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  Goodbye Kobe Bryant!

Goodbye Kobe Bryant!

AP
Published : Apr 14, 2016, 11:56 pm IST
Updated : Apr 14, 2016, 11:56 pm IST

Kobe Bryant scored 60 incredible points. He carried a miserable Los Angeles Lakers team to an improbable comeback victory.

Kobe Bryant
 Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant scored 60 incredible points. He carried a miserable Los Angeles Lakers team to an improbable comeback victory.

And with sweat and confetti all over his gold uniform for the final time, he expressed humble thanks to his fans and family for their loving support over two decades.

 

“What else can I say ” Bryant asked. “Mamba out.”

Now that’s a Hollywood ending to a remarkable career.

Bryant utterly dominated his final game on Wednesday night, wrapping up 20 NBA seasons with one last offensive showcase in the Lakers’ 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz.

He scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, posting his first 50-point game since February 2009 and rallying the Lakers from a 15-point deficit to win the final game of the worst season in franchise history.

It was messy, ridiculous and magical — even to the man who did it so many times over 20 years.

“It’s hard to believe it happened this way,” Bryant said. “I’m still shocked about it.”

 

With the entire Staples Center crowd standing, Bryant made a 3-pointer with 59 seconds left. He hit another with 31 seconds to play, putting the Lakers ahead 97-96. He finished with an assist before checking out for good with 4.1 seconds left in just the Lakers’ 17th win of the season.

“The perfect ending would have been a championship,” Bryant said with a smile. “But tonight was (me) trying to go out, play hard and try to put on a show as much as I possibly could. It felt good to be able to do that one last time.”

Bryant and his teammates conspired for one last omnivorous scoring performance by the third-leading scorer in NBA history. He played 42 minutes and took a career-high 50 shots, his teammates attempting to set him up for points on nearly every possession.

 

Kobe came up with the fifth highest-scoring game of his career. He became the oldest player to score 50 points in an NBA game with his highest-scoring performance since getting 61 against New York in 2009 — oh, and he had four assists and four rebounds.

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