2: KOBE BRYANT (3-way tie) vs. Dallas Mavericks, 2003; vs. Toronto Raptors, 2006; vs. New York Knicks, 2009
-During a regular season game in 2003, Kobe scored 62 points through three quarters. He was benched at that point, leaving us to imagine what total could have been racked up if he had been given the chance to play in the 4th. For the icing on the already incredible cake, let’s not forget what the Dallas Mavericks total score was through those same three quarters: 61.
-To score 81 points in this modern NBA climate is unheard of. Along with six rebounds and three assists, Kobe Bryant achieved that feat, and single handedly dismantled the Toronto Raptors. With the team as it is now, it would be hard to imagine Kobe ever scoring this many points again, but in 2006, the one-man-show was welcomed with the open-arms of all Kobe admirers.
-Finally there was Kobe’s 61-point night at Madison Square Garden in 2009, in which a most unlikely thing occurred: Knicks fans chanted ‘M-V-P!’ ‘M-V-P!’ We won’t likely ever hear a Madison Square Garden crowd cheer on an opposing player like that again. But as great basketball fans in a great basketball city, the New Yorkers gave respect where it was due.
Next: Magic Johnson
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