On January 22, 2006 the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Toronto Raptors in a mid-season matchup that would become one of the most famous single game performances in NBA history, as Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in a single game.
On Jan. 22, 2006, the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Toronto Raptors in a game that would become known for one of the most famous single-game performances in NBA history. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant scored 81 points that night.
Bryant started out the game with an impressive -- but not completely unheard of -- 26 points in the first half. But in the second half, Bryant exploded for 55 points to lead the Lakers to a 122-104 victory.
The game was the pinnacle of a historic January for Bryant, which saw the guard average 43.4 points per game, the most in a month for any player other than Wilt Chamberlain.
The 81-point game also stands second only to Chamberlain's 100 point mark for the Philadelphia Warriors in a 1962 game against the New York Knicks.
Bryant is averaging 22.3 ppg for the Lakers this season with a season high of 44 coming in a losing effort against the Golden State Warriors.
- Brendan Maloy