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Kobe Bryant’s Career-High Against Every NBA Team: 81 Points Against The Raptors Are The Record Of The 21st Century

Kobe Bryant’s Career-High Against Every NBA Team: 81 Points Against The Raptors Are The Record Of The 21st Century

Was there a more dynamic scorer than Kobe Bryant? While Bryant never broke the NBA's all-time scoring record, he provided the world with some pretty memorable moments. Bryant is the only other player than Wilt Chamberlain to have scored at least 80 points in a game. He once finished with one of the greatest months ever and once scored at least 50 points in four straight games.

Outside of Michael Jordan, we haven’t seen scoring like Bryant in the last 30 years. While many of these occurrences happened during a historic two-year stretch from 2005 to 2007, Bryant sprinkled in some other great times as well. Bryant’s career was one worth taking the time to remember. That is what we are going to do right now.

This is Bryant’s career-high against every NBA team.

Atlanta Hawks - 41 Points

Date: November 1, 2009

Stats: 41 Points, 8 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 5 Steals, 0 Blocks

The Lakers were coming off their worst home loss in two seasons to come around and defeat the Hawks 118-110. Bryant scored 19 points in the third quarter which helped the Lakers take charge with a 22-3 scoring run. At one point, the Hawks were held scoreless for five minutes as Bryant was hitting shot after shot. Bryant also added a season-high eight rebounds.

Boston Celtics - 43 Points

Date: January 30, 2007

Stats: 43 Points, 8 Rebounds, 8 Assists, 0 Steals, 2 Blocks

Date: March 20, 2006

Stats: 43 Points, 5 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 5 Steal, 0 Blocks

In 23 years, it was the first time that team trainer Gary Vitti heard a Celtics crowd cheering for a Lakers player. When Bryant returned from a one-game suspension, he did not disappoint as he helped hand the Celtics a franchise-record 13th straight loss in 2007. In the 2006 win, Bryant was coming off two straight games where he failed to hit buzzer-beaters to win. He shot 18 of 39 from the field to keep the team above .500 at the time.

Brooklyn Nets - 46 Points

Date: November 27, 2005

Stats: 46 Points, 3 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks

Bryant had a great individual game, but the Lakers came up short in a 102-96 loss. Jason Kidd scored five of his team-high 35 points in overtime to help the Nets fend off the Lakers and Bryant’s 46 points. At the time, it was an NBA season-high. Bryant scored all but seven points after halftime, which included 14 of 36 from the field and 14 of 16 at the free-throw line.

Charlotte Hornets - 58 Points

Date: December 29, 2006

Stats: 58 Points, 5 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 0 Steals, 0 Blocks

You would think that if a player scored 58 points, that meant the team won. Instead, Bryant scored 58 points in three overtimes only to lose to the Charlotte Bobcats. At one point in the game, head coach Phil Jackson was yelling at the team to run their offense, but he claimed that the team just kept going back to Bryant. Instead of relying on Kwame Brown and Smush Parker, Bryant tried to take matters into his own hands by taking 45 shots in 55 minutes. Not a single teammate of Bryant took more than 10 shots.

Chicago Bulls - 43 Points

Date: November 20, 2005

Stats: 43 Points, 6 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks

Bryant popped off for 43 points against the Bulls, but the team was able to rely on Chris Duhon’s 11 fourth-quarter points to take the game 96-93. The win was a big deal because, at the time, the Bulls were horrendous when the circus came to the United Center. When the circus came, the Bulls were 1-41 on the road while it was in town, but the Bulls were able to pull off their second win in six years. That included a night where Bryant made 50% of his shots.

Cleveland Cavaliers - 47 Points

Date: January 30, 2001

Stats: 47 Points, 5 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 3 Steals, 1 Block

On this night, Shaquille O’Neal gained a little more respect for his teammate. O’Neal was out of the game, while Bryant played through two injured shoulders and an aching right elbow. Bryant scored 47 points to lead the Lakers to a 102-96 win, which included shooting 23 of 26 at the free-throw line. The Lakers led by 19 points at one point before the Cavs stormed back.

