Kobe Bryant had tremendous scoring outburst against pretty much any team in the NBA that are no the Los Angeles Lakers. In a lot of these games, he would make shots that would put the crowd into a frenzy and in some of those games, you could definitely say he beat the opposing team by himself almost.
A game like that happened on this date in 2009, when the Los Angeles Lakers faced off against a talented but disappointing New York Knicks team. The Lakers were cruising through the season until that point and Kobe Bryant was having another great year on his way to the fourth title.
The Madison Square Garden was sold out the fans really got their money's worth that night. In almost 37 minutes of action, Kobe finished the game with 61 points shooting 19 of 31 from the field. He also made all of his 20 shots from the free throw line.
At that time, Kobe passed Michael Jordan for the most points scored by an opponent at the Garden and also passed Bernard King as the most points scored by anyone there.
After the game, Kobe said he was truly blessed by being able to do everything he does on the basketball court.
"It's a blessing to do what you love and to have moments like this. I felt like I needed to focus even more, more so than usual, try to stay in that pocket.”
Kobe also mentioned the documentary movie about him that was made by Spike Lee and how he needed to put up big numbers in order to avoid being trashed talked from Spike.
“On a lighter note, I'm going to review this documentary I'm doing with Spike so I didn’t feel like sitting next to him and hearing him talking trash about the Knicks. That was added incentive as well — seriously. He’s going to get an earful tonight.”
Phil Jackson coached Jordan at the game when he scored 55 points and said both performances were remarkable in their own right.
"He was on fire from the start and finished the game almost the same way. That was a remarkable performance. He wasn't really totally himself as a player yet. "We just stuck him in the post." Both remarkable performances
Kobe 61- point outburst at the Garden was later outperformed by Carmelo Anthony who scored 62 points and just a few weeks ago James Harden also erupted at the Garden scoring 61 points against the Knicks. However, the 19,763 in attendance showed their appreciation for Kobe and another legendary performance at the Garden.
It was on this date, 10 years ago that Kobe received the "M.V.P. chants in New York City.