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He may be retired, but back in 2006 a 27-year-old Kobe Bryant was a three time NBA Champion who was deciding it'd be a laugh to tear apart the Toronto Raptors single handed.
Twelve years ago today, 'Black Mamba' sunk 81 points, the second highest points total scored by a single player in NBA (behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point haul in 1962) to deliver a 122-104 victory to the Lakers, who had trailed by 18 points heading into the final quarter.
Sinking seven of 13 three pointers, 18 of 20 from the free throw line and 28 of 46 from the floor while also laying on two assists and six rebounds.
Speaking after the legendary performance, Bryant said, "That was something that just happened. It's tough to explain. It's just one of those things.
"It really hasn't, like, set in for me. It's about the 'W,' that's why I turned it on. It turned into something special. To sit here and say I grasp what happened, that would be lying."
Kobe would go onto lift another two NBA Championships, in 2009 and 2010, being named as MVP in both finals. Amazingly, just a month previously, Bryant scored just 11 points against the Raptors.
(H/T Oregon Live)
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