Here is a smattering of comments from those involved:
Knicks Head Coach Mike D'Antoni
: "He's pretty good. I thought in the first half, we contested a lot of shots. We put him on the line for twenty points. That's when you put up crazy numbers, which he had tonight. But you got to take your hat off to him; he made some unbelievable shots. We didn't really want to double him all the time becuase he will find other guys.
More from Coach D'Antoni: "He does it every night. He just happened to get a few more points tonight. This guy is really good. But having said that, we had opportunities to be right there with him. Trevor Ariza
: "He didn't have any smiles and he wasn't out there playing games. He was out there to kill it and he did that. I saw it before we even got to the arena, when we were on the bus. He didn't really say much, he was just focused and when someone is that hot, you give them the ball and get out of the way."
Ariza on taking in the show when Kobe gets it going like that: "You have to continue to play. It's a gift and a curse at the same time because you've got to remember you are playing. We want to win, so you just have to try and stay focused and watch, but contribute at the same time. David Lee
: "He played really well. He's one of the best players in the league; probably the best and he got on a roll tonight and he hit a bunch of shots and free throws. When a guy gets hot like that, with his talent, it's tough to stop."
More Lee, commenting on defensive schemes to try and stop Kobe: "There's not much you can do. Wilson [Chandler] played great defense for the majority of the game. It's tough when he's so good at drawing fouls and he is so good at hitting shots over the top. He wasn't just sitting there dunking and getting lay-ups. Its not like guys were playing soft. There are just very few guys that can do that and he did it tonight."Chris Duhon
: "We were caught up in what Kobe was doing. We did not stick to our game plan and it got us flustered… He had an amazing performance and I give him all the credit in the world. He hit 70-something percent for his 61 points. I don't care who you are – you are not going to win that."Kobe
was asked about his motivation, and whether he wanted to send a message after Bynum went down. Kobe stated that was part of the reason: "A combination of things; It's him going down, this kind of being a hump game for us on this road trip. I felt like I needed to focus even more, more so than usual, try to stay in that pocket." Bryant also admitted that he wanted to avoid trash-talk from Spike Lee
, whom he planned on reviewing a documentary after the game. "I didn't feel like sitting next to him and hearing him talking trash about the Knicks. That was added incentive as well — seriously. He's going to get an earful tonight."