8. at Cavs, December 11 – 42 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
7. at Clippers, January 4 – 38 points, 3 assists, 5 steals
Neither of these selections resulted in Lakers wins, but each were special for their own reasons. In the matchup against the Cavs, After a summer where Kyrie Irving challenged Bryant to a one-on-one duel, this was the first contest between the two. Neither disappointed, as Irving went for 28 and 11 while Bryant poured in 42 points. The two faced off one-on-one only once, with Bryant getting the better of the youngster, blocking his shot. Unfortunately for the Lakers, Bryant’s heroics could only do so much, as the Lakers still lost the game.
The January meeting with the Clippers wasn’t nearly as significant, but still was an important meeting. The throne for Los Angeles was still up in the air. The game was most remembered for Bryant’s emphatic dunk on Chris Paul, but Bryant was a star the whole game. The Clippers led by 19 with 10 minutes to go in the game when the Lakers, led by Bryant, cutting the lead down to two points on a Bryant pull-up jumper. The Lakers couldn’t complete the comeback, but Bryant’s performance was indicative for how the Lakers season would go.