Kobe Bryant always had a knack for playing the most minutes he could, while still performing at a high level. On April 10, 2013, he played all 48 minutes and scored 47 points in an 113-106 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
His performance garnered “MVP!” chants in the ever so hostile Rose Garden. He added eight rebounds, five assists, three steals, and four blocks to his stat line.
The Blazers began the game on fire as they finished with 41 points in the first period alone. In typical Kobe fashion, he eventually worked the Lakers back into the game by scoring 11 points each in the second and third quarters.
Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard had big nights for the Lakers as well. Gasol finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists and Howard finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks. The Lakers overall shot 58.3 percent from the field.
With both teams going back-and-forth, Gasol helped give the Lakers a late lead when he scored six straight points, and from there Bryant took over. He knocked down a pair of free throws and a late jumper to seal the win.
The Lakers were able to withstand a huge night from Blazers guard, Damian Lillard. He finished with a team-high 38 points, nine assists, and three steals. The loss was the ninth-straight for Portland.
The 2012-13 NBA season was a rough one for the Lakers. The summer leading into the season the team acquired both Steve Nash and Howard. As one can expect, expectations were through the roof. Unfortunately, things did not plan out accordingly as Nash went through a multitude of injuries and Howard never meshed with the team on the court.
Just two months prior to this game Bryant promised that the Lakers would make the playoffs. For most of the season, they hovered around the last three seeds in the difficult Western Conference. For Bryant to promise a playoff spot, he was going to do whatever it took to get the Lakers in the postseason and on this particular guarantee, he delivered.