Wednesday December 23rd, 2015

Kobe Bryant has been simultaneously revered and maligned this season as he takes his farewell tour of the league and drags the often-hapless Lakers with him. Tuesday night, he was good Kobe, tying a season-high 31 points as L.A. topped the Denver Nuggets 111–107​ for its fifth win of the season.

Bryant shot 10 of 22 from the floor and added five assists in what was his fourth consecutive 20-point game (he sat out Saturday’s blowout loss to the Thunder with a sore shoulder). As erratic as he’s been, and as frequently as his egregious airballs have circulated in lowlight form, Bryant appears to have found some form of rhythm, at least temporarily, and he scored 13 in the first quarter alone on Tuesday.

The outgoing Bryant also chipped in this late-game shot that made it a three-possession contest. The footwork is vintage, the rim-roll was kind. Roy Hibbert was entertained.

[tweet:https://twitter.com/MrMichaelLee/status/679519584454586368]

Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson added 19 and 16, respectively, for Los Angeles, which is now 5–23 and still headed nowhere fast. But Laker fans and Kobe sympathizers will take all the moments he’s got left. 

For more riveting Kobe action, check in when the Lakers host the Thunder (and Bryant’s dinner buddy Kevin Durant) on Wednesday.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.