Dallas Mavericks - 62 Points

Date: December 20, 2005

Stats: 62 Points, 8 Rebounds, 0 Assists, 3 Steals, 0 Blocks

Bryant scored over 80 points once in his career. This would have been the other time had he played more than three quarters. In just that amount of time, Bryant scored a then-career-high 62 points. When Bryant hit a three-pointer with 4.4 seconds remaining in the third quarter, his 62 points was more than the entire Mavericks team's total of 61 points.

Denver Nuggets - 51 Points

Date: February 12, 2003

Stats: 51 Points, 3 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks

In less than three quarters, Bryant scored 51 points to net his season-high. The 113-102 win by the Lakers helped the team extend their winning streak to seven games. Bryant was 15 of 28 from the field, as well as 18 of 20 at the free-throw line. It was the league’s first 50-point game that season, while it was his third 50-point game in his career. Bryant sat out the last 13 minutes of the game.

Detroit Pistons - 40 Points

Date: November 17, 2009

Stats: 40 Points, 5 Rebounds, 5 Assists, 3 Steals, 0 Blocks

Date: March 4, 2006

Stats: 40 Points, 5 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 0 Steals, 0 Blocks

In the 2009 win, the Lakers were trying to avoid losing three straight games for the first time in two years. After the game, Lamar Odom said that Bryant’s presence was a reason why the team was able to overcome that. In 2006, Bryant’s 40 points helped the Lakers defeat the Pistons, who owned the best record in the NBA.

Golden State Warriors - 51 Points

Date: December 6, 2000

Stats: 51 Points, 7 Rebounds, 8 Assists, 2 Steals, 1 Block

Having one 50-point scorer on the team is legendary. What about two? On this day, Bryant and Antawn Jamison famously scored at least 50 points each for the Lakers. Jamison scored 51 points on 21 of 29 shooting, while Bryant matched his 51 points by shooting 18 of 35 from the field. The Lakers used these two performances to upset the Warriors in Oakland in overtime by a score of 125-122.

Houston Rockets - 53 Points

Date: March 30, 2007

Stats: 53 Points, 2 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 0 Steals, 0 Blocks

Date: December 15, 2006

Stats: 53 Points, 10 Rebounds, 8 Assists, 2 Steals, 1 Block

In 2007, this was one game that Bryant featured among his historic scoring streak of scoring over 50 points in four straight games. Bryant’s line was pure scoring, pulling down two rebounds and two assists with zero defensive stats. In 2006, Bryant led the Lakers back from a 21-point deficit, while still recovering from an ankle injury. The Lakers won 112-101 with Bryant leading the way with 53 points, which included a 180-degree dunk on Yao Ming.

Indiana Pacers - 45 Points

Date: January 9, 2006

Stats: 45 Points, 10 Rebounds, 5 Assists, 1 Steal, 0 Blocks

What Bryant did in this game was something that Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar never did. It was the first time in 41 years that a player scored at least 40 points in four consecutive games since Wilt Chamberlain in 1964. Bryant’s career-high against Indiana wasn’t just his record, but something the league hadn’t seen done during this stretch.

Los Angeles Clippers - 50 Points

Date: March 12, 2007

Stats: 50 Points, 9 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 1 Steal, 0 Blocks

Date: January 7, 2006

Stats: 50 Points, 8 Rebounds, 8 Assists, 1 Steal, 0 Blocks

In the battle of Los Angeles, Bryant torched the Clippers two times for 50 points. The first time came in 2007 when Bryant nearly had a double-double, missing that feat by one rebound. The victory in 2006 was even more special as Bryant hit the game-winning fadeaway jumper to give the Lakers a 112-109 victory.

Los Angeles Lakers - None

Bryant does not own a career-high against the Lakers. Bryant played his entire career with the Lakers, so he never had a chance to play on this team.

