If you went to bed early Wednesday night, you woke up Thursday to the news Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in his final NBA game.
Then you’d probably (correctly) assume that Bryant spent all night jacking up shots, which is true. Bryant put up 50 (!!!) field goal attempts, an NBA record.
However, the stat line only tells half the story. Sure, Bryant’s barrage of shots is maybe a little excessive, but he put the Los Angeles Lakers on his back in the second half, scoring 38 of his 60 in the final two quarters. Of those 38 second-half points, 23 came in the fourth quarter.
At one point in the fourth, Bryant scored 17 consecutive points. With under 10 minutes to play, the Utah Jazz led by 12. Bryant hit a 3-pointer to give him 40 points, and that started the comeback.
Yet the Jazz still found a way to push the lead to 10 with just over three minutes to play, and Utah led by eight with under two minutes to play.
Naturally, Bryant sparked the comeback and hit some big shots in the final minutes of the game to give Los Angeles the win.
As we said before, Bryant took 50 shots, which is a lot. Like, a whole lot. And the Lakers (and probably the Jazz) had one operative, which was to make Bryant look as good as possible. It basically was Kobe’s own All-Star Game. But still, he had to hit the shots, and in the second half — especially the fourth quarter — he did just that.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images
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