Another Throwback Thursday, another Kobe Bryant moment. On January 27, 2006 Bryant scored 25 points in the fourth quarter and overtime combined, to help the Lakers rally for a 106-105 win against the Golden State Warriors.
This was an encore performance because just a few nights prior, he scored his monumental 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. Entering the fourth quarter, Bryant was just 2-of-12 from the field and had only five points.
With little over two minutes remaining in the game the Lakers trailed by six points, but Bryant took the game over from the charity stripe from that point on. He went 6-for-6 the rest of the game, including a pair with a few seconds remaining to force overtime.
In overtime, Bryant scored 12 points and eventually guided the Lakers to victory. He finished the game on 7-of-22 shooting, but shot 14-of-16 from the free throw line. He also chipped in with eight assists.
As a team the Lakers were able to overcome the production of Baron Davis (29 points and 10 assists) and Mickael Pietrus (20 points and 10 rebounds).
What a letdown it would have been for Bryant to have an awful game after scoring the second-most points in NBA history just a few nights earlier. Like always, in typical Kobe fashion, he was able to shrug off his performance from the first three quarters and shine when it mattered most.
One of Bryant’s greatest attributes was his ability to not get down on himself when his shots weren’t falling. He always had a knack for succeeding in the face of adversity and scoring when the Lakers needed it most, and this day was a prime example of that.
He will go down as one the greatest players to ever play basketball, and rightfully so, and to witness games like these where he can take over is simply amazing.