Tip-Off Timer: Kobe's 65 in 2007
The 65 points that Kobe Bryant put up against the Blazers back in 2007 was the second highest output of his career, and the high mark in the NBA that season. But the outburst was anything but an isolated incident, especially in what might have been Bryant's most prolific year as a pure scorer.
Coming into that March 16th contest, Kobe already had six games of 40 or more points under his belt, and had surpassed the 50-point mark three times. But with the Lakers riding a seven-game losing streak and the team being in jeopardy of missing the playoffs, Phil Jackson asked Bryant to crank it up a notch for the rest of the season.
Bryant responded -- big time.
The Lakers needed overtime to snap the losing streak, but they were able to do so behind Bryant's 65. Over the next four games, Bryant scored 50, 60, 50, and 43 -- all Laker victories. He ended the season by surpassing the 50-point plateau an amazing seven times in the team's final stretch of 17 games.
Bryant led the league in scoring for the second straight season, and dragged the Lakers into the playoffs with a 42-40 record.
Now, for your viewing pleasure, the obligatory video of the performance. I ask that you pay special attention to the spinning, fadeaway three-pointer (from the corner over two defenders) that Kobe hit late in overtime at about the 7:10 mark. It's one of the sicker shots that you'll ever see.