With just one more regular season for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant could be on the verge of another NBA scoring title after leading the league in that category for the majority of the season. After Sunday’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, fellow superstar Kevin Durant surpassed Kobe in the race for the scoring title with 35 points to Bryant’s 26.
Now that both players are practically dead even coming into their final games with Kobe at 27.86 ppg and Durant 27.90 ppg, the scoring title will be on the line virtually every time they touch the basketball. Unfortunately for Kobe, Durant will have the edge with two games remaining to just one for the Lakers’ superstar guard.
The one thing that Kobe will have going for him that Durant may not is the fact that Lakers Coach Mike Brown might be looking to play Kobe big minutes in the regular season finale against the Sacramento Kings. With the Lakers still trying to clinch the third seed and hold off the Los Angeles Clippers, the game against the Kings is basically must-win.
As for Durant, Thunder Coach Scott Brooks might look to rest his superstar with the number two seed locked up and the number one in the Western Conference going to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.
Not only will this race for the NBA scoring title being intriguing in the final days of this shortened NBA regular season, but it would be impressive to say the least if Kobe were able to win this award in his 16th season. NBA legend Michael Jordan is the only other big-name that comes to mind in terms of winning a scoring title late in his career after leading the league in scoring in his final season (’97-98) with the Chicago Bulls at 35-years-old.
With Jordan winning 10 scoring titles during his career, Kobe will almost not reach that milestone with just five as of right now, but he might be able to get that sixth and hold off Durant from getting his third. Kobe will no doubt have to have a huge game against the Kings on Thursday to get ahead of Durant. A 30 to 40+ game for Kobe may need to be cards against the rival Kings in order to lock up his sixth scoring title at 33-years-old.