Memphis Grizzlies - 60 Points

Date: March 22, 2007

Stats: 60 Points, 5 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 0 Steals, 0 Blocks

Bryant was superb from the field. He scored 60 points on 20 of 37 shooting. In the second half, Bryant scored 36 points, shooting 15 of 16 from the free-throw line. It also marked the third straight day that Bryant had scored at least 50 points in a game. Over six days, Bryant averaged 58.3 points per game.

Miami Heat - 42 Points

Date: December 25, 2004

Stats: 42 Points, 3 Rebounds, 6 Assists, 1 Steal, 0 Blocks

It was the first time that Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal faced off against each other as foes and not teammates. O’Neal was traded during the offseason and he got the first laugh by defeating the Lakers 104-102. With that said, Bryant had his best game ever against Miami. It might have had a lot to do with playing against Shaq.

Milwaukee Bucks - 43 Points

Date: March 24, 2006

Stats: 43 Points, 5 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 0 Steals, 0 Blocks

Bryant made sure to get to the free-throw line in this game. In his previous eight games, he was getting to the line fewer than six times. In this game, he shot a perfect 14 for 14 from the free-throw line. That included six shots in the final 20 seconds to help the Lakers defeat the Bucks 101-96. It was just another day at work for the NBA leader in scoring at the time.

Minnesota Timberwolves - 50 Points

Date: March 18, 2007

Stats: 50 Points, 6 Rebounds, 6 Assists, 3 Steals, 0 Blocks

It was one of the four games that Bryant scored 50 points in consecutive games. Bryant scored 14 points in the first eight minutes of the game to help the Lakers lead by as many as 17 points. From hitting a three-point shot over Kevin Garnett to hitting a shot over Trenton Hassell and Mike James, Bryant was not going to be stopped this game, capping the night with a two-handed dunk on a fastbreak.

New Orleans Pelicans - 50 Points

Date: March 23, 2007

Stats: 50 Points, 7 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 0 Steals, 1 Block

This was the final game of the four-game 50-point streak. Bryant scored 50 points on 16 of 29 shooting, which included 17 points in the third quarter. It featured an impossible three-pointer over both Tyson Chandler and Devin Brown. The game also saw Bryant shoot a perfect 16 for 16 at the free-throw line.

New York Knicks - 61 Points

Date: February 2, 2009

Stats: 61 Points, 0 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 0 Steals, 1 Block

Years later, Robert Horry narrated a story about how a fun game called “string game” helped Bryant eventually score 61 points against the Knicks one day. The Lakers were without Andrew Bynum. During the game, Bryant was booed and cheered. In the end, he passed Michael Jordan’s record of 55 points scored by an opponent at Madison Square Garden. He also scored the most points ever by any player at MSG, passing Bernard King’s record of 60.

Oklahoma City Thunder - 50 Points

Date: April 15, 2007

Stats: 50 Points, 8 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks

There were only four games left in the season. Bryant scored 50 points against the Clippers. He followed that with another 50 points two days later against the Seattle SuperSonics. Bryant shot 18 of 25 from the field, including three treys, and 11 of 13 from the free-throw line. It would be the only 50 point game against either the SuperSonics or Thunder franchise.

Orlando Magic - 41 Points

Date: December 20, 2008

Stats: 41 Points, 8 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 0 Steals, 0 Blocks

Date: November 12, 2004

Stats: 41 Points, 7 Rebounds, 8 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks

In the 2008 meeting, Bryant scored 41 points but the Lakers lost 106-103. Dwight Howard made eight of 11 free throws, while Jameer Nelson countered with 27 points. In the 2004 meeting, Bryant led the Lakers to a win that featured a dunk over Howard. Bryant had a poor night shooting, finishing 14 of 31 from the field.

