LOS ANGELES (MEDIA GENERAL) — Wednesday night will be the last time Kobe Bryant takes the court for a Laker team that is currently in the cellar of the Western Conference. Though the Black Mamba’s last couple of seasons have been plagued by injuries and lackluster play by his teammates, he will still go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game.
During Bryant’s 20-year NBA career, the Lakers’ guard has scored 40 or more points in 134 games, the third most in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan. Of those 134 games, he put up 60 or more points against five different teams. Here’s a look at those five games that will go down as the best of his historic career.
The Black Mamba goes off for 60 in Memphis
With one of the less talented teams during the Kobe Bryant era in Los Angeles, the “Black Mamba” was able to net 60 points on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Bryant hit 20 of his 37 shots and three of his seven three point attempts to carry the Lakers to a narrow 121-119 win over the Grizzlies.
Kobe drops 61 points against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden
On Feb. 2, 2009, Kobe Bryant set the single-game scoring record at Madison Square Garden with 61 points. Bryant went 19-for-31 from the field and 20-for-20 at the free throw line in the Lakers’ 126-117 win over the Knicks.
Bryant and the Lakers would finish the season with the best record in the Western Conference (65-17) and eventually go on to win the NBA Finals against the Orlando Magic in five games.
Kobe racks up 62 in three quarters in Dallas
On Dec. 20, 2005, Kobe Bryant scored a career-high 62 points against the Dallas Mavericks in front of the Lakers’ home crowd at the Staples Center.
Though 62 points seems impressive, things could have been worse for the Mavericks as Bryant was benched for the entire third quarter. In fact, Bryant had outscored the entire Dallas team 62-61 after three quarters. The Lakers went onto win the game by a final score of 112-90.
Kobe puts up 65 points versus Portland
In March of 2007, Bryant went on a tear after the Lakers hit a 7-game winless drought during the first half of the month. The “Black Mamba” turned things around with a 65-point showing against the Portland Trailblazers.
Bryant finished the game with 65 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. He also hit a three-pointer to send the game to overtime, where the Lakers would ultimately prevail with a 116-111 victory.
The game would begin a streak of four consecutive 50-point games, a feat only NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain could say he accomplished.
Kobe scores 81
The 2005-2006 season ended up as a disappointment, as the Lakers were bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns.
However, one game made that season one to remember for Kobe Bryant. On Jan. 22, 2006, Bryant made history when he scored a new career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. It remains as the second most single game points scored by one player in NBA history, just behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game in 1962.
In the Lakers’ 122-104 win over the Raptors, Bryant went 28-for-46 from the field, 7-for-13 from three and 18-for-20 from the free throw line.