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Kobe Bryant's 81-point Game Performance Details

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Kobe Bryant performance of 81 points in one game

Kobe Bryant dunks a couple of his 81 pointsAfter two quarters of the January 22, 2006 game against the Raptors, the 18,997 fans in the stands of the Staples Center were getting ready for another Laker loss when suddenly they became witnesses of a piece of history: Kobe Bryant scored 55 points in the second half to total 81 points, the second-best scoring show of all times and the best in 44 years.

The only record standing in top of Kobe's 81 points is the legendary 100-point performance of Wilt Chamberlain against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962. Although they say that records are made to be broken, before this winter Sunday, Chamberlain's record seemed unreal, impossible to repeat in this era because it was set in an NBA where the worst scoring team averaged 111 points, and Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points in that 1962 season.

In 44 years after that 100-point game, only Chamberlain, David Thompson and David Robinson scored more than 70, but no one more than 73. Suddenly 100 is a number that although still improbable, is not impossible to reach, at least for this Kobe Bryant that has taken his game to a higher level.

Details of Kobe Bryant's 81 points:

QTR FG-A 3P-A FT-A FG% PTS Result
1st 5-9 0-1 4-4 55.5 14 LAL 29-36 Tor
2nd 5-7 1-1 1-2 71.4 12 LAL 49-63 Tor
3rd 11-15 4-4 1-1 73.3 27 LAL 91-85 Tor
4th 7-15 2-7 12-13 46.7 28 LAL 122-104 Tor
Totals 28-46 7-13 18-20 60.9 81 122-104

Kobe Bryant's 81 vs. Wilt Chamberlain's 100:

Wilt Chamberlain has the NBA record with 100 points in one game
Kobe Bryant celebrates his 81 points with coach Phil Jackson
Category Kobe Wilt
Points 81 100
Field goals 28 36
Field goal attempts 46 63
Field goal % 60.8% 57.1%
Three-pointers 7 0
Three-pt. attempts 13 0
Three-pt. % 53.8% 0.0%
Free throws made 18 28
Free-throw attempts 20 32
Free-throw % 90.0% 87.7%
Rebounds 6 25
Assists 2 2
Minutes 42 48
Final result W 122-104 W 169-147
% of his team points 66.4% 59.2%
*Notes: Although there was no three-point line during Chamberlain's career, he didn't have a long shooting range. / Chamberlain was an horrendous free throw shooter (47%) but that night he made 28 of 32.

Top 10 NBA All-time best scoring performances:

100 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia ...vs. N.Y. at Hershey, Pa., March 2, 1962.

81 - KOBE BRYANT, Lakers ...vs. Toronto, Jan. 22, 2006.

78 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia ...vs. Lakers, Dec. 8, 1961 (3 OT).

73 - David Thompson, Denver ...at Detroit, April 9, 1978.

73 - Wilt Chamberlain, San Francisco ...at New York, Nov. 16, 1962.

73 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia ...vs. Chicago, Jan. 13, 1962.

72 - Wilt Chamberlain, San Francisco ...at Lakers, Nov. 3, 1962.

71 - David Robinson, San Antonio ...at Clippers, April 24, 1994.

71 - Elgin Baylor, L.A. Lakers ...at New York, Nov. 15, 1960.

70 - Wilt Chamberlain, San Francisco ...vs. Syracuse, March 10, 1963. 81


Records:

Here you have a couple of records set by Kobe Bryant in this game:

- 81 points in one game, 55 points in one half, both are Lakers records.

- by missing a free throw he ended his streak of 62 consecutive free throws, also a franchise best.

- for most players, a 60-point performance is a one-in-a-career achievement but Kobe became one of 4 players in NBA history to score 60 or more points at least twice. Wilt Chamberlain did it an incredible 32 times, Michael Jordan 5 times, Elgin Baylor did it 4 times.


The Quotes:

"Yes, it was (more impressive than Chamberlain's 100 points), that's because of the wide variety of shots that he used, driving, pulling up, behind the three-point line, it was an incredible feat of versatility."

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (NBA All-time top scorer)

"I wasn't keeping track on what he had, and when I turned to (assistant Frank Hamblen) and said, 'I think I better take him out now,' he said, 'I don't think you can. He has 77 points'... I've seen some remarkable games, but I've never seen anything like that before"

Phil Jackson (Lakers Coach)

"That's wild, that is really wild. That's a lot of points, I'm telling you. There's no question how good he is, but when you start throwing numbers around like that, it's unbelievable. It would be hard to believe if you didn't know it was true."

Larry Bird (former NBA superstar)

...and finally, the most stupid remark about the 81 points...

"The only bad thing about it is young kids, whose minds are easily warped, are going to think, 'Ohhh, I am going to go out there and do it' instead of the team concept first"

Vince Carter (former MJ heir apparent, full of envy)

When you stop laughing you can read Bryant's answer to that...

"As for a message to the youth, my message is that if you work hard, you can go beyond anyone's expectations, even your own."

Kobe Bryant


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