3. Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game
The only person that can top Kobe Bryant’s final game is Kobe Bryant himself as he has the most dominant game in the NBA since Wilt Chamberlain retired. If Wilt Chamberlain wasn’t just bigger than everyone else and ahead of his time then this would be the game that people aim for.
Wilt’s 100-point game is great but Kobe’s 81-point game might be better. Not only was the competition tougher, but Kobe had to do more to get his 81 than Wilt needed to do to get his 100. In terms of a pure scoring clinic, Kobe might have him beat.
Regardless, it is one of the greatest single-game performances in NBA history and the best part is that it happened in front of a home crowd. It would not have been the same if this game was played in Toronto as Kobe fed off of the hot LA crowd to drop 81.
This box score is just absurd to look back on. Kobe attempted 46 shots on this January night, making 28 of them while shooting seven of 13 from beyond the arc. He also made 18 of his 20 free throws in the contest.
What is even more impressive is that he did this while only turning the ball over three times and playing solid defense with three steals as well. It is the best single game of Bryant’s career and showed that he was just on a different level than everyone else.
Note: We don’t have any access to photos from the actual 81-point game. The picture above is from a game against the Raptors in November 2006.