Monday, January 23, 2006

81

Seriously now, that didn't happen. They were Canadian points, so it was only like 65, right? Kobe Bryant torched the Toronto Raptors for 81 points on only (only, ha) 46 shots. Absurd. He bettered Michael Jordan's all-time scoring mark by an even dozen and didn't even need overtime (or, for that matter, all of regulation) to do it.

The worst part is that I didn't even watch it. Nope. Halfway through the Seahawks/Panthers I went to my girlfriend's in Brooklyn, and she doesn't have LeaguePass. Found out about it on the Channel 11 news this morning, then came home and actually endured SportsCenter long enough to see the highlights. Amazing.

It's only January, and Kobe has already done two things this season that Jordan never did—breaking 70 (and 80) and scoring 45-plus in four straight games. His 81 was only 19 shy of Wilt Chamberlain's record 100, and Kobe took 17 fewer shots and 12 fewer free throws. Not sure if Phil Jackson would say they all came within the flow of the offense (unless the offense simply flows through Kobe at all times), but the Lakers did get the W. He had 55 points in the second half. 55! How many players in the League have even scored that many in a game? (Let's see—Iverson, Shaq, T-Mac, LeBron...who else?)

The scariest thing, to me, is that it didn't seem all that difficult for him. Why shouldn't he get 90 later? Or a 50-15-15 triple-double? Regardless, he's making one hell of a case of who the best player in the League is. And he ain't in Miami.

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