Friday December 18th, 2015

Kobe Bryant’s first dunk of the year—a poster over Clint Capela—inspired a full range of emotions and expressions from the Lakers and the Rockets during Houston’s 107–87 road win on Thursday.

With a little more than nine minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Rockets leading 54–44 on Thursday, Bryant received a pass from Jordan Clarkson at the right angle. Using a quick move to get past Trevor Ariza, the 37-year-old Bryant took two dribbles into the paint and then decided to challenge the 6'10" Capela.

Houston’s 21-year-old center contested the shot with his left hand but Bryant was able to slip the right-handed dunk past him, bringing the Staples Center crowd to its feet with the slam.

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That’s when the hilarity began. Dwight Howard, seated on Houston’s bench, couldn’t help but smile. Nick Young looked like he had seen a ghost. Julius Randle nearly hit the deck in surprise. Rookie D’Angelo Russell received a technical foul for running onto the court in celebration. Bryant stuck his tongue out in celebration. The crowd started up the familiar “M-V-P” chants.

​James Harden posted a game-high 25 points on 7-of-24 shooting, six rebounds and six assists. Howard finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds in the win over his former team.

Houston improved to 13–14. L.A. fell to 4–22.

Bryant scored a team-high 22 points in 32 minutes, grabbed eight rebounds and dished three assists.​

There’s little doubt that this dunk is the top on-court highlight of Bryant’s “Farewell Tour” to date.

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