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Kobe Bryant’s top 100 games: No. 12

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Kobe Bryant, like many NBA superstars, loved to play at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan and put on a big show for the Broadway audience.

He had some big games against the New York Knicks, as well as a memorable first All-Star game in 1998, but they all pale in comparison to his 2009 trip there.

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Just two days earlier, Andrew Bynum dislocated the MCL against the Memphis Grizzlies. It seemed to mirror his second Finals knee injury the year before, which also happened against Memphis, and the incident seemed to blow the air out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ collective psyche.

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Perhaps to send a message to his teammates and the league, or perhaps simply because it was the Big Apple, Bryant went into super black mamba mode that evening on February 2.

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He had 61 points on 19 of 31 shooting from the field and 20 of 20 from the free throw line as Los Angeles defeated the mediocre Knicks 126–117.

This was the most points ever scored by any NBA player in the Garden, and this record stood until 2014 when Carmelo Anthony scored 62 points there.

Bryant’s performance that evening in 2009 was proof that the Lakers were in good hands with him, regardless of who was on the court as his teammates.

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The story originally appeared on LeBron Wire.



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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