Kobe Bryant Day: Remembering Kobe’s Four Straight 50-Point Games

Dec 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) is honored after the first quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) is honored after the first quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Never forget the time Kobe Bryant took over in ways seemingly impossible, scoring 50 or more points in four consecutive games

For most NBA players, a 50-point game is a career-defining moment, the perfect storm of swagger, rhythm, and a just a little bit of luck. But today, on the first annual Kobe Bryant Day, we’re not interested in the feats of mere mortals. Because for a stretch during the 2006-07 season, scoring 50 points became routine for him.

At 28 years old, Bryant was at the peak of his powers, scoring from anywhere and on anyone—all the while he dragged a thoroughly mediocre Lakers’ squad towards a postseason birth. With a record of just 33-32 heading into a March 16 game against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Purple and Gold needed something close to a miracle to remain in contention for a playoff spot.

They got one.

What Kobe did over that stretch really was nothing short of miraculous. Outside of being only one of two players in history to notch four consecutive 50-points games (the other is Wilt Chamberlain), he did it during a stretch when the Lakers really needed wins. All four games were close and each ended in a victory.

Even after the streak concluded, Kobe continued to pour on a preposterous amount of points and finished the season with 10 games of scoring 50 points or more, the most ever during a single season in NBA history.

On a day where we honor the Mamba, let’s relive each of those incredible games of his streak.

March 16, 2007: 65 Points vs. Portland Trail Blazers (OT)

Did I mention that two of the four contests were 60-point games, too? The opening act of Kobe’s week-long scoring barrage was likely the most memorable. Mamba scored 24 of his 65 points in the fourth quarter, including three consecutive triples to force overtime. He then knocked down a truly absurd turnaround three to give the Lakers the lead it OT. Just one more chapter in Portland’s extensive memoir of Kobe-induced despair.

March 18, 2007: 50 Points vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Kobe wasted no time picking up where he left off, scoring 14 points over the first nine minutes as the Lakers built an early double-digit lead against Minnesota. But, considering the aforementioned terrible roster surrounding him, the Timberwolves climbed all the way back before halftime. This only forced Kobe to go nuclear on the scoresheet once again. This performance was stuffed with classic Kobe moments as he routinely knifed through the lane with reckless abandon and pulled up from anywhere and everywhere with alarming ease.

March 22, 2007: 60 Points at Memphis Grizzlies

Yeah; he scored 60 again. This was a magnificently efficient game for Bryant, who took full advantage of a Grizzlies team that didn’t seem at all concerned with the 115 points points he had scored over just his previous two games. The Black Mamba attacked the hoop relentlessly, scoring on a number of electrifying finishes. That attack also led to him nailing 17 of his 18 free throw attempts. Sprinkle in a handful of his patented “how did he make that” jumpers and you’ve got the recipe for yet another 60-point shellacking.

March 23, 2007: 50 Points at New Orleans Hornets

The final game of Kobe’s 50-point streak came at the expense of Chris Paul and the then New Orleans Hornets. In this one, he did most of his damage with a blistering 17-point third quarter, highlighted by a healthy dose of impossible contested threes and pull-up jumpers. But degree of difficulty never applied to No. 24, who drilled 16 of his 19 shots and all 16 of his free throws. This final performance capped a remarkable feat that would become just a drop in the pond of Bryant’s greatness.

Here’s to an icon well deserving of a holiday all his own. Happy Kobe Bryant Day.