepperoni pizza, then proceeded to drop 81 points on Jalen Rose.
— Barry (@ThisAintBarry) January 22, 2017
But Bryant proved to be too much, and his 81-point haul – second in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain’s famed 100 – propelled the Lakers to a 122-104 win.
Ironically, on the 11th anniversary of Kobe’s feat, the Lakers could manage just 73 points in total during a 49-point drubbing at the hands of the Mavericks.