Philadelphia 76ers - 48 Points

Date: January 6, 2006

Stats: 48 Points, 10 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks

Bryant was back from a two-game suspension and made it count as he nearly scored 50 points against Philly. Bryant made all seven of his three-point shots and helped the Lakers overcome 31 points from Allen Iverson. Both Bryant and Iverson were battling for the scoring title, where Bryant held a narrow 33.1 points per game in comparison to Iverson’s 33.0. It also helped the Lakers avoid losing six games for the first time in Phil Jackson’s 15 years of coaching.

Phoenix Suns - 51 Points

Date: April 7, 2006

Stats: 51 Points, 5 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 1 Steal, 0 Blocks

Despite 51 points from Bryant, it was not enough to help the Lakers defeat the Suns. Bryant still managed to finish with a record. His 51 points broke the U.S. Airways Center record of 50 points scored by Amare Stoudemire and Cliff Robinson. At the time, only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan had scored more points against the Suns.

Portland Trail Blazers - 65 Points

Date: March 16, 2007

Stats: 65 Points, 7 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 3 Steals, 0 Blocks

The Lakers used 65 points from Bryant to defeat the Trail Blazers 116-111, where he accounted for more than half of the team’s points. It helped the Lakers overcome a seven-game losing streak. Bryant shot 23 of 29 from the field, made eight three-pointers, and made 11 of 12 free throws. It was the second-best scoring output of his career. In the fourth quarter, Bryant scored 24 points.

Sacramento Kings - 51 Points

Date: January 18, 2006

Stats: 51 Points, 9 Rebounds 4 Assists, 1 Steal, 0 Blocks

It took a plethora of Kings players to beat the Lakers. Despite 51 points, the Kings used 40 points from Mike Bibby, six points from Kenny Thomas in overtime, and 16 points from Brad Miller, who had the game-tying three-pointer with 4.1 seconds. It ruined a thriller of a game by Bryant, who scored 21 points in the first quarter and 12 points in the final six minutes.

San Antonio Spurs - 44 Points

Date: February 14, 2003

Stats: 44 Points, 6 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 4 Steals, 2 Blocks

Bryant tried to deny the Spurs a place in NBA history. Instead, the Spurs overcame 44 points from Bryant to win seven consecutive games on a road trip by defeating the Lakers 103-95. It was the first time in NBA history despite Bryant scoring at least 35 points in his eighth straight game. Bryant’s 41 shots were twice the amount taken by his teammate Shaquille O’Neal.

Toronto Raptors - 81 Points

Date: January 22, 2006

Stats: 81 Points, 6 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 2 Steals, 1 Block

With 43.4 seconds left in the game, the nearly 19,000 fans screamed in cadence “M-V-P.” Bryant scored 55 points in the second half, which is the second-highest point total in a half in NBA history, trailing only Wilt Chamberlain’s 59 points in his 100 point game. At one point, the Lakers trailed by 18 points in the third quarter, but Bryant scored 27 in the third and 28 in the fourth to lead the Lakers to a win.

Utah Jazz - 60 Points

Date: April 13, 2016

Stats: 60 Points, 4 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 1 Steal, 1 Block

In his final game, Bryant gave fans everything that they were hoping to see. Bryant scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, which led him to score at least 50 points in a game for the first time since 2009. The entire Staples Center gave him a standing ovation after the game. It was the worst season in team history, but the real heartbreak was when Bryant said “Mamba out” after the game was over.

Washington Wizards - 55 Points

Date: March 28, 2003

Stats: 55 Points, 5 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 3 Steals, 0 Blocks

It was a passing of a torch moment. The Lakers defeated the Wizards, who were led by Michael Jordan in his final season. Bryant scored 55 points on 15 of 29 shooting, including 9 of 13 from three-point range. Jordan scored 23 points himself, but Bryant scored 42 of the team’s 55 points in the first half. Jordan was 39, while Bryant was 24. Even Shaquille O’Neal provided Bryant with a hug because everyone in the arena knew the significance of this moment. 


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