It is not a normal Throwback Thursday if Kobe Bryant isn’t involved. In this week’s edition, we go back to 2008 and one of Kobe’s favorite adversaries, the Dallas Mavericks.
With the Los Angeles Lakers proving to be one of the league’s best teams, Kobe finished the game with 52 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists in leading them to a 108-104 overtime victory. He shot 15-of-27 from the field and 20-of-27 from the free throw line.
In typical Kobe fashion he came up big when the Lakers needed him most, scoring the final 14 points in the fourth quarter and added eight more in overtime.
Dallas led by as many as six midway through the final period but Bryant helped ignite an 11-2 run by scoring nine points to help the Lakers take control of the game. He ultimately scored 22 points in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers had to withstand a strong performance by Dirk Nowitzki as he finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds and hit a three-pointer with two seconds left to force overtime. Pau Gasol also contributed 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers.
Both teams struggled offensively throughout the game. The Lakers only shot 37 percent from the field while the Mavericks shot even worse at 36 percent. If it was not for Bryant and Nowitzki the game would have been very underwhelming.
Try as they might, Dallas simply had no answer for Kobe. They tried to double-team and triple-team him but he still found a way to score. At one point the Mavericks resorted to try and play zone defense and still could not contain the scoring prowess of Bryant.
This is another instance where Bryant showed his will and determination to do whatever needed to come out with a win. Countless times throughout his career he was counted on to carry his team and 99 percent of the time he delivered. No matter how bad the team was playing or how many shots he missed, he always had the belief that he could find a way to win. That’s what made him one of the best to ever play the game.