Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby Kobe8Fan on Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:51 pm

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DENVER -- Saturday will mark the five-year anniversary of the night Lakers guard Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in Los Angeles against the Toronto Raptors, the second-highest single game point total in NBA history.

"I just remember we were down 16 points to a bad Raptors team and we had just lost I think to Houston the game before and it was just kind of doom and gloom. We needed to win and I just got hot," Bryant said Friday after shootaround in preparation for the Lakers' game against the Denver Nuggets.

The Lakers ending up winning the game 122-104 against a Toronto team that had a record of just 14-26. Los Angeles actually trailed the Raptors by 18 points early on in the third quarter before Bryant really went off, scoring 51 of his 55 second-half points from that point on. Bryant scored 14 points in the first quarter, 12 in the second, 27 in the third and 28 in the fourth.

"That game we needed to win," Bryant said, remembering the Lakers record was a mediocre 21-19 coming into the game. "We kind of broke away towards the end there, but it was a tough one for us."

Bryant's 81-point game trails on Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game on March 2, 1962 for the highest single-game scoring output in league history.

Bryant's feat came during the 2005-06 season when he averaged 35.4 points per game, the highest single-season average since Michael Jordan put up 37.1 points per game in 1986-87 with the Chicago Bulls.

Bryant tallied 21 games with 40-49 points, four games with 50-59 points and two games scoring more than 60 that season.

"Phil [Jackson] had asked me that year, I had a couple games where I was hot and the one against Dallas, he asked me if I wanted to stay in," Bryant said.

The game against the Mavericks was on Dec. 20, 2005, about a month before Bryant's historic night against the Raptors. He outscored the Mavericks single-handedly 62-61 after three quarters and Bryant and Jackson agreed it was appropriate to sit him out for the fourth quarter with the Lakers leading by 34 points.

"Phil's been really cool about stuff like that," Bryant said.

Bryant has continued to be a top scorer in the league in the five years since the historic night. He is 52 points away from passing Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) for eighth on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

Bryant has maintained that the only number he is focused on, however, is adding to the five championship rings in his collection.

"I really don't think about it too much," Bryant said. "I still don't know how the hell it happened, to be honest with you. It's just one of those things, I guess."

Still, Bryant shared some sentimentality regarding his scoring feat on the eve of the five-year anniversary.

"That was the first game and only game [my grandmother has] ever been to in the NBA and it was my grandfather's birthday that had passed away," Bryant said. "So, there were a lot of things at work."

Bryant added how honored he was when the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame requested the sneakers he wore that game to put on display and revealed he has the jersey he wore against the Raptors on display in the trophy room at his house.


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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby mamatheregoesthatman on Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:56 pm

Five years? Time flies. I wish I had watched that game. Nice to read what Kobe had to say about making history. :bow: Thanks, Kobe8Fan. :jam2:
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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby TIME on Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:57 pm

That's a cool detail that it was the only game his grandmother ever attended.
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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby Laker_Dynasty on Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:03 pm

There was a lot of fun facts about that game we didnt know about. Kobe is gonna go down as one, if not the greatest player to ever step onto the hardwood :jam2:
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Kobe's 81 Points, 2nd Greatest Performance behind Wilt's 100...
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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby mamatheregoesthatman on Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:04 pm

TIME wrote:That's a cool detail that it was the only game his grandmother ever attended.


It's always great to have a family member at the game, but the fact that his 81-point game was the only one his grandma attended is what makes it so special (besides making history, of course). Her grandson put on a show, and she was there to see it in person. :bow: :jam2:
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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby GinoDB on Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:16 pm

is his grandma still alive ? cuz she needs to attend more games :man12:
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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby Lakerjones on Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:23 pm

Nice find! Still have that game and the Dallas game on Tivo. My son and I watch them once in a while. So epic. The game against the Mavs still impressed me more - it was against a much better team, one that had the following year's MVP, and Kobe outscored that whole team through three quarters. That was absurd. If he hadn't sat the fourth I believe he might have outdone the 81 point total against Toronto. That season was sick for Kobe.
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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby Jazzygirl205 on Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:15 pm

The season he should have got the damn MVP until award then became as stupid as ever with it's rules. Dumb as NBA rules. Anyway with all of these honors for his accolades that means he's getting closer and closer to hanging up sneakers :man6: I'm so happy to be a Laker fan and to have witness much of his individual milestones I mean my gosh it must suck for the generation next lol. Well they do have Blake Griffin, Durant and others but it's nothing throwback basketball and players.
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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby KJ MonK on Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:39 pm

i still think his best performance was the 65 vs. the Blazers... it was ri-dic-ulous
he still gets on these rolls sometimes t00, scary (t00 bad we usually lose those games now though)
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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby noobiew on Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:26 am

I've so happy that has been able to witnessed the historical 81 points. :bow:
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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby ybtherockstar on Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:31 pm

That was such a surreal night. I still remember watching sportscenter that night and seeing it. :jam2:
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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby scheven on Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:23 am

If you wanna be entertained read the gameday thread on this game. :man11:
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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby Heavier Than Heaven on Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:29 pm

scheven wrote:If you wanna be entertained read the gameday thread on this game. :man11:

I actually do it all the time. :man10:
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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby bruddahmanmatt on Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:12 am

For those of you who have only seen the LA broadcast, you HAVE to watch the Toronto broadcast as well. The fact that the announcers were talking trash about the Lakers being "a far cry from those Showtime teams" only to have Kobe come back and blast them with 81 in their face was LeBronesque in terms of karma. LOL. It got good around the halfway point.

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Re: Kobe Reflects, Five Years After 81 Point Game

Postby gcclaker on Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:49 pm

What REALLY galls me about the reactions' to the 81 point performance to this day? Riley talking about 70 shots, Carter about teammwork, Wade saying O'Neal wanted 50 attempts. Only a few were lucid enough to remember that the Lakers were down 18 in the game. It is an occurence such as this which makes me a proud Laker fan.

Bryant's mention of the sentimental uniqueness of his grandmother seeing the game adds another personal dimension for him. Someday, when he is retired I'm sure he will look back at it and realize what it was. Right now being the insatiable competitor that he is it is on the backburner.
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